Party Gamification

Welcome Gamers and PlayersParty

Today I’ll write about a collateral topic, not directly  in touch with gamification… I try to explain a couple of example that can show, better than thousand words, how gamification works for changing behaviour.

Ever thought about gamifying a party? Gamification can improve people reactions to everything… so it have to be applied to parties as to anything else.

My first experience in these kind of gamified solution to arrange a party was long ago, in 2008 (when gamification was still unknown, and I don’t even know that what I was doing will be called in such way).
My last one, few days ago, during New Year Party. We will call these ans Party#1 and Party#2.

Arranging a party for something like 100 people may be difficult. If you don’t know exactly how many people will come, if you don’t know what they drink, if you don’t have enough resources to collect a medium-size bar before party, and if you don’t want to charge serving to balance you economic situation… well, even something simple as a party can be difficult. How to shop food and beverage in the best way?

The first answer is to gamifying the party itself. This will be useful to drive participant behaviour! You can do it following few easy steps.

Create a theme for the party, a background, a situation useful to disguise “rules of the party” within the party itself, without the need to explain themself as “rules”.

  • Party#1 was a typical Ancient Roman (toga) party, with Senators, Peasants, Slaves and Gladiators.
  • Party#2 was a “Multi-Countdown Party” (we have celebrated 5 different New Year’s Eve on 5 different time zone: GMT+3, GMT+2, GMT+1, GMT+0 and GMT-1, equivalent locally to 10, 11, 12 p.m. and 1, 2 a.m.).

Now you can embed into the party some kind of limitations (or rules), useful to achieve a better efficiency in supply and organization, that are not “restriction” from the participant point of view, but instead useful tools to keep the environment in the right mood.

  • In Party#1 toga was mandatory. participants were distinguished between Senators (staff, with red toga), Peasants (everyone else with a toga) and Slaves (those who presented themself without a toga, who was given an ugly paper-wrap, easy to tear up making it a mess fitting on a poor). The only free drinks allowed were beer and sangria (a wine-based beverage we want to pass ad roman wine): all others drinks (vodka, rum, gin and so on) were distributed only during mini-games (“giochi gladiatorii“) to participants (Gladiators). The overall winner (the Gladiator who drink more) receive a reward.
  • In Party#2, what can you drink depend on what time is it. At the beginning of party, free drinks were beer and wine. At 10 p.m. (russian Eve) you can start drinking vodka (and vodka based-drink), at 11 p.m. (turkish Eve) you can drink raki, at 12 p.m. (Italian and “true” Eve giving our GMT) you can drink sparkling wine, and 1 a.m. (British Eve) you can drink gin, and from 2 a.m. ’till morning you can also drink rum (Cabo Verde Eve).

After those step, you can optimize your supplies and organization in relationship with main theme and limitations you have chosen. This can be done to anything within the party. From decoration to hour scheduling, to supplies to number of staff, to everything else you can imagine. We can constantly interact and keep participant engaged, preparing an hour scheduling and do anything else you think can help in realizing an unforgettable night.

  • In Party#1 classification of participant lead to a huge numbers of funny situation, where group of people can identify themself upon ethnicity or dressing to create team for mini-games, supporter for Gladiators and so on.
    Also, it has been possible to maximize amount of food and drink knowing precisely how much is needed (it depend on mini-game played) and when it has to be served.
  • In Party#2 is possible to optimize drinking thanks to hourly scheduling, buying more vodka than raki, more raki than gin, more gin than rum (notice that while cost/bottle is raising, amount lowers – anyway, so it is in Italian beverage market). Also, creating a specific soundtrack for any different time zone, decorate party’s room with flag and so on.

So, some of the advantage you can take by gamification of a party are the standard gamification benefit you can find described on Internet. But, with these examples, you can better understand how a gamification approach is not a techniques, rather than a point of view from which you have to rearrange your activities and ideas.

Within these situation we can build a more convincing environment, and a light “role-play” that allows participant to interact, widely and deeply, also between strangers. We can make supplies exactly, without significant waste and without running out of drink, food, etc. We can organize
Many other option are allowed: you can crowdsource some heavy work (like recollect used glass: every 10 glass returned to waste you take a free drink), Crowdfound the party itself (granting different level of “Vip” within the party) or do anything else you can think.

Using gamification, people will judge a book by its cover.

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