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Small businesses ‘gamifying’ their websites

PHOENIX — Many larger businesses already do it to attract new customers.

They create simple video games for people to play in hopes they will have more business. The process is called “gamification” and it’s moving away from a novelty and is becoming a larger trend.

“Gamification works really well,” said Jason Smith, creative director for Moses Anshell Advertising. “It’s tapping in to a sense of competitiveness and fun, and wanting to challenge yourself a bit.”

Smith said more local businesses are starting to gamify their websites, partially because it’s easy. Most games are copies of other games seen on hundreds, if not thousands, of other websites. It’s also becoming more of a necessity in order to compete in the market.

While the process can be effective, Smith stresses that it is reaching gimmick status.

“It works best when it is part of the story of a company,” he said. “If it is part of who they are and part of the long-term narrative they are telling for their company, it can be great. If done well, it can work, but it’s usually not done well.”