Hide and seek is probably one of the early games most of us learn when we start going to school. The person trying to find us starts counting and in that time the rest of the players hide themselves as well as they can, only to be uncovered later. In digital games the mechanic of hiding clues or useful items has been used in many genres. Games like Hidden City for example are totally built on finding hidden items, only they are typically hidden in plain sight. On Facebook you will find quite a few photographs doing the rounds, where you are challenged to find the odd figured item, the number or other and some are indeed true brain teasers.
In gamification, I haven’t seen this mechanic pop up much yet. Maybe it’s because we are still too busy trying to get people to do the obvious. But our mind when we set it on a path to seek something will often find more than it was looking for. So in some ways we are missing a trick by not using hiding as a gamification mechanic. It triggers curiosity to find it, which can be a great motivator. Learning related gamification is the obvious fitting place for this kind of mechanic from hiding relevant items in the background of the presenter to hiding clues to unlocking new content. In HR related gamification it would make an interesting game too and in corporate communications giving clues to a hidden secret, will probably make news travel faster.
Where are you going to hide something in your gamification endeavours?