Gamification stuff we love: Cancer Research UK

Last week I was privileged to speak at a local Meetup group called Gamifiers (as well as moderating the online web summit on gamification, which you can still replay at the links on our site). Whilst my talk caused a little bit of debate whether gamification should be used for recruitment or not, the gamification campaign that I want to focus on today is the work done Cancer Research UK to engage with men through their Dryathlon challenge.

Dryathlon – Gamification and Rewards by Ed Cervantes of Cancer Research 
Some of the results were amazing for a first year campaign. They basically targeted men between 25-45 and wanted to create a fun as well low effort way to engage and play. They set the challenge to go off alcohol for a whole month and be sponsored for it for the great cause of cancer research. When you signed up for the challenge, the charity set up your account with, which is a fundraising platform where people can donate money and it ends up straight with the charity and shows a graphical representation to everyone how well you are doing in your fundraising efforts. The charity also encouraged people to participate as part of teams, because they know from research and experience that groups tend to generate more funds than individuals on their own.
Dryathletes earned rewards based on their performance and could see the badges earned in the Dryathletes village, the ones that earned badges on average raised 40% more with their fundraising efforts. Each time you earned a badge you received a personal email to confirm this, those emails were opened 60% of the cases. The campaign in it’s first year attracted 35000 participants and to date raised over £4 million for Cancer Research.
Ed went on to promote the new game Cancer Research has launched, whereby you as the player can assist with Cancer Research itself. By playing “Play to cure: genes in space”, you help scientists identify irregular patterns in genes by playing an asteroid shooter gene. the irregularities can only be spotted by the human eye and by playing you effectively help speed up the process of research by 6 times.
As far as I can see that means it’s time to play! Have fun!

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