Pottermore: Gamification gives you more – A case study

[Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on our sister site, GameAccess.com.]

The Harry Potter books and movie franchise has made millions of people extremely happy across the world and of course has made JK Rowling a bob or two, but in answer to many peoples hopes, there is more coming from Harry Potter – not another book or movie but a website that dedicates itself to Harry and Hogwarts where you can become part of an online community to continue the story.

Even if you’ve never read a Harry Potter book or seen the films, this is still a great example of Gamification that everyone can understand. It doesn’t even matter that this website is www.pottermore.com or about Harry Potter. Indeed, it could be called www.beatrixpottermore.com or evenwww.thesixthsensemore.com. The point is that someone came up with the great idea of using Gamification to continue the longevity of this brand and continue to engage its consumers and hey, even make some money. (There is an online store)

How Pottermore.com works:

Pottermore.com works using the same elements of Gamification which we saw in my first blog ‘What the hell is Gamification?’ It uses goals, rules, a feedback system and voluntary participation – Jane McGonigal.

GOAL: There are two goals to Pottermore.com. Initially the goal is to sign up to the site quickly and join the online community. In order to do this you must find an answer to the clue posted on the website. If you’re lucky enough to get to register, then there are more things to do within the website itself i.e ‘goal’s.

“Share and participate in the stories, showcase your own Potter-related creativity, and discover additional information about the world of Harry Potter from the author herself….with subsequent stories unveiled over time”.

RULES:  You can only register if you find the answer to the clue to begin with. If not, you can’t join on right then. When registration is closed, you must wait until the next registration opens. In this case, that will be October 2011.

FEEDBACK: Feedback is instant in that fans will be able to quickly use the website once registered, read more stories on Harry and share stories. Also:“Points can be won for houses by casting spells and mixing potions, users will be able to comment and add their own drawings and content – and Rowling herself will be dropping in “as a normal punter” now and then.” – The Guardian

VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION: The only incentive to join is the joining itself.

This website allows fans to still be part of the Harry Potter brand and offers even more scope for engagement than the books or films because the site is interactive and collaborative and allows fans an opportunity to be creative. “..a lucky few can enter (the site) early and help shape the experience” –JK Rowling.

JK Rowling shares a video on YouTube about Pottermore which will help you understand more about the Gamification of it:


You can read more about it using these sites:http://insider.pottermore.com/2011/07/7-books-7-days-7-chances.html or http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/23/pottermore-website-jk-rowling-harry-potter

In my opinion, this kind of Gamification will become increasingly commonplace over time. I think Gamification is an intelligent tool to use as part of a marketing campaign before, during or after a product/service launch. We’ve already seen that Gamification is used for movies and books with Pottermore, but other brands have used Apps to do this too. Watch GameAccess.com for our next blog which will discuss three free Apps which utilize Gamification as part of a bigger brand.

About Betty Adamou

Betty Adamou is the founder of Research Through Gaming (R.T.G.), which can be found at http://www.researchthroughgaming.com. She is also the editor of GameAccess.com.

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