Social Website Uses Gamification to Turn Date Ideas into a Game

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PearHaven’s new free social website uses gamification or game design technology, encouraging romantic couples to try new dating experiences and to breakaway from their traditional or usual date plans. The game-like design involves completion of different date ideas and then rewards couples with achievement badges.

PearHaven Couples Share Date Ideas and Earn Badges

Badges make it fun to use PearHaven and keep a record of our dates. My wife and I now have 10 badges.

Gamification has been routinely used to engage people in performing boring tasks such as filling out surveys for dining or purchasing products. The participants are then rewarded with prizes, receive points, frequent flyer miles or achievement badges. By putting game-like features of achievement badges in PearHaven’s dating program, couples tend to seek out new date experiences, compete with other couples and also join other couples in their date ideas, adding a fun twist to dating.

Gamification Statistics from the Entertainment Software Association. support the trend of participants enjoying this new technology.  ESA's research found 42% of all game players are women over 18 years, 65% of gamers play games with other gamers in person and 72% of all Americans play computer or video games.  Wikipedia further explains and defines, "Gamification as the infusion of game design techniques, game mechanics, and/or game style into anything. Gamification typically involves applying game design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging."

The importance of gamification is championed in the book, “Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” written by Jane McGonigal, Phd. McGonigal says, “Gaming strengthens your social bonds and builds trust, two key factors in any positive relationship. And the more positive relationships you have in real life, the happier, healthier and more successful you are.”

To encourage and promote a couple’s long-term romantic relationship, PearHaven.com uses the gamification feature where couples connect with each other by recording group or double dates with friends and then are rewarded with a badge. One couple's double-date earned a badge for rocking climbing with friends at Enchanted Rock, TX.

Similar to Foursquare which unlocks badges for individuals visiting new or unique places, PearHaven is for couples' experiences. PearHaven's game allows couples to get the Pioneer badge for traveling outside of their hometown like the couple who visited New York City's Empire State Buliding. Examples of the Gamification in this new website include a Wishlist badge for places couples would like to go, the Local badge for recording new local dates such as the couple whose community service date involved walking the dogs at their city's animal shelter. With more options of competitive or game-like date ideas available to earn achievement badges, couples can enrich their dating experiences and strengthen their relationships.

About PearHaven

PearHaven.com, a social website with free sign-ups for people of all ages who are dating, engaged or married to record their dating experiences, connect with other couples, post photos and earn achievement badges for trying new date ideas. PearHaven.com provides new date ideas and maps them out through its Date Wizard. PearHaven.com was founded by David Lackey, a student at Princeton University.

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David M. Lackey
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