Entertaining Peery: NCAA Final Four and Gamification

March 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

The NCAA Men’s College Basketball Final Four is set! As a fan of college ball I’ve been watching and am thrilled at the drama of the upsets and the close games. What I have been thinking about a lot during March Madness is the almost ubiquitous bracket pools.

The act of filling out a bracket is, on the face of it, gamification of the tournament results. Adding in rewards from as little as bragging rights to high stake monetary amounts adds to the this notion.

I would venture to say this gamification increases viewership and interest in the sporting events. I would bet that there are those who didn’t watch a single game during the regular season that are paying attention now.

With this in mind I wonder what other entertainment could be improved with brackets. It sure could breathe life back into some of the more tired “reality” shows out there. Imagine if American Idol was bracketed with the judges seeding the contestants and the singers having to go head to head rather than the nebulous competition against the pool. I think that could rock, so to speak. The “regions” could be divided by the style of performer: Pop, Rock, R&B, Eclectic, etc.

This style of competition even harks back to the origins of rock: In the world of blues and early rock there were informal “cutting heads” jam sessions of direct musical competition.

So as you watch the Final Four think about what other events could be made even more fun with your participation via filling out brackets.

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