“Gamification” is a term used to describe the application of game mechanics to drive real-world action. It’s a hot topic among marketers and game designers alike. Leading management consulting firms have predicted gamification to be one of the top disruptive technology trends of 2012 and that more than 50 percent of corporate innovation processes will be gamified by 2015.

Next week, the Games for Health Conference takes place in Boston. The week after will be The Gamification Summit in San Fransisco.

A recent Pew Research Center study, though, found conflicting opinions among tech experts regarding the future of gamification. Among those surveyed, 53 percent were of the opinion that the adoption of game mechanics for education, health, and work will have significantly advanced by 2020. However, 42 percent believed that gamification will only be implemented in select circumstances.

Tech stakeholders and analysts generally believe the use of game mechanics, feedback loops, and rewards will become more embedded in daily life by 2020, but they are split about how widely the trend will extend. Some say the move to implement more game elements in networked communications will be mostly positive, aiding education, health, business, and training. Some warn it can take the form of invisible, insidious behavioral manipulation.