“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.
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.
I am of the view that Gamification is one of those words that purports to mean an awful lot more than it does. Much in the same vein of something like “Blue Sky Thinking” really means: Coming up with a new idea, I think that Gamification means “making something interesting”. One can argue what a game (or fun) actually is and come back to the idea that making something interesting (or fun) has been around way longer than this nifty new notion of Gamification.
On unrelated news, for every comment below this one, the other purplepawn editors and I will be giving out 2 Purple-Pawn-Points (2PPP) to add to your Collection Banks which you can redeem in the “Point Shop” for trendy new clothes to dress up your avatar…
I indeed think the current statification of gamification is controversial and highly interesting. As with anything so new, it is hard to tell as we just don’t have long enough trend lines for anything other than causal data.
However, I am recently in LOVE with 4Square and am happy to unlock badges, mayorships, etc. as it is fun and a way for me to engage with people in person. I can also compete with people digitally for points, though I find that less fun. I think it is fun to “steal” mayorships and force competition, often with strangers I will never meet.
For example, I am the mayor of the McDonald’s in my office and I am constantly bragging and having fun with that with coworkers. Oh, there was a problem with your fries? Let the mayor handle it… Things like that keep me engaged and using apps that are based on gamification.
That aside, I have been working on a game for about a year, and want to try and include a gamification piece into it as a gamer first and a designer second, I think it is a great product differentiator. Thanks, interesting article!
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