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Gamification: hype or game changer

By on May 5, 2011
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I was at the Gamification conference yesterday hosted by Playgen as part of the Digital Shoreditch week.

I tweeted a lot during talks from Rick Gibson, Raf Keustermans, Sebastian Deterding and Richard Bartle. So much so that the Wall Street Journal asked me to write a piece on gamification.

So that’s my fourth piece in the Wall Street Journal this year. Yay.

What is gamification?

In the post, I wrote:

“At this gamification conference, the room is divided by a total lack of a common language. For some, gamification is making an iPhone app that entertains, like Barclaycards Waterslide Extreme. (I would call that making an “adver-game”). For others, it is about brand extension (taking Coronation Street onto Facebook, for example). For yet another group, it’s about adding points and levels and badges to a website. To my mind, the latter is a basic example of gamification, but even then, not everyone would agree with me.”

If you want to find out more (and whether gamification is just hype), read Gamification: hype or game-changer in the Wall Street Journal now.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
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    Most of these practices (with rare exceptions) are the equivalents of “putting the lipstick on the pig”.

    “Serous businesses” (incl. non-4-profit, education, military, politics, etc.) can be said as either solving a problem or addressing particular needs. Meanwhile, games for the most part offer emotional thrill and/or joy.

    Instead of slapping the basic game elements on the boring site or “self-pushing” the brands into the games, the whole notion of “expansion of the realm of play” into the day-to-day stuff should be refocused on eliminating both the perceptional and actual boundaries between addressing the needs (incl. selling) and “having a blast”.

    Just look at how a simple Adwar Chrome extension blended those.