Gamification 101: The Why, What and How

May 25, 2012

What Exactly Is Gamification and How Can You Use It?

The next time you spend money and earn points, you are the proud recipient of gamification. At its most basic, gamification is applying the design, mechanics and thinking of games to anything outside of the game context. So, for example, shopping, filling out tax forms, or reading web sites can all be gamified. So too can teaching little boys to accurately pee in the toilet. How companies and individuals can harness this basic concept, however, varies widely. Watch on...


+10 Points for Eating Cereal? Schell on the Gamepocalypse

Jesse Schell, CEO and Creative Director of Schell Games, imagines a future where every aspect of our daily lives are integrated with video games.

Jane McGonigal: Gamers Have Spent 5.93M Years Playing WoW

Jane McGonigal, author of Reality Is Broken, points to the 3 billion hours the world invests every week in online gaming as a clear indicator that many people are not being sufficiently challenged in their day-to-day lives.

"5.93 million years is how long people have spent tackling unnecessary obstacles in World of Warcraft," says McGonigal. "We've spent as long playing World of Warcraft as we have evolving as a human species."

Nicole Lazzaro: Real World Gamification Can Kill

Nicole Lazarro, founder of XEODesign, cautions that "gamification can kill" if taken to the extreme. Lazarro cites a recent example of the toll system on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, where you pay a lower toll if you are traveling off-peak. The unforeseen consequence is that people stop their cars on the bridge to wait for the price to drop, endangering everyone.

Jesse Schell: The Booming Business of 'Advergaming'

Jesse Schell, CEO and Creative Director of Schell Games, describes the current relationship between advertisers and the video game industry, and predicts the future of what he calls "advergaming." "The virtual economies in these games are powerful," he says.

Nt Etuk Makes the Case for a Gamified Classroom

Nt Etuk of DimensionU argues students would be motivated to perform better in the classroom if schools took a few cues from the gaming world. For starters, he says, make the classroom a more controlled, personalized space that fosters an environment where students are safe to fail.

Ribbon Hero: How Microsoft Made Office Fun

Sarah Faulkner, program manager with Microsoft's Office Labs, discusses the development process they went through to make Ribbon Hero, a game designed to make learning Microsoft Office fun.

The Hype Curve: iPad Finds Niche as Couch Companion

Jesse Schell, CEO and Creative Director of Schell Games, applies Gartner's hype cycle to consumer reaction to the iPad, from inflated expectations, to disillusionment, all the way to the device finding its niche as a couch companion.

Upcoming: Gamification Summit 2012

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