Gamification: The Decade of Influences

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Gamification is the concept of applying gaming elements to a non-gaming activity in order to influence people’s behaviours. There are several other definitions,. The Wikipedia defines gamification as the “infusion of game design techniques, game mechanics and/or game style into anything; or the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences.


What is Gamification?


Although it only recently became a phenomenon in terms of business use, it has been around us for a long time. According to Snowfly Inc.[1], in 1974, the Journal of Applied Psychology published a study showing that the first announced application of gamification as a way to increase employee productivity and performance. Early examples of gamification include frequent flyer programs as a loyalty program. It has been used in different industries from Marketing, Education, Government to Health, Science, Lifestyle, and Design. Examples include online e-Learning and testing, smoking cessation, and obesity programs. Other interesting applications include using cyber war games in order to detect security flaws in enterprises.

The Mechanics & Dynamics Involved

Game mechanics[2]are the building blocks of gamification. They are the aspects, such as constructs of rules, that are used to gamify an activity and make the activity more compelling and engaging. Game dynamics, on the other hand, are the motivational nature of the experiences, or the result of desires and motivations.

Features of Gamification

List of Common Mechanics

  • Achievements: Some users are motivated by a need or desire to achieve something challenging through efforts in order to work towards giams. This mechanic helps people set moderately difficult but achievable goals.
  • Bonuses: A form of reward given to users when they complete a series of challenges, core functions or a specific task.
  • Combos: A combo is a combination of activities; this mechanic adds excitement or incentives doing another activity after having completed one. By finishing a combo, users will the reward of bonuses.
  • Countdown: This mechanic gives users a certain amount of time to complete a task until time runs out, a force extinction. It helps create urgency and efficiency.
  • Discovery: A mechanic that encourages people to discover new pages within a website; this could help with education, where people will be encouraged to look for new knowledge.
  • Levels: These are systems in which players are rewarded as they move up the ramp. Other features or abilities are unlocked as players level up.
  • Loss Aversion: A mechanic that influences behaviours by negative reinforcement, such as by not instituting punishment.
  • Points: A numerical value given for an action or a combo completed. It is a system to track the rewards.
  • Quests: These are challenges, a journey of obstacles in which a player should overcome.
  • Rewards & Rewards Schedule: It is the time-frame and delivery mechanisms. There are different schedules: Fixed Interval, Variable Interval, and Ratio Reward Schedule.
  • Status: Similar to what levels bring to users, status is the rank of a player.
  • Virality: An gaming element that requires multiple people to play. This mechanic encourage people to invite others to make the game more interactive.

List of Common Dynamics

  • Appointments: A dynamic in which to succeed, one must return at a predefined time to take a predetermined action. An example would be Starbucks’ happy hours; when users return at a specific time to a specific place, users will get a reward.
  • Behavioural Momentum: It’s a tendency for users to keep doing what they are doing as they have already invested so much time into the activity.
  • Blissful Productivity: A dynamic that creates makes users happier when working hard, than they would be while relaxing.
  • Community Collaboration: A dynamic wherein an entire community is rallied to work together to solve a challenge.
  • Free Lunch: A dynamic in which users feel like they are getting a deal or something for free because someone else have done the work; a feeling of “lucked” into something.
  • Ownership: A powerful dynamic that creates an emotional response and loyalty from users.
  • Progression: A dynamic in which success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing itemized tasks.

An example of a classic gamification is Starbucks' reward program. Every time you purchase a drink, you gain a star, which is the point mechanic. For every five stars earned, the user receives certain rewards. As users move up the ladder and receive 30 stars, they can upgrade to a gold card, where they will receive personalized services as well as special promotions. This gamified experience allows Starbucks to retain customers, increase loyalty, and define its customers' drink preferences, which is critical to Starbuck's success.

Participation & Engagement

Participation is defined as mechanisms used for people to express opinions and exert influence on others. Engagement, on the other hand, is defined by as to occupying the attention or efforts of a person or persons, or to attract or please a person or persons. Gamification's primary goal is to engage with customers, get them to participate within a community and engage with other participants. A well-designed, dynamic, and sustained gamified experience can be extremely helpful in achieving various business goals. As suggested by Seth Priebatsch, the past decade has been contributed to building a social layer, where people try to make as many social connections as they can. As the social layer becomes closer to completion, the world is now ready for the game layer, where they use games to change or influence behaviors (TED Talk, 2010) Whose behaviours are they trying to influence? Everyone’s; whether they are customers, students, patients, or employees. Gamification has surged in popularity and games are now the "new normal."

Importance of Gamification

Gamification changes the way people behave. It makes the process more engaging and fun. Not only does the concept make users more focused, it also brings significant value to the society. With the intense use of smartphones and tablets, hundreds of apps are being developed everyday and most of them involve the concept of gamification. “Cam’s Developmental Preschool” is an app that helps children learn “facial recognition, shapes, and fine motor skills”. By adapting the progression dynamic, “Find Me” uses a series of increasingly difficult graphics to help children develop filtering skills to increase their social interaction ability. With the use of game mechanics, dynamics, visuals, and medical research, these new game designs, or apps, are opening a new world for children on the Autism spectrum.

Gamification is also used to increase business values. It drives participation and engagement, which are two fundamentals for consumers to bring repeat businesses. “Participation builds lasting relationships and impacts basic business objectives" . With proper design and combination, gamification could drive the following participation[3]:

  • Watching videos
  • Listening to audio
  • Viewing photos
  • Opting in to email communication
  • Creating content
  • Answering questions
  • Making a purchase
  • Taking a survey
  • sharing personal information
  • Rating products
  • Filling out registration data
  • Participating and commenting in discussions
  • Visiting repeatedly and more.

All of these activities help create data and statistics for the businesses, giving them enough information to process consumers’ preferences and spending behaviours.

Fun Theory Vs. Gamification

The Fun Theory implies that "something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better" - Volkswagen[4]. Gamification and fun theory are extremely similar, in the sense that both concepts add in gaming elements that make the an ordinary activity or campaign more engaging and compelling. Below are a few videos showcasing how fun theory, or gamification, could easily change people's behaviours.

The World's Deepest Bin
The Speed Camera Lottery

Theories Behind Gamification

Fogg's Behaviour Model (FBM)

FBM[1] was the creation of Dr. BJ Fogg.


According to the model, three elements must at the same moment for a behavior to occur.

  • Motivation,
  • Ability, and
  • Trigger.

When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.

Motivation - The person wants desperately to perform the behavior.

There are three Core Motivators.

  • Sensation - Pleasure or Pain
  • Anticipation - Hope or Fear
  • Social Cohesion - Social Acceptance or Social Rejection

Motivation can be further explained by various other theories, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Pink’s drive, and Flow – The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

Ability/Symplicity - the person can easily carry out the behavior (ie. he considers the behaviour to be simple)

There are six factors.

  • Time
  • Money
  • Physical Effort
  • Brain Cycles - Effort needed to think
  • Social Deviance - Going against the norm/ Breaking the rules of the society
  • Non-Routine - Activities that are not done over and over again

The FBM also implies that Ability and Motivation can be trade-offs. People with low motivation may perform a behavior if the behavior is simple enough (meaning, high on ability).

For example, right now I have very low motivation to buy a new car. But if someone offered me a new car for $1, I would buy it. My ability to pay $1 is high, so I would buy the car despite my low level of motivation.

FBM - Trigger

Trigger - the person is triggered to do the behavior (i.e. he is cued, reminded, asked, called to action, etc.)

There are three types of trigger.

  • Facilitator - The target behavior is easy to do and it won’t require a resource he/she does not have at that moment (Add friend button on FaceBook)
  • Spark - When a person lacks motivation to perform a target behavior, a trigger should be designed in tandem with a motivational element (Videos that inspire hope)
  • Signal - Serves as a reminder (Traffic lights)

Drivers of User Action

According to Gabe Zichermann, employing game mechanics to non-game environments aka “Gamification” can have a dramatic positive effect in supporting desired behaviors. He talks about why people enjoy game-like activities in his "Gamificaiton Master Class" video series. [2]

A sneak peak to the video is provided.

General Industry Applications

The buzzword “gamification” was invented only recently, however, the concept of gamification has been used by various industries for years/decades. Gamification is truly everywhere in our daily lives. Here are a few examples:

iPhone Clear

Many smartphone apps applies gamification concepts too. For example, the recently released “iPhone Clear”. “Clear” is essentially a simple to do list app that allows users to manage their daily tasks and goals. To encourage user engagement, the creators gamified this app by allowing users to unlock new themes when certain tasks are completed (by following one of the creators online; or by completing 100 tasks).


Foldit is a game developed by scientists—in an attempt to allows gamers to contribute to research projects. The objective is to fold protein structure using the tools provided, to find the optimal solution that can be used to tackle real life medical problems. To attract more users and encourage competition, the developers introduced a number of gamification concepts. As users are modifying the structure, scores are calculated and high scores of each problem are ranked. They are also allowed to collaborate and join groups. The result of this project has been astonishing so far. Currently, there are more than 33 million users worldwide. Last year, one gamer was able to solve a problem that scientists hadn’t been able to in a decade!


GlowCap is a product designed to remind people take prescription drugs. By attaching GlowCap to the prescription drugs, it will flash and play a ringtone whenever it is time to take the medication. This is an application of the appointment dynamic that we introduced earlier. Moreover, GlowCap produces regular reports that track the progress of the medication.


When users sign up for Twitter, it uses a simple Progress Bar to encourage new users follow more people. This technique is a gamification mechanic that is intended to give users a sense of accomplishment when reaching the goal.

Gamification in Business (External)

Gamification in Business has been utilized by businesses before the word and concept had been developed. It has only become a business phenomenon in the past year. Major growth happened in the past 18 months (M2). Usage by businesses include marketing gamification and enterprise marketing.

Gamification Market

Market Size Forecast

Currently, the market is estimated to be between $100 Million and $242 Million. It is projected that by the end of 2012, the market spending will reach $242 million, a 150% growth from 2011. A recent example includes Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s funding of $10.3 million towards gamification research in education – GLASS Lab[1]. By 2016, it is estimated that the market will grow to $2.8 billion[2]. Revenue numbers are comprised of platform vendor revenue, agency and production revenue, and internal development.

Gamification Market Segments

The market for gamification is a vertical market. The current market is mainly consumer driven but with a increasing growth in the enterprise segment. The biggest segment of the market belong to enterprises, followed by entertainment and media. Segments were broken down based on surveys M2 Research[2] conducted on gamification vendors.

Consumer Profile

Gamification concept is used to target Generation Y users. Generation Y, also known as the echo boomers, are technology adopted individuals or the “connected generation”. Generation Y are those born in the range of early 1980s to the early 2000s[3]. They are characterized to be technology adopters, online community dwellers, peer to peerers, mass-advertising rejecters, tech-adept workers, work and life balancers, and media mistrusters[4]. It is said that Generation Y will have the most impact on the workforce in the upcoming years as they are replacing the retiring boomers[4].

Consumer and Games

According to Entertainment Software Association (ESA)[5]:

  • Consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2011
  • Purchases of digital content accounted for $7.3 billion in revenue – 31% of game sales
  • The gender of game players are balanced at 53% male players and 47% female players
  • In 2011, 33% of gamers play games on their smartphones, 25% of consumers play games on their handheld device, and 15% of players pay to play online games
  • In 2010, average gamers spend 18 hours a week play video games according to Online Education[5]

The research demonstrates the uprising of digital games as games are offered through various platform and the vast amount of players in the market.

Client Implementation

M2 Research conducted a survey to top platform vendors and concluded that clients are implementing gamification for user engagement (47%), brand loyalty (22%), brand awareness (15%), motivation (9%), and training (7%)[2].

Of those that focuses on user engagement, gamification encourages engagement using the four Is[1].

  • Involvement: increase participation among consumers which leads to increase in site returns, new visitors and registrations.
  • Interaction: increase in incentive to interact with company products as shoppers grow a connection to brands and retailers. This leads to increased likelihood of purchase.
  • Intimacy: gain real-time, intimate connection with consumers through fun and rewards which leads to brand loyalty through a relationship
  • Influence: encourage consumers to share with friends through social platforms by offering incentives – token, badges, etc. this leads to word of mouth promotion and increase invites to new visitors.

McDonald's Pick & Play in Sweden

Master of Gamification

McDonalds, can be considered to be the master of gamification[1]. They have utilized this concept for 25 years. Their most famous gamification platform is Monopoly established in 1987. Basically, customers at McDonalds would purchase combos or food items to collect stickers and their goal is to collect the full set of colours to win a prize. This uses game thinking to change users who does not usually eat at McDonald’s to come into their store and buy a meal. For some people, they will go back again and again to just try to win the big prize. It’s a fun addition to eating a burger and ultimately it increases sales and customer engagement to allow them to come back again and again.

Last year, McDonalds increased their revenue by 5.2% in the US, 6.1% in Asia and 4.8% in Europe all in one month[1]. Bottom line is gamification is used by McDonad as a form of marketing. It’s a powerful tool that many are not aware of. A newer form of gamification that ties in with our dependencies of portable devices, is the Pick n Play!

Business Examples

Expedia – Tag Me if You Can

Tag Me if You Can

Expedia has recently launched one of the largest gamification project in Australia and New Zealand – Tag Me if You Can. This online interactive game features a star, Nathan Jolliffe, and he leaves video clues and others clues for users to guess and tag his location, within ten metres, for a chance to win a share of $150,000. Expedia uses the game to advertise various destination spots for Australian travellers and displays flight and hotel rates for each location below the video clues[2]. The idea is aimed to increase awareness of Expedia’s social media presence and increase interactivity on Expedia’s website to position them as a travel expert.


Recycle Bank

Recyclebank created a platform that allows users to gain points by interacting on the website. Users can read articles, watch videos, pledge to participate in green activities or play the “think before you trash” game that teaches users what should be recycled, composted, or donated. Points accumulated can be used towards gift cards and coupons for vendors and even can donate points to Green Schools Program to help local schools achieve their green initiatives. The site ultimately tries to increase user engagement and promote eco awareness [3].

Success Stories

Club Psych

Psych is an US TV show that is about two people who solves crime with psychic powers of observation. It is one of the seven original series that made USA top in basic cable for four years. By using gamification, they have earned “Ad Age 2010 Media Vanguard” award.

USA Network’s introduced Character Rewards, a digital loyalty program, that was first launched for Club Psych in July 2010. This utilizes a Nitro Gamification Platform, cloud based gamificaition service, offered by Bunchball. This platform uses game mechanics to allow registered users to earn points and badges by watching videos, reposting content, playing games, and browsing videos. An app was also created for users to check in before, during and after show, and entering secret keywords. Points earned can be redeemed for merchandises such as DVDs, T-shirts, mugs, etc.

The results of this program[4] includes:

  • 30% increase in overall site traffic
  • 1.5 million page views in just one month
  • 30,000 registered users in first month
  • 47% increase in online merchandise sales
  • 130% increase in page views for Psych website
  • 47% increase in return visits to Psych website


AllKpop is an online community that shares and follow news in the Korean pop culture. It is the premier source for all the latest K-pop gossip and news.

Allkpop’s initiative to partner with Badgeville was mainly to drive user behaviour. The site had over 3 million readers but it lacked community involvement. Badgeville’s design a rewards program with a series of reward ladders and a leveling system that was mainly to motivate behaviours to comment, share links, and follow on social media platforms.

The results of the program [5] includes:

  • 36% increase in comments in the first week
  • 104% increase in link sharing in the first week
  • 24% more pages read per day
  • 3,000 comments regarding excitement of reward program in first week

Playboy Miss Social

Playboy Miss Social is a facebook app. Playboy hosted monthly competitions where woman can submit their photos on the application and try to win the most votes. Users can generate more votes by engaging in other activities on Facebook, and sharing with friends on Facebook. Those that win will be crown Miss Social for a month and get a pictorial on

The results of the program [6] includes:

  • 85% rate of re-engagement
  • 60% increase in revenue from one month to the next
  • Increase of user base to 80,000 members

Gamification in Business (Internal)

Gamification can be used internally to increase employee motivation and involvement. This is also known as enterprise gamification. According to research by Snowfly,gamified incentive programs have more than 90% of approval rate by employees, where as traditional programs only have less than half of that. In addition, employees that use gamified programs have significantly higher satisfaction rate than those who do not. Below are a number of examples of how gamification has been used internally[7]:

  • Sales departments motivate employees by creating incentive-laden compensation systems and promoting competition
  • By incorporating consumer feedback into performance review systems, call center employees strives to provide high-standard services
  • Employers offer voluntary training programs that can help advance employees'careers, thus making them more motivated to work
  • Governments create incentives for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which improve their overall health and help reduce healthcare costs

Game Characteristics to be Employed in Enterprises

Currently, the workforce is comprised of 25% of Generation Y and is estimated to grow as more boomers retire. In order to engage employees and motivate them, three factors valued by Generation Y will be discussed with game characteristics: performance, achievement, and social interaction[8].


  • Real-Time Feedback: Businesses need to replace performance reviews with real time feedbacks incorporated in business systems and process to accelerate employee’s growth and learning.
  • Transparency: Businesses need to capture data about employee performance and match against performance measures individually and relatively to peers. Employee progress should be tracked and communicated in real-time.
  • Goal-Setting: Businesses need to structure work as a series of small wins or goals to keep employees motivated to strive for long term success


  • Badges: Badges are symbols of mastery of skills and accomplishment and business systems should enable employees to earn rewards, self-assert skills and validate skills of others. This is beneficial for companies as it asses employee skills to assemble teams.
  • Leveling Up: levels are long term symbols of achievements and status and enables employees to earn status and respect among peer groups
  • On-Boarding and Mastery: this is a new form of learning that enables employees to learn how to do the job by playing the game itself and this can help businesses to drive employee adption, ongoing engagement, and increase in employee performance and mastery

Social Interaction

  • Competition: businesses need to create competition in a scalable, automated way that can be used to drive repeatable results
  • Teams: businesses should use teams, to drive competition, collaboration, networking and knowledge-sharing in an organization


What is ERPsim?

What is it?

ERPsim is a business simulation game developed by Baton Technologies, with the objective to educate users by putting them into a position to run the company virtually using SAP’s ERP system.

How does it work?

The game requires users to make decisions on various aspects of the organization, including "pricing, sales, marketing expenditure, product components" and so on [1]. By creating a fun and interactive learning environment, Companies can easily train employees and quickly bring them up to speed regarding their operations and business processes.

What results does it bring to organizations?

Not only can this game benefit new employees, it also helps implementation teams, project staffs, clients, and even senior executives better understand how to use the software to solve real life problems, thus help create more value for organizations.

Microsoft Ribbon Hero

Introduction to Ribbon Hero

What is it?

Ribbon Hero is a program built into Microsoft Office, in order to help users learn/master the office suite. This application creates a game like environment where users do not feel like being trained. Instead, they can explore all the functionalities freely and have fun at the same time.

How does it work?

Ribbon Hero uses a number of gamification concepts to motivate learning behaviors. It incorporates real-time feedback with "instantaneous visual and audio feedback" throughout all the tasks and missions [1]. With the completion of each mission/task, users can earn points as well as badges. More importantly, completing the tasks also help increase the skill level and achieve both short-term and long-term goals set by the program.

What results does it bring to organizations?

This game like application helps new employees get up to speed with regards to the Microsoft Office skills necessary to do the job. It can also expose key features of the office suite to existing employees, in order to help them master those functionalities.

Concerns of Gamification


Over-justification occurs when an external incentive decreases a person's intrinsic motivation to perform a task. In other words, some of us pay more attention to the external reward rather than the satisfaction received from the activity itself. Once the reward is no longer offered, the intrinsic motivation is lost and in order to keep the activity going, rewards need to be offered again. With the merging popularity of gamification, the public is now expecting rewards for their involvement. For example, if Starbucks remove its reward program, it will lose a division of its customers as they are no longer motivated to purchase Starbucks beverages, regardless of how satisfying the drinks are.

Replay Value

Games are fun for a short period of time. However, when the experience no longer offers excitement, users may lose interest, decreasing the value of the games.In order to overcome this issue, companies often need to allocate significant resources to constantly update its gamified campaign, hence the following section on long-term commitment.

Long-term Commitment & High Maintenance Costs

Developing good gamification programs is difficult, time consuming and costs a lot of money and resources. It requires a long-term commitment from the company because it is necessary to constantly update to new versions in order to keep users interested. Gamification often requires ongoing expenses that are often neglected, such as compliance/legal costs, community management, as well as game maintenance costs [2].

The Right Build

To gamify an activity or campaign is not simply inserting mechanics and dynamics. Every gamification has a purpose and a specific target market. In order to create an effective gamified experience, it is essential for businesses to understand its target segment in order to apply the appropriate mechanics and dynamics.

The Right Balance: Addiction and Compulsion

Games are considered one of the most powerful sources of non-coercive influence. Users may respond to the game's stimuli just to beat the game. This will ultimately destroy the original purpose of gamification. In addition,games are addictive. It is important to make sure that users are not over-spending too much time on the game experience, but rather on the work or activity that has been gamified.

Future Forecast

Gamification in 2011

Gamification 2011

BigDoor created an infographic[3] that shows what happened in the Gamification Sector in 2011. In 2011, Gamification became a well known concept. Not only it hosted its first ever conference, the word Gamification was almost approved by Oxford Dictionary.

In the very same year, $25 Million was spent in venture funding, 8 books were published about Gamification, and the first acquisition in the Gamification industry took place. Also, the very first conference about Gamification occured as well.

The Gamification Summit (G-Summit)

G-Summit[4] is the first conference about Gamification. It is the only event that brings together leading thinkers in the gamification, loyalty and behavioral engineering space. The summit spans over three days, where participants experience hands-on workshops, share best (and worst) practices, see new products & ideas, disseminate data, inspire each other and network to create a more fun & engaging world. Companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, United Airlines, NBC, Recyclebank also participates in this conference.

Gartner's Hype Cycle


The Hype Cycle is a graphic representation developed by Gartner that depicts the maturity, adoption and social application of specific technologies. The framework shows what and when technologies are likely to be commercialized.

As can be seen from the graph, the concept of Gamification is in the initial stage of peak of inflated expectations, and takes 5-10 years to mainstream adoption.

If Gartner’s assessment is accurate, Gamification will soon begin its descent into the “trough of disillusionment,” where it will start to be used by people other than early adopters.These later adopters tend to be less enthusiastic about the emerging tech and more vocal about its flaws. According to the chart, this is where gamification will sink or swim -- and if it survives, will have to climb another small hill toward mainstream adoption.[5]


According to Deloitte,[6]

  • Gamification is cited as one of its Top 10 Technology Trends for 2012.
  • “ Serious gaming simulations and game mechanics such as leaderboards, achievements, and skill-based learning are becoming embedded in day-to-day business processes, driving adoption, performance, and engagement.”

According to Pew Internet,[7]

  • 1,021 Internet experts were interviewed
  • 53% predicts there will be significant advances in the usage and adoption of gamification in the workplace by 2020 with uses ranging from education, to wellness, marketing and communications.

Thought Leaders

B.J. Fogg[8]

Dr. BJ Fogg founded the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, where he directs research and design. In addition, he devotes at least half his time to industry projects and innovations, all of which focus on using technology to change behaviors in positive ways.

BJ is the author of Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. He is the co-editor of Mobile Persuasion: 20 Perspectives on the Future of Behavior Change. BJ also created and directed the recent conferences on “Texting 4 Health” and “Video Matters.” He is current completing two books: Texting 4 Health and The Psychology of Facebook. Twitter: @bjfogg

Gabe Zichermann[9]

Gabe is an entrepreneur, author, highly rated public speaker and gamification thought leader. He is the chair of the Gamification Summit and Workshops, and is co-author of the book “Game-Based Marketing” (Wiley, 2010) where he makes a compelling case for the use of games and game mechanics in everyday life, the web and business. Twitter: @gzicherm

Dennis “Dens” Crowley[10]

Dennis Crowley is the co-founder of Foursquare, a service that combines social networks, location awareness and game mechanics to encourage people explore the world around them. Previously, Dennis founded, one of the first mobile social services in the US, which was acquired by Google in 2005.

He has been named one of Fortune's "40 Under 40" (2010, 2011), a member of Vanity Fair's "New Establishment" (2011) and has won the "Fast Money" bonus round on the TV game show Family Feud (2009). He is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Twitter: @dens

Amy Jo Kim[11]

Amy is an American author and researcher on the subject of online communities and social architecture. She is noted for her influential conceptual frameworks for online communities, in particular the Membership Lifecycle that was presented in her 2000 book, Community Building on the Web, a design handbook for networked communities. It is considered to be a "cult classic" (available in seven languages) and has become required reading in game design studios and university classes worldwide. She is also the CEO of Shufflebrain. You can watch her Google Talk: Putting the Fun in Functional: Applying Game Mechanics to Functional Software. Twitter: @amyjokim

Natron Baxter[12]

Natron makes productivity games: ”Fun is not the enemy of work … or productivity” and was one of the developers who built Evoke.Natron Baxter Applied Gaming Twitter: @natronbaxter

Eric Zimmerman[13]

Eric was the Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of Gamelab, a game development company based in New York City that was named one of 5 “Rising Star” design firms by HOW Magazine. Gamelab created the Institute of Play, a nonprofit that looks at the intersection of games and learning that has launched two schools in New York City and Chicago based on games and play as the model for learning.

Since Gamelab closed, Eric has been exploring commercial and independent games in a variety of media. Eric co-founded experimental game collectiveLocal No. 12 with Colleen Macklin and John Sharp, whose projects include the Metagame, a card game about aesthetic debate. He collaborated with Curious Pictures and Deepak Chopra to create Leela, a game for the Xbox Kinect about play as a form of meditation.

Byron Reeves[14]

Seriosity Co-Founder Byron Reeves, Ph.D. is a professor at Stanford University and faculty director of the Stanford Media X Partners Program. Through Seriosity, he has built a product called Attent (to gamify productivity).

He is a leading expert on the psychology of interactive media, including complex multi-player games, and is co-author of The Media Equation. You can see one of his talks, Work Sucks, Games are Great on TechAffair. Twitter: @Seriosity

Colleen Macklin [15]

Colleen Macklin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City and Director of PETLab (Prototyping Evaluation, Teaching and Learning lab), a joint project of Games for Change and Parsons, supported by funding from the MacArthur Foundation, focused on developing new games, simulations, and play experiences which encourage experimental learning and investigation into social and global issues. Twitter: @colleenmacklin

External Resources (For Further Research)




Gamification Examples





  1. [1]
  2. Gamification has issues, but they aren't the ones everyone focuses on
  3. Gamification Goes Mainstream [Infographic]
  4. GSummit: About
  5. Gamification on Hype Cycle
  6. Pew Internet:Statistic on Gamification
  7. Forbes:Statistic on Gamification
  8. B.J.Fogg's Behaviour Model
  9. Gabe Zichermann
  10. Dennis Crowley
  11. Amy Jo Kim
  12. Natron Baxter
  13. Eric Zimmerman
  14. Byron Reeves
  15. Colleen Macklin
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