All the World’s A Game, and Business Is a Player

The New York Times, Monday, December 24, 2012

All the World’s A Game, and Business Is a Player, by Neck Wingfield

“Congratulations.  Reading the first paragraph of this article has earned you a badge.

If this made-up award makes you feel good about yourself, then you are on the way to understanding gamification, a business trend–some would say fad–that aims to infuse other wise mundane activities with the excitement an instant feedback of video games.

Many businesses are using these game tricks to try to get people hooked on their products and services–and it is working, thanks to smart phones and the Internet.”

For example:  “Buying a cup of coffee?  Four-square, the social networking app that helped popularize the gamification idea, gives people virtual badges for checking in at a local cafe or restaurant.

…’We have a tendency to be dismissive about games, but what we’re learning is that games in general are wonderfully powerful tools that can be applied in all sorts of serious contexts,’ said Kevin Werbach, an associate professor at the Wharton School at the university of Pennsylvania, who teaches a course o how businesses can use games and recently wrote a book on the subject.”

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