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Meaningful Gamification

Achievement badge for showing up!Gamification has been one of the hot Internet trends lately.

If you are not familiar with the term – Gamification is a process of taking game mechanics and bringing it to businesses that are otherwise boring.

There is a lot of talk about Gamification and it seems that every new service nowadays has some form of it implemented. This Ted Talk suggests that 50% of all innovation and 70% of top global 2000 apps will be gamified by 2015.

The guy is all excited about it, but I cringe in horror. Why?

Since Stack Overflow started using badges, and then companies relying their entire business on gamification (Foursquare) we can see others more and more trying to forcingly add the layer of “game” to their products which in more cases then not, fails miserably. Games are all about the joy of playing them and these companies and their expensive consultants think they can just use a template score/reward/badge system and slap it onto their product and then move onto the next feature request?

This makes me angry as I am an avid gamer, and I love all kind of games. I have played almost every good video game since 1985. I have a collection of around 50 board games. I’ve created and coded the first MUD (Multi User Dungeon – things people played before MMORPG’s came) on our University, then proceeded to play this game tirelessly with my friends both night and day time.

I’ve recently came upon two Gamification views that I agree with. Scott Nicholson is the board games expert and knows a thing or two about games.

This guy is onto something too.

For the sake of all of us, but mostly for our children’s sake, I hope that the games in the future will not be  degraded to the level Zynga does in the present.

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