CHAPTER 14 The big game: an introduction to gamification

Gamification entered the business parlance a few years ago when some successful web-based businesses, or more accurately, web apps and web-based properties started to rise to prominence. In some ways it actually faded away as a hot digital topic before it took hold the way other arenas and terminology — such as crowdfunding — did. But this doesn’t mean the predictions of what it may become were inaccurate. It was more a reflection of the diffusion of innovation rather than of it disappearing. Most disruptive innovations and technologies go through similar trajectories (see figure 14.1).


Figure 14.1 expectation and utility curve: a personal variation on Gartner’s hype cycle (The underlying concept for this was conceived by Gartner, Inc.).

The truth is we’re still hurtling towards a gamified future of commerce. We’re all still playing the games right now, but like many aspects of commerce, we go deep into the wormhole before we realise it. Gamification not only becomes possible in a connected and social world, it’s inevitable. If I could draw an analogy for gamification, it would be this:

Pong is to consoles, what Angry Birds is to gamification.

Gamification is all about intersecting behavioural economics and game design methodology for a commercial outcome. When we think about it deeply, it’s not too far removed from ...

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