Gamification doesn’t exist

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The word ‘gamification’ is everywhere at the moment – everyone’s trying to grab some game-like elements and stick them into their products to try to make things ‘fun’ and ‘engaging’ – but when you dissect examples of so-called gamifcation, you start to find that it doesn’t really exist at all. All the examples of gamification are actually examples of other things – standard interaction design, bad marketing or just straight-out games.

By using live examples of socalled gamification implementation, author Jessica Vallance explains why gamification doesn’t really exist. Take away the obvious gaming symbols – the neat badges and the physical leader boards, and you’ll see that these ideas are based on well-known principles of human behaviour. The schemes are examples of good design that’s drawing cleverly on human psychological principles, but they’re not any more like a game than any other piece of good design.

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