Posted by: Ryc0v on Apr 20, 2011
Alright. I'm new to this so bear with me (and forgive me if I seem a bit rigid, I'm far too used to academic writing!)
For those of you not in the know, Gamification is, as you might have guessed, the process of encoding information and change-processes within traditional "gaming" structures. For example, putting bottles in a bin for points instead of just for that "feel-good-because-I'm-recycling-feeling", is an example of Gamification.
The biggest difference between Gamification and Game Design, says Gabe Zichermann is that "Gamification is the process that wraps up game mechanics for some business objective." While Game Design is the enshrining of narrative through an interactive and user-driven series of decisions.
Now, there are two obvious advantages to having Gamification in your surrounds.
1. You're making mundane or otherwise "un-fun" activities into (hopefully) amusing past-times.
2. You (by allowing online connectivity and social-media related sharing of results) effectively create incentive to "do-better" amongst your clients and employees (or friends, if you have any).
A good example of this is a Tamagochi styled program (called Happyprog) that thrives while your programming skills are good, and suffers if they are poor, within the confines of a given Test-Driven Development Interface. By scoring programmers on their intuition and skill, they are effectively given a performance rating. Was this program then so widely used in their industry that it was considered unusual not to have it (as it is with Facebook, today) then it could even become applicable to CV's and daily comparisons of effectiveness.
With firms like Google and Microsoft showing interest in Gamification, and Nintendo long being a part of it (see the: Wii Fit), perhaps soon the only thing better than spending a day relaxing will be driving to work perfectly without crossing any solid white lines, or forgetting to indicate. Who knows? Tying your shoes could bring a combo-multiplier for your daily results!