“Gamification” is: hot, hyped, oversold, misunderstood, unavoidable, a buzzword, a question mark, a quick fix, a huge unfulfilled potential. In the past two years, the notion of infusing digital products and services with game elements to make them more engaging has been stirring up the digital industries. Multiple vendors have sprung up that sell gamification as a software service, and ‘gamification gurus’ are beginning to litter the online airwaves like ‘social media experts’ in years before. Are points and badges mere indulgences for the faithful flock looking for redemption in loyalty programs? Or is there something deeper underneath, something worth salvaging?
In nine (and a half) theses, this talk will walk you through the precursors and parallels of gameful design, question trends and definitions, point to open issues, and answer the question: What are we as researchers, designers and product managers to make of this?