Monthly Archives: September 2011

Gamification by Design: Response to O’Reilly

In response to my review of Gabe Zichermann’s book Gamification by Design, Tim O’Reilly has posted a reaction on Google+. The upshot of his reaction is puzzlement at the amount of “scorn” and “vitriol” aimed at the book, given that “there is a there there” with gamification, and a kind, understanding attempt at explaining my strong reaction to himself: He wondered whether my review was driven by the same kind of disappointment he felt at the way the term “Web 2.0″ was “hijacked by marketers to mean something far more shallow, far less interesting” (please read his response in full). Continue reading

A Quick Buck by Copy and Paste

A Review of “Gamification by Design”

Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham: Gamification by Design. Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps. O’Reilly, Sebastopol 2011, 169+xix pages.

In the course of but one year, “gamification”, the use of game design elements in non-game contexts, has managed to grow from a self-description used by some vendors and proponents to a placement on the Gartner hype cycle – and in the IT business, it doesn’t get much more ‘official’ than that. Yet the term still stirs hot debate. On one side, game designers and scholars despise the whole notion as an “inadvertent con” (Margaret Robertson). On the other, proponents counter that gamification already ‘delivers’ (in terms of numbers), yet is still in its infancy. Hence it would be premature to call foul on something so young, with no time to learn from failure and sort wheat from chaff. So who’s right, who’s wrong?

For one answer to this question, let’s have a look at the new book by Gabe Zichermann, Gamification by Design. Zichermann is one of the most public gamification proponents today, and chair of the Gamification Summit, now in its second iteration this September 15-16 in New York, where the book will be officially launched. Continue reading