What is the difference between work and play? For many, work is something done to gain the means to pay bills and hopefully have a little left over for fun. Play on the other hand is done for sheer pleasure.
Gamification is about blurring the line between work and play. It is about taking those elements that make play so engaging and enjoyable and introducing them into non-game environments.
From a business perspective, gamification is about creating choice architectures. Using game mechanics, choice architectures are designed so that something other than financial compensation motivates individual behavior, creates greater interest and engagement in a crowded market place, and increases productivity by helping individuals tap into their skills, talents and abilities–all within a framework that provides meaning and purpose. Gamification provides the foundation for strategies designed to achieve success in an increasingly competitive global economy.
In its initial incarnation, Gamification appeared to be about points, badges, and leader boards. There is a growing recognition that in its second version, Gamification 2.0 needs to do more than track activities and compile scores. To truly unlock the full potential of games, entirely new approaches must be developed. These approaches are based on the idea that participants will only engage and remain engaged if the design of a game assists the individual in constructing their own narrative based on a set of experiences that help them fashion an identity, build self-esteem and develop useful skills.