When Facebook first hit, I dropped my plan to build the world’s first hop-scotching robot, jumped the fence and made a dash for California — I knew it was going to be big. Since that time, I’ve been watching technology trends like a hawk, looking for the next big thing. There have been blips on the radar like location-based services and other services that still haven’t found their killer app: streaming music and online video. But one concept that I heard last year from early adopter Gabe Zicherman was “gamification,” and it’s definitely made a huge impact this year and will continue to do so in the future.
The term effectively means “the application of concepts and techniques from games into other areas”, and as can be seen below, is on Oxford’s Short List for Word of the Year. To me, it’s the idea that everybody is obsessed with getting points and gaining levels, so why not put that into every activity we do? If people can spend 8 hours a day clicking around a virtual farm just to get a few more gold points, why not make it so that people at work get similar gamified rewards? That’s the promise behind gamification, and I’m not audacious enough to say I know exactly how it will pan out, but I believe this is a sea change for incentivization. Take a look below for more facts, and let us know what you think about gamification?