This recent article from Computerworld makes the point, among others, that gamification is not about making something into a game. It’s a point that’s well known within the world of gamification, not so much outside of it.
I thought this quote from Janaki Kumar was particularly useful:
Gamification is really about thinking about what you want in terms of behaviors in the organization and creating incentives to reinforce that.
You can read the full article at this link.
We’ve discussed within the team how misleading or, at its worst, off-putting the term “gamification” can be. It’s supposed to be a term that describes the idea of tapping into intrinsic motivations and creating incentive and feedback systems that focus and help work towards desired goals. Games just happen to share this particular perspective and process and they’ve had a long time to refine the approach.
I think it’s been said before more than once – this field of thought might need a new name. Referencing the field of games in the term “gamification” suggests that games came first and gamification builds on them, when the truer perspective is that games may have developed and refined many processes and systems first, but gamification is the name for the study and development of the root of those systems.
For now, the term serves a purpose as a disruptor – it suggests the new and ‘dangerous’ by its attachment to the millennial online world of games. Soon though, we’re gonna need our own name.