Gamification and deGamification

The origin of the word ‘Gamification’  is not entirely certain, but some attribute it to professor Richard Bartle FRSA of the School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Essex, UK who was working on MUD circa 1980. The exact meaning of the word is slightly fuzzy around the edges too –  but the Collins English Dictionary for example defines it as : “To adapt (a task) so that it takes on the form of a game”. In the last couple of years, a flurry of activity has emerged regarding the gamification of business practices. For example publications see the work of Dr. Deterding, Affiliate Researcher at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, Hamburg University. e.g. Situated motivational affordances of game elements: A conceptual model. But perhaps gamification shouldn’t be applied with too broad a brush – what may be a useful model for a ticket sales company might not be so appropriate for, say, a funeral parlour business. And so, if a ‘gamification’ business paradigm is found to be inadequate or even, as sometimes happens, is criticised as puerile, then ‘de-gamification’ might be called for. And de-gamification  has now also been covered  in academia –  see for instance the inaugural issue of G|A|M|E journal. +10! Gamification and deGamification. Some have even asked if gamification is broken. Are we perhaps heading for an era post-gamification?

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