A timely gamification reality check; tangentially, on incentive systems, also see When Life Is a Bunch of Carrots
Gamification may not sound novel to members of frequent-flier or hotel loyalty programs who have strategized for years about ways to game extra points. But those kinds of membership programs offer concrete rewards like upgrades, free flights or free hotel stays. What’s new about gamification is its goal of motivating people with virtual awards, like a mayoralty on FourSquare, that have little or no monetary value.
“It’s deepening the engagement and exposure to the brand through something that has intangible value,” says Emily Murphy, a researcher at Forrester Research where she was a co-author of a recent report on gamification.