Good day and all. Today I am merely rambling to try to either prove or disprove an idea I have.

I was thinking about short definitions for Gamification – outside of the usual

Add game mechanics to non game tasks

The more I look at Gamification, the more unsatisfied I am with that description. There is so much more to Gamification.

I have written in length about that side of Gamification. The use of extrinsic rewards, badges, leaderboards, social elements etc. The more I look, the more I realise how much more we are trying to capture under that one wading of Gamification.

Badgeville talk about Game Mechanics, Reputation Mechanics and Social Mechanics. Mark Sorell spoke at length with GSummitX about behavioural economics. I have recently been banging on about Introduce, engage, retain.

It seems we are all trying to nail what Gamification really is, which to me means we need to find a better definition.

This probably isn’t it, but I like it for now.

Adding the unusual to the usual to create benefit.

For example, taking badges. These are not a normal part of any work or even fitness environment. They are unusual to that ecosystem. Used in the correct way with other unusual elements, they can create some benefit. (dangerous example, but easy to explain).

Typing of the dead. Take a game, swap the gun for typing and you have a gamified learning experience. You took the usual (the game), added the unusual (typing) and created benefit (learning how to type in a fun way).

Real time feedback at work. In our jobs we get feed back in several ways. We get immediate feedback for work we have done and we get the traditional annual review. Only the annual review counts towards anything and with it you usually have to show some of the feedback you had in the year. There is now a lot of noise being made about real-time feedback. This is something that gamers are used to. Shoot something and you get an animation and a score. Imagine waiting a year before you saw that. The game would not sell well. So again, taking the usual – annual review and adding the unusual – real-time feedback. The benefit is a more rounded and immediate look at performance.

This is just merely a thought, but I would love some comments from you all. Think of something you have done or seen that is referred to as Gamification. Then look and see if the concept of adding the unusual to the usual to create benefit describes the gamified aspects.