Gamification and Games for Change/Serious Games

Gamification and Games for Change/Serious Games


In yesterday’s New York Times, writer John Tierney covers the topic of games that change behavior. It’s a great piece featuring some of the Gamification Summit’s top speakers, including keynoter Jane McGonigal and veteran designer Nicole Lazzaro.

One of the topics that Gamification is broadly subsuming is games for change and “serious games”*. They are closely related, but are funded differently and speak to different audiences (marketing vs non-profit or institutions). For the GSummit and here at the Gamification Blog, we made a decision to cover both topics with an emphasis on the marketing side of the dialogue. Our belief is that it’s important for information to flow freely between non-profits & marketing, product and strategy folks in this fast-moving field, and that we have a lot to learn from each other. And, we make a conscious effort to include non-profits in the process, as we did with the Gamification Workshops.

And while profit-driven gamification is likely to continue to have a much greater impact on the world overall, the work of important innovators like Jane and Nicole helps marketing and product design folks be more creative, think laterally, and create change.

Our “tent” in gamification really is bigger than it seems at first – and I’m excited about the dialogue.

*Serious Games is one of my least favorite terms. Not sure why anyone ever thought this was a good idea or that it even makes sense (who likes seriousness?), but I’m guessing its days as a phrase are numbered. Good Riddance.


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