This week, the world of gamification was buzzing. Our recap covers comments by BigDoor’s CEO, Keith Smith on the engagement economy and recent partnership with Major League Baseball. Also, an older video that provides an overview of gamification in education by Extra Credits, as well as Gabe Zichermann’s recent talk at the Nordic Games Conference. Check out the gamification stories from around the web below.
Following BigDoor’s announcement last week of a partnership with MLB, this week BigDoor CEO, Keith Smith, spoke with GeekWire on the prospects and future of gamification.
“I think if it was all about badges, if it was just about very superficial things for users, then yeah, [gamification] is likely to be a fad. If we can figure out how to crack the nut on actually figuring out an additional revenue channel that is going to complement the existing subscription and advertising and revenue models that are out there, and make it more engaging for users, then absolutely it’s going to be here to stay, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Keith goes on to talk about his innovative revenue structure that focuses on virtual currencies within an “engagement economy”, which can loosely be defined as the economy of time investment for users. Unlike other platforms like Bunchball and Badgeville, BigDoor implements their systems for free, and then takes a percentage of revenue from social interactions on the site. Interesting material for the meaning of social currency and the engagement economy.
Although the episode was posted a few weeks ago, the content is still great enough to share. The Escapist column, Extra Credits, covered gamification in education. Some of the best takeaways: 1) In grading, rewards and positive motivation is more powerful than punishment. 2) Game systems can be designed to support communication and cooperation where personal success depends upon the success of the class. 3) Alternate reality games can be used to give students a sense that they are part of something larger and create a sense of mystery. 4) Each of these items contribute to agency where the cycle between choices and results are more clearly defined giving students a sense that their choices matter. But don’t take my word for it. Take ten minutes, and check out the video.
The Wall Street Journal covers some of the background of gamification, mobile-games, and ARGs, including SCVNGR and the Navy’s MMOWGLI. The article does not provide extensive analysis, but does recap many of the hot topics in the world of gamification. “It’s not that they saw something; it’s that then they did something,” SCVNGR’s chief brand alchemist, Chris Mahl says. “It’s an entirely new concept of engagement.”
Gabe’s world tour took him to Malmö, Sweden last week to give a talk at the Nordic Games Conference. A video of his talk is up at MediaEvolution, our local partner. He covers some basics of gamification and goes into depth on the material covered in Gamification by Design, published by O’Reilly.
Note: Keith Richards is not synonymous with Keith Smith. The post was corrected in accordance with that. Apologies to all the Keith Richards fans out there, and hopefully he likes gamification as well.