The Wall Street Journal Looks at Mixing Work and Play

The Wall Street Journal Looks at Mixing Work and Play


Enterprise gamification, making everyday business tasks such as data entry and management training more engaging, continues to see burgeoning interest. Today, Rachel Emma Silverman from the Wall Street Journal has a piece on gamification of the workplace. With research from Gartner and M2 and quotes from gamification experts Mario Herger, Gabe Zichermann, Kris Duggan, and Byron Reeves, the article presents a good overview of where enterprise gamification stands today.

Rachel cites two examples of IBM and Deloitte using gamification in the workplace through reward and competition. Chuck Hamilton, IBM’s virtual learning leader mentioned that in addition to the community gaming features that help colleagues across the world connect and stay engaged, some of their projects also include interactive models of virtual cities and simulations for business scenarios. At Deloitte’s Leadership Academy for management training, users receive virtual badges after completing training courses and unlock more complex training courses when basic levels are completed.

There are still pitfalls to address, and adding needless hoops to the workplace does little for workplace motivation. The gamification projects must be well designed towards motivating desired actions. As Kris Duggan of Badgeville puts it, “If you are a bad manager, gamification won’t help you.”

Be sure to read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.


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  1. …I’d love to hear a tale of ‘Gamification gone Wrong’ for a change. Know any good posts about that Gabe? My startup is being pushed to ‘gamify’ our app…. but I’m not convinced.


    • Hi Duncan,

      Check out our previous article on the “Pitfalls of Gamification“. There are a lot of gamification projects out there and many of them are duds. People see the profits from Angry Birds or Modern Warfare and think that they can make a blockbuster game to support their business. This is never successful.

      Creating games like these are muli-million dollar productions, and do not fit into the gamification category. Gamification is difficult and requires a creative connection between users and your business objectives. In the article above, Michael Wu goes over some of the methods for improving the process and avoiding the dangers, and I also recommend Wharton’s coursework on gamification for a deeper look into how to make these projects successful.