· gamification

Gamification and Software: Some thoughts

On the recommendation of J.B. Rainsberger I've been reading 'Reality is Broken' - a book which talks about how we can apply some of the things games designers have learned about getting people engaged to real life.

The author, Jane McGonigal, also has a TED talk on the topic which will help you get a flavour for the topic.

I was particularly interested in trying to see how her ideas could be applied in a software context and indeed how they are already being applied.

In the chapter 'The Engagement Economy' some of this ground is covered when describing the need for engaging multiplayer game worlds using Wikipedia as a good example of this.

The author points out that Wikipedia has good game mechanics for the following reasons:

McGonigal goes on to the point out that as well as having good mechanics the best games tend to have a community around them as well. In Wikipedia's case there are 'talk pages' where contributors can interact with each other.

I was trying to think of the examples of software related products which either do or could have a game like experience and I came up with the following:

The final part of the book talks about another level of collaboration which is to allow people to add to the game by creating their own 'levels' for example. McGonigal calls these collaborative creation systems.

4clojure already does this by allowing people to submit new problems and people frequently provide different data sets to test algorithms on the coursera forums.

I'm sure there are way more examples of people making use of gamification in the software world so please let me know and I'll add them or alternatively just use the comments!

** Update **

Some other ones that I've just thought of or were suggested by others:

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