Our Blog

This is an optional subtitle.


One of the things that came to me immediately after reading History of the the Urban Dashboard, by Shannon Mattern was the term “gamification”. Admittedly I don’t know much about it, but I have a general understanding of what it is. My basic assumption is this, gamification is the application of game mechanics to other forms of control and interface, like stock programs that tell you when to buy and sell. Using the language and mechanics of games, desire can be manipulated.

I know there is much more involved, so I started some cursory research to look into it.

What is gamification?

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary,



gam·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ˌgā-mə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of gamification

the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation

Did You Know?

The basic concept of gamification isn’t new, but the word itself is a 21st-century addition to the English lexicon. The word refers to the incorporation of game elements, like point and reward systems, to tasks as incentives for people to participate. In other words, gamification is about making something potentially tedious into a game. Gamification is effective because it taps into people’s natural desires for competition and achievement. Teachers, managers, and others use gamification to increase participation and improve productivity. Gamification is also often an essential feature in apps and websites designed to motivate people to meet personal challenges, like weight-loss goals and learning foreign languages; tracking your progress is more fun if it feels like a game.

Other websites:

“Gamification is the process of taking something that already exists — a website, an enterprise application, an online community — and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty. Gamification takes the data-driven techniques that game designers use to engage players, and applies them to non-game experiences to motivate actions that add value to your business.”What Is Gamification?Gamification is the process of integrating game mechanics into a system that already exists to motivate participation…www.bunchball.com

I found this little bit interesting, Nick Pelling who claims to have coined the term, has laid out his intentions for gamification and a very simple and succinct way to think about it, “the underlying idea of gamification — making hard things easy, expressive, near-effortless to use.”

Who uses Gamification and what for?

Businesses making money, of course.

Business marketing has been at the fore of psychology since the “torches of freedom” days and have been able to reach the public in a more oblique fashion.

More than 77 percent of Americans own smartphones and many of them connect with brands through “micro moments,” Paul Polizzotto, president and founder of CBSEcoMedia, writes in AdExchanger. “Gamified ads may be the perfect way to attract this audience and have been shown to increase consumer engagement,” Polizzotto says.Gamification Co – The Leading Source for Gamification News & InfoThe Top Source for News, Companies, Research and Design Lessons for All Things Gamificationwww.gamification.co

Gamification in this case may seem innocuous when think about candy but when extrapolated onto other types of transactions, and areas of life it is alarming to say the least.

While I admit that I like Samantha Bee’s acerbic wit, and the intentions in this piece, I see this as another way to amplify tensions in this country, if that’s possible.

What from our life gets folded back into games?

I find this game to be a cynical view of life. I realize that the game is a pure fiction, so I’m not against it… however I will respond with a scene from Person of Interest.Prison Architect on SteamBuild and Manage A Maximum Security Prison.store.steampowered.com

Are there Positive forms of Gamification?

Well Samatha Bee’s app I think is a good attempt at it I found these a long time ago never really thought of it as “gamification” but I think it is just that — glad to dig it up, enjoy!