Matthew Roszak

In The Press Blog

The seven tricks everyone can learn from game designers

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Gamification, the practice of adding game-like mechanics to non-game applications to improve engagement, is going through a hype cycle. And one of its leading experts,  Amy Jo Kim, added to the push by outlining seven core gamification tricks today at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.

Kim, a veteran game designer and founder of the game studio Shufflebrain, said she wasn’t a fan of the word “gamification.” She prefers the word “game thinking” and believes that games are going to be everywhere, noting that game designer Will Wright refers to this time as a Gambrian Explosion, much like the Cambrian Explosion that gave birth to so many new life forms 500 million years ago. Games are everywhere.

Kim said that some people describe gamification as a loyalty program on steroids; or using game techniques to turbo-charge products, services and apps; or taking a real world activity and turning it into a game. But game thinking cuts through the hype and is a more important story. It’s about teaching what game designers know that everybody else should know.

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