Foursquare, GetGlue, Nike+, Badgeville: From reading news to fulfilling your hearts’ desires, more and more “gameified” applications and “gamification” vendors doll out points and badges to users, promising anything from increased user engagement and retention to plain mind control. While some hold that adding such game elements to non-game applications opens a new decade of design, others criticize current implementations as shallow “pointsification” and overselling of a new digital snake oil. What lessons do games really offer for user experience design? Which criticisms are valid? And what can designers interested in “gameifying” an application do to steer clear of the worst pitfalls? In this talk, researcher and designer Sebastian Deterding provides an overview of the current gamification movement, its most troubling blind spots, the motivational powers of games, and how to design for a playful experience that is truly meaningful to its users.
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