Wednesday, December 12, 2012

(empo-plaaybizz) Is the backlash against gamification hype ITSELF hype?

I've been talking about gamification for years, and the folks at the AppsLab blog have been discussing it for far longer. If I can take the liberty of defining it, "gamification" refers to the addition of incentives to an application to promote desired behaviors. Want someone to learn how to use Microsoft Word? Create a training game. Want to get people to tell you when they visit businesses? Create a service that rewards you for providing this information.

I think that I can honestly say that I've discussed gamification without hyping it, and I know that Jake Kuramoto has discussed gamification without hyping it. The same cannot be said for other entities:

Only last year, the US-based analysts Gartner predicted that 70% of the world's top 2000 companies will be using gamification in some form by 2014.

70%? Perhaps the definition of "in some form" is elastic, but this statistic seems surprising, even to the most starry-eyed gamification devotee.

Well, there's a more recent prediction out:

Just 12 months after Gartner predicted the huge growth in the genre, it released another report saying that “gamification is currently being driven by novelty and hype”. By 2014, it predicts that 80% of gamification applications will fail to deliver “because of poor design”.

Well, when Larry Rosenthal saw this quick about-face, he offered the following comment:

Gartner soon needs to print the UP and DOWN "finding" of its Hyped techs at one time.

Actually, this is unusual behavior for one of these analysis companies. Normally the company will issue a prediction in 2007 saying that widgets will be really really big by 2010. By the time 2010 rolls about, the company predicts that widgets will be really really big by 2013. I don't think I've run across such a contradiction of a previous prediction before.

Perhaps the analysis companies think that we have short memories, and didn't realize that at least one BBC reporter (Nic Fleming) does have a longer memory.

More later.
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