IT Life Radio: You're Doing Gamification Wrong - InformationWeek

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David Wagner
David Wagner
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IT Life Radio: You're Doing Gamification Wrong

If you are having trouble with gamification, or need help trying to figure out where to start, tune in to IT Life Radio on Wednesday, May 6, at 3 p.m. ET.

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Gamification works pretty well if you're making the latest mobile game, but most enterprises struggle with the concept. Mention gamification in the enterprise and you're likely to get a lot of groans and people who say, "We tried that. It didn't work."

If that's been your experience, our latest IT Life Radio guest Steve Sims, CDO of Badgeville's Behavior Lab, will say you've probably been doing it all wrong. Join us on Wednesday, May 6, at 3 p.m. ET to learn how to do gamification right.

A 2012 Gartner study predicted that by 2014, 80% of gamified applications at work would fail to meet business objectives. No studies have come out since to show we're getting any better at it. We noted in an article last year that there weren't many real-world wins in enterprise gamification.

Sims says gamification can be a tool of transformation in your enterprise. It can be used to achieve those pesky goals you're having trouble reaching, change hearts and minds, and learn new skills. You can use it to measure progress in an organization, and even to improve morale.

Do it wrong, and you're adding hassle and effort to an organization pressed for time. And you are likely to turn off your employees.

We'll talk to Steve about:

  • Aligning gamification to the needs of your enterprise
  • Using gamification in education and training
  • How to keep employees happy and engaged

Steve Sims, CDO of Badgeville’s Behavior Lab, has 20 years experience in game development and production for Web, mobile, console, and PC systems. He started his gaming career at Electronic Arts and EA Online, where he was an executive producer and responsible for Madden NFL Football, the No. 1 selling sports video game franchise in North America. Madden NFL was one of EA's earliest forays into the online space, including Fantasy Sports and Casual Games. He has worked in the gaming industry since, with notable roles that include director of operations at Gemini Mobile Technologies and VP of product management and service operations at Outspark.

Tune in Wednesday, May 6, 3 p.m. ET and learn how to win at gamification.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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David Wagner
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/7/2015 | 12:01:21 PM
Re: Valve
@whoopty- I can't say I'm familiar with Valve's gamification efforts on the business side. Can you tell me more?
User Rank: Ninja
5/7/2015 | 7:12:05 AM
One of the best companies for gamifying aspects of their business is Valve. Although it certainly has a lot of experience when it comes to game making, it's the way that it's turned its sales and using its digitital distributiuon software (through tradeable cards etc) that makes it so successful. It's made millions off of making the very act of selling products into a game.

It's genius, although rather distasteful. 
David Wagner
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
5/6/2015 | 6:29:42 PM
Re: gamified yet?
@Tom- Well, that's an interesting thought. I suspect that no one is expecting their games in gamification to be more fun than Candy Crush. But it is true that Steve said that you have to tune your game to behaviors of the people involved. I think a lot of enterprises tune the game to their wants, not to people's needs. And so the game is not fun no matter what.
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/6/2015 | 5:18:24 PM
gamified yet?
>We noted in an article last year that there weren't many real-world wins in enterprise gamification.

I'd wager that the majority of gamification failures had something to do with the lack of game quality. If we were trying to novelize the enterprise instead of gamify it, we'd have a lot of poorly written novels. That's because writing a compelling narrative is difficult. Making a good game isn't easy either. 
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