Sunday, October 21, 2012

Gamification: More Definitons

Following a previous post (Survey: Which Definition of Gamification is the Best?), here is another recent definition for gamification:

"A process of enhancing a service with affordances for gameful experiences in order to support user’s overall value creation."
(Huotari K., & Hamari, J.)

This definition can be found in the authors' paper Defining Gamification - A Service Marketing Perspective.

The above definition gave rise to a recent debate on the "Gamification Research Network" Google group, led by Professor Richard Landers who considered that Huotari & Hamari's definition was "depressing". 

The most controversial aspects on Huotari & Hamari's paper are these claims:
  • There are no game elements, or if there are, they are not unique to games as we understand them.
  • There are no non-game contexts.
  • One can’t create “gameful experiences.

Their last claim is much more consensual:
  • The goal of gamification is first and foremost to afford gameful experiences.

I have to agree with Professor Landers. My prefered definition ("The use of game design elements in non-game contexts, to drive game like engagement in order to promote desired behaviors.") is much more close to his own definition (of gamification or gameification):

"The adition of elements commonly associated with games (e.g. game mechanics) to an educational or training program in order to make the learning process more engaging."
(Landers & Callan)

This is, by the way, an education and training specific definition.


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