Why I hate the word ‘gamification’

by Rita Nguyen

Those of you who know me will find this post a bit strange since I have presented on this topic several times now. As a matter of fact, I’ll be presenting at the next Web Wednesday in Ho Chi Minh City on this topic. As I work through my presentation slides though, I’m reminded of how I rolled my eyes when I first heard the term gamification.

First off, I don’t think that the concepts are bad, mostly the name. It makes the principals of using gaming mechanics on non-gaming initiatives sound like a flash in the pan trend when in fact it is so far from that. Companies have been using gamification concepts for years now. Take a look at any airline loyalty program for instance. Great sales leaders have also used competition and leader boards for decades. So this is not a new concept. Nor is it something that is going away anytime soon.

I’m actually a huge believer in using gaming concepts to drive engagement and retention. I just hate the name.