Future Think

The Gamification of Everything

Looking at future technologies we see that games and gamification is rapidly invading mainstream society (Xu, 2011). Asian markets, according to DeMaria, are much further ahead than western markets in monetizing games and have been successful in applying marketing gamification (DeMaria, 2007). Gamification of marketing in social user generated games is providing numerous new opportunities for game developers and companies (Chaidogiannou, 2012). This is occurring even though, according to New Media Consortium (NMC) report, Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition, game and gamification is a midterm horizon (NMC’s Horizon Project, 2013). Additionally, in the same NMC report, game and gamification was identified as a technology to watch (NMC’s Horizon Project, 2013). Importantly, the report states that this technology will be adopted into mainstream use within the next two to three years.

This prediction can be seen in motion all around us now, such as, DueProps – an app that acknowledges employees’ accomplishments by offering incentives and rewards and EpicWin – a task management app that turns the user into a role playing game character gaining experience points by completing goals and tasks. These and many other similar applications clearly show that this forward thinking technology is poised to take hold in everyday use. However, it is still not a foregone conclusion. One must also acknowledge that a number of external forces exist that will still shape the outcome of this technology. Next, in this post, we will look at a couple of these forces and speculate how they may affect this exciting technology trend.

One and probably the strongest force affecting the gamification of everything is the rapid expansion of the monetizing of the mobile market (DeMaria, 2007). The growth of mobility landscape is causing a massive disruption of technology in conventional spaces by creating new capabilities and services. Furthermore, this trend is predicted to continue to grow as the value chain is exploited and emerging technologies are implemented (Sabat, 2002). One source states that it “opens up opportunity for new type of entrepreneurs to tap into the fast-growing mobile application market, bypassing the incumbent operators and requiring minimal capitals” (Tiarawut, 2013).

Another noted external force is the social acceptance of gaming and the expansion of the casual gamer category (DeMaria, 2007). Gamification of society is becoming more accepted in different areas other than the previous accepted demographics. DeMaria noted that, in studies conducted by PopCap, a casual game producer, casual gamers ere shown to be a large and growing segment of players (DeMaria, 2007). Another key aspect of the social acceptance of gamification is the willingness of the work force and college graduates to learn outside of traditional accepted venues as shown in NMC’s Horizon Report (NMC’s Horizon Project, 2013).

In my opinion, the future is never a certainty and correctly predicting future technologies is still mostly guesswork. However, the indicators are here that mainstreaming of this technology is definitely on the horizon. It is clear that these are very exciting times for emerging technologies.


Chaidogiannou, A. (2012). Game-based marketing.

DeMaria, R. (2007). Reset: Changing the way we look at video games. Berrett­Koehler Publishers.

NMC’s Horizon Project. (2013, FEB 04). The nmc horizon report: 2013 higher education. Retrieved from
http://he2013.wiki.nmc.org/ on October 2013.

Sabat, H. K. (2002). The evolving mobile wireless value chain and market structure. Telecommunications Policy, 26(9), 505-535.

Tiarawut, S. (2013). Mobile Technology: Opportunity for Entrepreneurship. Wireless Personal Communications, 1-7.

Xu, Y. (2011). Literature Review on Web Application Gamification and Analytics. CSDL Technical Report 11-05.

2 thoughts on “The Gamification of Everything

  1. I certainly believe this class being taken has forced and encouraged me to open my mind and not only re-think about things that I have always believed but also to think about elements not previously considered.

    Maybe I don’t fully comprehend gamification (although I think I do), or maybe I am too old to see the value in it. I mean, I like gaming. If I could play Civilization all day Saturday, or challenge my daughter at Call of Duty, I would. I like to compete and I certainly see value in making a game out of things to create some fun. I just have a hard time grasping gamification of everything.

    Can it be used in certain situations? Of course. As you showed, gamification is being used successfully now. The concept of providing ratings, badges, and so on within a work environment could work as motivational tools. I just can’t see it everywhere.

    1. It’s not an age thing it is more a cultural thing. Gamification is growing rapidly through mobile apps and is currently exploding in Asian countries. We even use it in our studies CTU for example, offers badges and rewards for using the learning portal. In addition, we are starting to see more of this type of reward system being used in marketing in the U.S. Have you seen the game section on the Voice this season? Playing the game can win you prizes or voting for your favorite Voice contestant enters you in a change to attend a live show. However, as previously stated this is a mid-term horizon, two to three years out before it becomes big in the U.S.

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