Gaming is big business — and vice versa:
Play to win: The game-based economy
Companies are realizing that “gamification” — using the same mechanics that hook gamers — is an effective way to generate business.business ….
— JP Mangalindan @ cnn.com
Via Slashdot, whence this thoughtful comment:
“Gamification” is a fuzzy description of operant conditioning. Anything with a bit of intelligence (dogs, parrots, maybe even sheep, and certainly humans) are wired to get a little jolt of pleasure after successfully negotiating a crisis situation. It’s how we learn. What games do is short-circuit this by providing lots and lots of crisis situations, and providing the player with ways to get through them and win, and get that little burst of success-feeling. Some people are seriously susceptible to this kind of shenanigans and spend all their time enjoying their imagined success at Farmville. Others do the same thing climbing the corporate ladder and running companies. In that case, of course, it’s not imagined success, it’s the intended result of how we’re wired, operating in a complex social environment. In any case, it’s an essential system for learning in humans, and while it sucks that people are getting really good at twisting it to manipulate other people, it’s still vitally important and ubiquitous.
— smellsofbikes @ Slashdot
My two cents? To borrow an old adage for a new ad age:
God sends Farmville; the Devil sends more Farmville.