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Take your business to the next level—for the win Millions flock to their computers, consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and social networks each day to play World of Warcraft, Farmville, Scrabble, and countless other games, generating billions in sales each year. The careful and skillful construction of these games is built on decades of research into human motivation and psy Take your business to the next level—for the win Millions flock to their computers, consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and social networks each day to play World of Warcraft, Farmville, Scrabble, and countless other games, generating billions in sales each year. The careful and skillful construction of these games is built on decades of research into human motivation and psychology: A well-designed game goes right to the motivational heart of the human psyche. In For the Win, authors Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter argue persuasively that gamemakers need not be the only ones benefiting from game design. Werbach and Hunter are lawyers and World of Warcraft players who created the world’s first course on gamification at the Wharton School. In their book, they reveal how game thinking—addressing problems like a game designer—can motivate employees and customers and create engaging experiences that can transform your business. For the Win reveals how a wide range of companies are successfully using game thinking. It also offers an explanation of when gamifying makes the most sense and a 6-step framework for using games for marketing, productivity enhancement, innovation, employee motivation, customer engagement, and more. In this illuminating guide, Werbach and Hunter reveal how game thinking can yield winning solutions to real-world business problems. Let the games begin!


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Take your business to the next level—for the win Millions flock to their computers, consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and social networks each day to play World of Warcraft, Farmville, Scrabble, and countless other games, generating billions in sales each year. The careful and skillful construction of these games is built on decades of research into human motivation and psy Take your business to the next level—for the win Millions flock to their computers, consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and social networks each day to play World of Warcraft, Farmville, Scrabble, and countless other games, generating billions in sales each year. The careful and skillful construction of these games is built on decades of research into human motivation and psychology: A well-designed game goes right to the motivational heart of the human psyche. In For the Win, authors Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter argue persuasively that gamemakers need not be the only ones benefiting from game design. Werbach and Hunter are lawyers and World of Warcraft players who created the world’s first course on gamification at the Wharton School. In their book, they reveal how game thinking—addressing problems like a game designer—can motivate employees and customers and create engaging experiences that can transform your business. For the Win reveals how a wide range of companies are successfully using game thinking. It also offers an explanation of when gamifying makes the most sense and a 6-step framework for using games for marketing, productivity enhancement, innovation, employee motivation, customer engagement, and more. In this illuminating guide, Werbach and Hunter reveal how game thinking can yield winning solutions to real-world business problems. Let the games begin!

30 review for For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    [The bank from Mary Poppins. THE OLDER MR DAWES, surrounded by the other members of the Board, confronts MICHAEL, JANE, MR BANKS, BERT and MARY POPPINS herself] THE OLDER MR DAWES: Tell me, young fellow, what are you planning to do with your tuppence? MICHAEL: Feed the birds! DAWES: Fiddlesticks! Spend your tuppence on birdfood, and what have you got? Fat birds. On the other hand [he pulls out a copy of For the Win] you could spend it on... THIS! MICHAEL: But I want to feed the birds! DAWES: [to MR B [The bank from Mary Poppins. THE OLDER MR DAWES, surrounded by the other members of the Board, confronts MICHAEL, JANE, MR BANKS, BERT and MARY POPPINS herself] THE OLDER MR DAWES: Tell me, young fellow, what are you planning to do with your tuppence? MICHAEL: Feed the birds! DAWES: Fiddlesticks! Spend your tuppence on birdfood, and what have you got? Fat birds. On the other hand [he pulls out a copy of For the Win] you could spend it on... THIS! MICHAEL: But I want to feed the birds! DAWES: [to MR BANKS] Well man, convince him! MR BANKS: [looks nervously at BERT] Ah, maybe you could tell us a little about this book's obvious merits. For example, how would you rate it as a work of literature? BERT: Blimey gov'nor, I dunno where ter start. Stylistically, I ser-pose I could compare it with eating a Big Mac, except it's blander, less enjoyable and-- MARY POPPINS: Thank you Bert, that's quite enough. MR BANKS: Ah, yes, yes, I couldn't agree more. Completely inappropriate. Maybe you, Miss Poppins-- MARY POPPINS: Me? MR BANKS: Ah, absolutely, I was thinking, you could perhaps explain to these gentlemen your fascinating theory that in every job that must be done there is an-- MARY POPPINS: Mr Banks? Are you sure you're feeling alright? MR BANKS: Or that a spoonful of sugar helps-- MARY POPPINS: Before you go on, there is one thing I'd like to make perfectly clear. MR BANKS: And that is? MARY POPPINS: I never explain anything. DAWES: Well said, young lady, well said! Come on Banks, you'll just have to do this yourself. MR BANKS: Er, yes sir. Of course. [He turns towards MICHAEL. Music starts up] MR BANKS: Now if you invest tuppence, in this little book You will find That before you have even reached the end of chapter one, it's Blown your mind And you'll achieve that sense of conquest As your influence expands Through our new web-linked society That's controlled as Amazon demands [MICHAEL is unimpressed. DAWES motions BANKS to go on] MR BANKS: Now if you invest tuppence, in this little book Soon you'll see It increases your clickstream and your bottom-line account Prof-it-a-bly And you'll achieve that sense of stature... [It still isn't working. DAWES angrily encourages him to continue] MR BANKS: [beads of sweat stand out on his forehead] You'll learn about... gamified networks! Ruthless killer apps! Motivational strategies! Scores! Badges! Leaderboards! DAWES: The quotes! Tell him about the quotes! MR BANKS: Bullshit quotes from Wittgenstein! Einstein too! Epic failure warnings! All for... ALL THE DIRECTORS IN CHORUS: Tuppence, proactively, synergistically, holistically invested in the... to be specific in the... [MICHAEL finally weakens, and his hand opens, apparently of its own accord. DAWES seizes the tuppence and gives him the book in return] DAWES: Welcome to our joyous family of gamification experts! MICHAEL: GIVE ME BACK MY TUPPENCE!!!! [Heads turn all around. MR BANKS looks like he's going to have a heart attack. MICHAEL flashes a big shit-eating grin] MICHAEL: Just kiddin'. You said something about an entry-level position?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nate Bates

    I read this book while taking a Coursera class on gamification with half of the author team, Kevin Werbach. The course was much more interesting, better paced, and contained interviews with notable gamification experts. Beyond the content, Professor Werbach is charismatic and speaks easily and intelligently on gamification, clearly comfortable as a virtual instructor. I feel the book's attempt to define a gamification framework -- the 6 Ds: DEFINE business objectives, DELINEATE target behaviors, I read this book while taking a Coursera class on gamification with half of the author team, Kevin Werbach. The course was much more interesting, better paced, and contained interviews with notable gamification experts. Beyond the content, Professor Werbach is charismatic and speaks easily and intelligently on gamification, clearly comfortable as a virtual instructor. I feel the book's attempt to define a gamification framework -- the 6 Ds: DEFINE business objectives, DELINEATE target behaviors, etc -- was somewhat forced, and the section on the ethics of gamification strayed from the path of gamification and into broader (and more boring) arena of internet law (terms of service, privacy policies, etc). All in all a quick read and a decent introduction to many facets of gamification, but if you have the opportunity to take an online course with Professor Werbach, that's the way to go. You will gain much more through his teachings there, and even more through your participation in the class and applications of the concepts.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    For the Win How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business is a nice survey by Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter on the topic of gamification. I see this book as a nice follow-up of the groundbreaking work of Jane McGonigal (Reality Is Broken Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World), and, perhaps less, of Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham (Gamification by Design Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps). I found that the main strength of this book to be its qua For the Win How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business is a nice survey by Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter on the topic of gamification. I see this book as a nice follow-up of the groundbreaking work of Jane McGonigal (Reality Is Broken Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World), and, perhaps less, of Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham (Gamification by Design Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps). I found that the main strength of this book to be its quality of writing, which combines ingeniously the academic treatment of the topic (thorough, analytic, prescriptive) with the generally light flavor of the topics. Somehow, the authors of this book make enjoyable the reading of a comprehensive treatise on gamification. Perhaps a lesser achievement, but nonetheless important, is this book's ability to really collect into one volume all the necessary knowledge for understanding and starting to use gamification. In particular, the authors have added numerous use cases to learn from, to the already known theory. Overall, a must-read on gamification.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Stepper

    For only 126 pages, this book is a very good primer on gamification. It's not just cheerleading for gamification. It's a very good examination of the trade-offs, including pitfalls. And it provides some very good examples. A nice foundation to build on.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Poonam

    This book is about how to implement gamification to one's business systems. Gamification has been defined as use of game elements and game-design techniques in non-game contexts. The book is divided into six lessons, referred to as levels. 1. Getting into the game: An introduction It talks about three non-game contexts: internal, external and behavioural change. We need gamification for following three reasons: a) Engagement b) Experimentation - to check out possibilities c) Results 2. Game thinking: L This book is about how to implement gamification to one's business systems. Gamification has been defined as use of game elements and game-design techniques in non-game contexts. The book is divided into six lessons, referred to as levels. 1. Getting into the game: An introduction It talks about three non-game contexts: internal, external and behavioural change. We need gamification for following three reasons: a) Engagement b) Experimentation - to check out possibilities c) Results 2. Game thinking: Learning to think like a game designer This lesson discusses intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. We need to ask following four questions to identify if gamification fits our needs. a) Motivation: Where would you derive value from encouraging behavior? b) Meaningful choices: Are your target activities sufficiently interesting? c) Structure: Can the desired behaviours be modeled through a set of algorithms d) Potential conflicts: Can the game avoid conflict with exsiting motivational structures? 3. Why games work: Rules of motivation This lesson focusses on how to use intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. What does psychology tell us? The self-determiantion theory suggests, needs fall intwo following three categories: a) Competence: mastery, ie, dealing with external enviroment b) Autonomy: innate need to be in command of one's life and do what is meaningful c) Relatedness: involves social connections and universal desire to interact with friends, family, coworkers. Feedback in gamification is important motivating factor. 4. The gamification toolkit: Game elements This lesson explains game elements such as PBLs - points, badges and leaderboards. It reiterates again and again that PBL is not all that is there for gamification. They can have negative impact too if not used correctly. The game design hieracty comprises of: (from top) a) Dynamics: are the big picture aspects for the gamified system that you have to consider and manage but which can never directly enter into the game. (for eg, forced trade-offs, relationships, nrratives etc) b) Mechanics: are the basic processes that drive the action forward and generate player engagement. c) Components: are the specific instantiations of mechanics and dynamics. 5. Game changer:Six steps to gamification It comprises of 6Ds. 1. DEFINE the business objectives. 2. DELINEATE target behaviours. 3. DESCRIBE your players. They can be of 4 types: Achievers, Explorers, Socialisers and Killers 4. DEVISE activity cycles. They are of two types: engagement loops and progression stairs. There are three stages in activity cycle: Motivation <-> Feedback <-> Action 5. DON'T forget the fun. 6. DEPLOY the appropriate tools. 6. Epic fails: And how to avoid them legal use, intellectual property, privacy rights, misuse, unintended results, virtual currency inflation, players gaming the game. Examples discussed: 1. Record Searchlight (California newspaper)- online comments, badges etc 2. Microsoft Language Quality game (Ross Smith) 3. Foursquare 4. Volkswagon - The Fun Theory: The Piano Staircase, the garbage bin with BONG sound. 5. Samsung nation badges 6. Disney Electrinic Whip (laundry leaderboard) 7. Fitocracy: duels, profiles, levels 8. LiveOps call center: For underemployed and unemployed Americans to work to provide relatively cheap, good customer service. Badges, points to tell how good they are. 8. Rypple/Salesforce.com: 360 degree feedback. FB was their first client. 9. TV program Psych web site 10. Cow clicker - pointless

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nick Turner

    A positive and balanced account of what gamification is and how to exploit it for fun and profit. There are colourful examples of increasing motivation for customers, service users and employees in companies and organisations. Typical methods include point rewards, top-10 leaderboards, and achievement badges. Despite the nerd title this concise work is a serious high-level design guide. The authors explain a 5-step design process which can give a gamification project the best chance of being eff A positive and balanced account of what gamification is and how to exploit it for fun and profit. There are colourful examples of increasing motivation for customers, service users and employees in companies and organisations. Typical methods include point rewards, top-10 leaderboards, and achievement badges. Despite the nerd title this concise work is a serious high-level design guide. The authors explain a 5-step design process which can give a gamification project the best chance of being effective. Alongside example success stories, there are reports of systems which didn't meet their aims whether through bad design or bad timing. The authors aren't blind to criticisms of gamification, and caution against using it callously. The case of Cow Clicker is considered in detail. In addition to explaining the relevant legal concerns the work sagely notes the importance of maintaining your reputation and public opinion. There is a glossary of terms, from 'advergames' to 'World of Warcraft', at the end. I read a review copy from the publisher.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Werbach's book is comprehensive in its coverage of gamification, but it's not particularly deep. I enjoyed it for its examples, taxonomy, and presentation of gamification. However, without a background in psychology it's hard to imaging a successful implementation of a gamification program based solely on a reading of this book. I imagine the audience for this book is businesspersons who want to know what gamification is and how it works, but will probably work with a team to implement it. For t Werbach's book is comprehensive in its coverage of gamification, but it's not particularly deep. I enjoyed it for its examples, taxonomy, and presentation of gamification. However, without a background in psychology it's hard to imaging a successful implementation of a gamification program based solely on a reading of this book. I imagine the audience for this book is businesspersons who want to know what gamification is and how it works, but will probably work with a team to implement it. For that audience it's probably more like a 4-5 star book. Before reading this I took Werbach's gamification course on Coursera. I highly recommend that. It's parallel to this book, but more illuminating.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ganesh Sree

    A great beginners book, but if you are already comfortable with the topic of "Gamification" and seek something more in depth, look elsewhere Apart from a structured overview into the concept of Gamification, there is ample sprinkling of warnings against the blind useage of "PBL" . There are few good examples of failures of Gamification , but doesn't go in depth (maybe not the intended purpose of the book)

  9. 4 out of 5

    denis

    copy-paste? I like the topic and a lot of referencing sources. Good point is to highlight the main ideas behind gamification. Don’t like that a lot of ideas and references were taken from Game Frame book by Aaron Dignan without referencing. 6D framework is not production ready, it’s more academical and not following standard practices. Nice to read, good to start.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ivan Totev

    A wonderful book about gamification! What I really liked about it was that it's very short but at the same time it covers the concept of gamification very widely. It provides many good examples and explanations on them. Overall I would say "a must read" for anyone who is interested in the subject.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pete

    Great book to start with Gamification at your company! Good read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rendier

    A good introduction to the concept, but lacks detail. One big question is whether you can do this well for offline employees /activities.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I may be biased against business oriented books. Having read an academic book on gamification already, I found this book to oversimplify the concepts of creating game-based strategies. This book is based on marketing and consumer/employee methods of gamification, so applying it to education is a bit of a stretch. That said, the authors provide a couple of educational models that have been successful. I found that the authors kept repeating ideas about locating meaningful ways of introducing game I may be biased against business oriented books. Having read an academic book on gamification already, I found this book to oversimplify the concepts of creating game-based strategies. This book is based on marketing and consumer/employee methods of gamification, so applying it to education is a bit of a stretch. That said, the authors provide a couple of educational models that have been successful. I found that the authors kept repeating ideas about locating meaningful ways of introducing game strategies into the workplace, but only ever described methods that over-simplified the process or provided superficial strategies. They seemed overly into leader-boards and badges, as easy plug-and-play methods, even though they frequently critiqued such simplistic models. I found myself agreeing with Ian Bogost, quoted near the end of the book, "Gamification is bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it." I also loved their quote from Margaret Robertson's blog, Hide&Seek: "What we're currently terming gamification is in fact the process of taking the thing that is least essential to games and representing it as the core of the experience. Points and badges have no closer a relationship to games than they do to websites and fitness apps and loyalty cards ... They are the least important bit of a game, the bit that has the least to do with all of the rich cognitive, emotional and social drivers which gamifiers are intending to connect with." At times, the authors admit that motivational techniques, like leaderboards, can be demotivating, operating "through fear rather than fun." What I preferred about Gee's approach to gaming was that he took meaningful video gaming experiences, extracted what about that particular experience was meaningful and how it represents a deeper pedagogical concept and then worked to decipher ways of employing pedagogical methods that could create a similarly meaningful experience, whether those methods have anything to do with a game or not. His approach felt more studied and took a deeper look into the psychology of gaming and its learning benefits. This book skimmed the surface and seemed to only pick out the superficial qualities that correspond to game addiction and drone-like playing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    DANIEL SCHNAIDER

    Straightforward book. Short and focused. It is a basic introduction. Dont expect to learn to gamify your business by reading it but you will learn the concepts. If you want a deeper understanding go to castronova sythentic worlds that are more deep If you want a deeper understanding go to castronova sythentic worlds Dont expect to learn to gamify your business by reading it but you will learn the concepts.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    A recommended read for gamification advocates and adversaries alike. The book is short—a little over 100 pages—and gives a clear overview of the why, what, and how of gamification. Those that are inspired by the book can start experimenting with gamification and consult the "further reading" section at the end to learn more. Those that are not may at least be convinced that gamification—rather than being inherently flawed—is a technology, and can be used to for both good and evil.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chad Schultz

    This is a short work, so don't expect too much from it. It may have some small value to those thinking about using principles of gamification in their organizations. Largely it warns about the possible pitfalls of doing so and how they can backfire. If you are interested in the topic of gamification, this isn't going to be the best one out there, but has some interesting points. It's short, so go ahead and add it to your stack of gamification books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David Wygant

    Don’t overgeneralize how people respond to certain stimuli. Extrinsic rewards may dismotivate an inherently intrinsic activity. Competition can turn people off if they are way behind or reduces the richness of the game.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anu

    This is clearly a quick-to-read easy-to-grasp book for business people and decision makers, rather than for designers. But it's a nice overview on gamification, and provides the necessary steps to get started with that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mike Moore

    Some very practical and sound advice on how to approach gamification, along with anecdotes of haphazard pertinence.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Don Sevcik

    Primer intro behind the theory and mechanics of gamification. A good starter book on the subject before delving into deeper applications.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tomas Westerlund

    It was just overall boring to read even though the concepts my apply.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Guillaume Clément

    Great book that provides a good overview of gamification and offers some tips on implementing it yourself.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Deepika Mallyk

    Nice read. Helped me know what gamification is from the basics, analyze and understand what goes into designing a gamification process. Book gives a good structure with detailed steps covering most of the important checklists on how to start thinking and applying gamification in any business.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Comer

    Very much playing on a faddish element of resonant management and doing so poorly. That the book is had nothing of substance is bad enough, but the shoe horning of lessons into terminology that “sounds gamey”, like calling chapters “levels” (Level 1, Level 2, etc.) left me annoyed and rather insulted.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Murilo Andrade

    This very concise book gives a quick but solid introduction to the world of gamification. It clarifies the subject, gives several (both good and bad) examples of its uses and the most important, it decomposes and structures the topic to the novice like me. Here is some information I tried to extract from the book: Games are voluntary. "Whoever must play, cannot play." A gamified system must offer choices, otherwise it will feel disempowering and boring for most players. Researchers have found th This very concise book gives a quick but solid introduction to the world of gamification. It clarifies the subject, gives several (both good and bad) examples of its uses and the most important, it decomposes and structures the topic to the novice like me. Here is some information I tried to extract from the book: Games are voluntary. "Whoever must play, cannot play." A gamified system must offer choices, otherwise it will feel disempowering and boring for most players. Researchers have found that MM online games handled virtual goods in the same way as standard marketing concepts, as segmentation, differentiation, exploitation of cognitive biases, etc. Be careful when using leaderboards. Studies have shown that game mechanics like leaderboards can actually demotivate workers when the mechanic is entangled with traditional rewards, such as bonuses and salary. Game designers should, for instance, try to decouple these ideas from the game. If you give kids gold stars or even money, they will improve up to a certain point and stop (this has even received a name: "Fourth Grade Slump"). There are two types of motivation: "intrinsic" (i.e. wanting to do) and "extrinsic" (i.e. feeling the need to do) motivation. Carrots and Sticks are so common in employment that we tend to assume they are the only way to motivate behaviour, yet that is not the case. Intrinsic motivation is extremely important in business. Daniel Pink's book Drive emphasise the idea of creating an environment where employees want to excel, rather than relying on traditional levers like compensation. Apply intrinsic motivators, but extrinsic mechanisms can be necessary as fallback (e.g. nonintrinsically engaging activities). Different people have different motivators. E.g. some games offer player-vs-player and player-vs-environment, since, for example, some players will put off by the fear of losing battles. * Unexpected, informational feedback increases autonomy and self-reported intrinsic motivation. * Users like to get reinforcement on how they are doing * Users will regulate their own performance based on which metrics are provided to them. * Motivation can change whether user is alone or in group. When in groups, users can do dull tasks PBL - points, badges and leaderboard Use of points in a gamified system: Keep score; determine the win state, connection to progression, provide feedback, and provides data for the game designer. Badges are chunkier version of points. Badges provide guidance as to what is possible; provide a goal to strive toward; operate as virtual status symbol; function as tribal markers (similarity between players), etc. Leaderboards need to be used with care. Several studies have shown that leaderboard alone in business environment usually reduce performance. Each goal must be as precise as possible. Focus on what you want your players to do and how you'll measure them. Find also what motivates your players (what makes them less likely to complete a relevant task: is it volition or faculty? - the former calls for an engagement-oriented , and the latter for progression systems ). People like surprises - our brains prefer a small , random chance of a big reward to a certainty of a modest reward that over time averages out to a higher number. It must be fun - if users think your system is fun, they are more likely to come back. Gamification is not about putting points or badges into a system. It requires a deep thought about the entire system, understanding the nature of the users and examining the specific game elements you're employing to create an engaging experience that motivates desired bahaviours.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Graham Herrli

    This book contradicts itself. Contradiction 1: The authors repeatedly say that intrinsic rewards are more important than extrinsic ones and that the out-of-the-box method of gamifying things by adding points, badges, and leaderboards (PBLs) will not build deeper engagement with your product. Yet the overwhelming majority of examples they provide are examples of PBLs and other extrinsic rewards. When mentioning how gamification can fulfill the basic sources of intrinsic motivation outlined by Self This book contradicts itself. Contradiction 1: The authors repeatedly say that intrinsic rewards are more important than extrinsic ones and that the out-of-the-box method of gamifying things by adding points, badges, and leaderboards (PBLs) will not build deeper engagement with your product. Yet the overwhelming majority of examples they provide are examples of PBLs and other extrinsic rewards. When mentioning how gamification can fulfill the basic sources of intrinsic motivation outlined by Self-Determination Theory, they emphasize the extrinsic motivators of points (providing feedback on competence) and badges (promoting social relatedness). Contradiction 2: They limit the context of gamification to behaviors that can be modeled through a set of algorithms (p. 47), seeming to presume that gamification must be automated, not moderated. “Gamification runs on software algorithms” (p. 90). Yet, later they write that “gamification doesn’t require technology, any more than games do” (p. 100). Contradiction 3: The authors conclude a chapter by advising that gamification be implemented in a socially beneficial way (p. 68) and then shortly thereafter they write “no one said that badges need to be socially responsible” (p. 74). They use unconventional terminology arbitrarily, for example calling a persona "the avatar of a typical player" (p. 93) and then proceeding to describe this "avatar" with all the traits of a typical usability persona. They view gamification as a structured process and assume that applying its principles to unstructured play, such as a picnic, would be counterproductive (p. 44). I’m inclined to disagree with this; if you can find people’s motivations for attending a picnic, you can apply basic psychological principles (such as those that make some games fun) to the picnic to help them enjoy it more. For example, if many people go to show off their cooking skills to their neighbors, you could initiate a best-dessert competition. Some slightly more useful things this book says are: (view spoiler)[ *They define gamification as “the use of game elements and game-design techniques in non-game contexts” (p. 26) *“Your players aren’t there to escape from your product into a fantasy world; they are there to engage more deeply with your product or business or objective” (p. 29) *They define a game as voluntary choices with feedback occurring in a Huizingan magic circle (p. 38-9). *Game elements fall into three categories: dynamics (high level concepts), mechanics (things that lead to the dynamics), and components (the in-game manifestations of these) (p. 80). *It’s necessary to determine business objectives, target behaviors, target users, and activity cycles before deciding upon the concrete mechanics of the gamification (86). *If gamification is tied to real-world salaries, it is no longer voluntary, and thus no longer a game (p. 115). (hide spoiler)]

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cariadne

    A slew of business books on how game theory can energize the workplace have been hitting the market. Similar to how a new movie about penguins comes out, suddenly the cineplex is overrun with a BUNCH of penguin movies. So, it was great interest that I checked out a game theory book to see what the hype is about. Unfortunately, I may not have picked up a winning book of the bunch. The information in “For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business” by Kevin Werbach & Dan Hunter was A slew of business books on how game theory can energize the workplace have been hitting the market. Similar to how a new movie about penguins comes out, suddenly the cineplex is overrun with a BUNCH of penguin movies. So, it was great interest that I checked out a game theory book to see what the hype is about. Unfortunately, I may not have picked up a winning book of the bunch. The information in “For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business” by Kevin Werbach & Dan Hunter was too light weight for me to even seriously apply. The examples on how gaming has helped were very light, and what I wanted was more meat and background for teachable case studies. The best vignette was essentially a paragraph at the end that summed up how a university improved the learning outcomes for their students. There was not enough information to help guide me to plan and practice gaming, but I don’t believe that was the point of such a thin tome that essentially broke things down into four “levels”. Mostly, the authors provided information that may help guide you to start thinking about why gaming helps. I’d argue that by the time you picked up the book, it was Game Over -- you already made the decision on whether you or pro or con on gaming and ready to dive further into the topic than the authors were able to provide.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    There were a lot of great insights into game thinking, but it was bogged down by a lot of cautions and warnings (though they were valid). When introducing the concepts, the authors already warn you about certain aspects of gamification that can discourage people instead of motivating them. And then later, they dedicated a whole level (the book is aptly divided into levels instead of chapters, btw) about more stuff to watch out for like the legality of it all. Although, it's still better than tho There were a lot of great insights into game thinking, but it was bogged down by a lot of cautions and warnings (though they were valid). When introducing the concepts, the authors already warn you about certain aspects of gamification that can discourage people instead of motivating them. And then later, they dedicated a whole level (the book is aptly divided into levels instead of chapters, btw) about more stuff to watch out for like the legality of it all. Although, it's still better than those books that don't tell you the downside of what they're preaching. I liked how the authors explained certain topics, especially the way they broke down motivation into two (intrinsic and extrinsic) to make you really understand why people do what they do. Overall, the concepts in the book are incredibly valuable. I kept stopping to take notes, especially at the beginning. They really give you a lot of ideas about how to apply gamification to the workplace. You just have to decide which concept to use, if gamification is deemed the right way to go. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Peirce

    We in corporate America training hold two conflicting statements: * That people are starving to learn (and that we're not giving them enough training) * That we have to motivate people to learn Kevin Werback falls into the latter camp. This book is about using games (particularly badges and leaderboards) to motivate employees to learn. It is the simplest and best presentation of using games I have seen. I am very interested in using this with to motivate customer learning in my company's customer We in corporate America training hold two conflicting statements: * That people are starving to learn (and that we're not giving them enough training) * That we have to motivate people to learn Kevin Werback falls into the latter camp. This book is about using games (particularly badges and leaderboards) to motivate employees to learn. It is the simplest and best presentation of using games I have seen. I am very interested in using this with to motivate customer learning in my company's customer community. However, when it comes to my team members learning, I trust that they want to learn what they need to know to hit their goals and that I don't need to create games. My philosophy with them uses Gottfredson and Mosher's "Five Moments of Learning" model and focus on placing job aids, process documentation, etc., into the moment of need. Hence, 3 stars. I think that lean training teams need to focus on developing on-the-job competence and also to engage employees in informal learning activities before they spend time in games.

  30. 4 out of 5

    J.R. Sedivy

    For The Win is a must read for anyone interested in the emerging field of Gamification. This book provides an excellent introduction to the subject, instructs the reader on the methods and mechanics that should be employed when applying Gamification with examples of both successful and unsuccessful employment of Gamification techniques. For The Win is written in an approachable, conversational tone and maintains a fun feel throughout. The book uses game terminology, for example the reader progre For The Win is a must read for anyone interested in the emerging field of Gamification. This book provides an excellent introduction to the subject, instructs the reader on the methods and mechanics that should be employed when applying Gamification with examples of both successful and unsuccessful employment of Gamification techniques. For The Win is written in an approachable, conversational tone and maintains a fun feel throughout. The book uses game terminology, for example the reader progresses through levels instead of chapters which adds a certain quality to the experience. I enjoyed this aspect and really liked the game examples such as the author's experience in World of Warcraft. The author clearly has a passion for the subject matter and games in general which shines through and facilitates delivery of the important concepts of Gamification and how Gamification techniques may be applied to serious challenges in the world and in business.

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