Last Friday (May 9th), after writing a short blog post about gamification based on the book The Gamification Revolution: How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics to Crush the Competition by Gabe Zichermann, I came across a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) on Gamification being taught by Kevin Werbach, a Professor at the Wharton School.  Unfortunately the class had actually begun five weeks earlier on April 1st, and was to be completed by May 12th.  Over the course of three days, I listened to the six weeks worth of lessons (generally about six ten-minute lessons per week).  The course was fantastic and I highly recommend taking it.  Gamification will likely be offered again on in September.  Professor Werbach, thank you.  I can genuinely say that I enjoyed Gamification as much as I did classes on campus twenty years ago.

Professor Werbach mentioned a book he had written with Dan Hunter, For The Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business.  The book was not needed for the course, but it is a fantastic read.  I picked up the book after I finished the last MOOC lesson, and read through it in about four days.  It is a must read for any current marketer.  You have probably already used game-elements in campaigns already and if you haven’t, you will almost certainly use a variety of game-elements in upcoming campaigns.

Below are some short snippets from For The Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business:

  • Engagement is your competitive advantage.  Game-design techniques provide your means to achieve it.
  • Successful gamification involves two kinds of skills.  It requires an understanding of game design, and it requires an understanding of business techniques.
  • At its core, gamification is about finding the fun in the things we have to do.  Making business processes compelling by making them fun is the coolest thing we can think of.
  • The motivational dynamics of gamification must interact with the firm’s existing management and reward structures.
  • Gamification:  The use of game elements and game-design techniques in non-game contexts.
  • Gamification is the process of manipulating fun to serve real-world objectives.
  • Sid Meier, legendary designer of the Civilization series of games, defines a game as simply “a series of meaningful choices”.
  • Games are a process, not an outcome.

The following is an article (and podcast) about Professor Werbach:

Added 5/17: Well done interview with Professor Werbach: