The consultants at Deloitte cited gamification as one of 2012’s top ten technology trends. The centrality of this trend is further illustrated by Gartner’s prediction that fully 50 percent of all business innovation will include some form of gamification by the year 2015.

Neuromarketing

What has been dubbed ‘neuromarketing’ will continue to apply the insights of behavioral science research to grow enterprises. Smart businesses have always looked to every new tool that becomes available, and research into how gamifying processes enhance results will represent just such a tool.

At the same time, gamification will inevitably go through a ‘hype cycle’  in which realistic expectations and unrealistic ones sort themselves out.

Nonetheless, Ross Rader, who sits on the board of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, does not mince words when he predicts, “Gamification may be the most important social and commercial development of the next fifty years. Commercially, we may be seeing the end of the marketing orientation, possibly marking the beginning of the ‘game orientation.’

FoldI Solves It — A Case Study

For a decade and a half, researchers had been trying to discover the secret behind a certain protein that had the potential to be a factor in curing HIV. The problem was presented, in 2011, via a game called ‘Foldit,’ developed by U of Washington researchers. Over 40,000 individuals participated in a crowd-sourced phenomenon that solved the now gamified problem fairly quickly — in just 10 days!

The future of gamification

Pew Research recently collaborated with Elon University in a study about the future of gamification.  1021 respondents included various Internet experts and critics that were invited to participate. Fully 95 percent responded to the invitation.

Respondents were about evenly divided when asked to predict how mainstream gamification practices would be by 2020. 53% agreed that the practice would be ubiquitous in digital communications by then, while 42% were less acquiescent.

That group agreed on the impending proliferation of gamified activities in some sectors, but they did not believe that it would be all that prevalent in consumers’ day-to-day activities.

New lexicon associated with gamification

PJ Rey, an editor of the Cyborgology blog, seeks to add to the new lexicon associated with gamification. He speaks of ‘weisure’, a mix of work and leisure, and ‘playbor’, defined as play plus labor.

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