Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to read Enterprise Games – using game mechanics to build a better business. I have read a number of books on gamification and found this one to be the best discussing the issues of gamification in business. This book discusses the relationship between the game world and the real world and provides useful guidance on embracing game techniques in business.
For those not familiar with the concept of serious games, this book provides a good foundation and is easily readable. Its use of examples delves deeply into the relationship between goals, feedback and rules and aids the understanding of the reader no matter what business context they may come from. There are examples in the use of gamification in learning the capabilities of a product as well as changing targeted behaviors by changing how people view their work.
I was a bit surprised it didn't include a section on unintended consequences and how to recognize and avoid them. This is an important step in a gamification deployment plan, since the side effects of measurement and behavior change can sometimes outweigh the intended benefit.
I’ve blogged about gamification many times in the past and firmly believe it will be an arrow required in the quiver of any serious IT executive in the future.