gamification?

I keep hearing this buzz word in relation to giving out awards on the web for participation like farmville or badges on foursquare etc. But what is it really and does it hold any merit in my Web world. To me, it goes way beyond just awards but the concept of gamification to me really is about incorporating the idea behind games into everyday web concepts and designs. It seems like the idea is to make your applications and online interfaces fun and exciting , like a game… that make sense to me.

foursquare badges

Wikipedia defines it as = In behavioral economics, gamification is the use of game play mechanics[1] for non-game applications (also known as “funware”),[2] particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. It also strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviors in connection with the applications.[3] Gamification works by making technology more engaging,[4] and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.[5] The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, or reading web sites.

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