Gamification. We all know immediately upon reading the word that there’s something inside that hasn’t been figured out. It’s too broadly applied and holds very little real meaning.

The word itself seems to say, “look what this disruptive technology of the internet has done to us” – the second half of the word seems to offend the first half. The “you got marketing in my once-loved-behavior!” notion of the naysayers results in that icky feeling you get when you see how sausage is made. With the wonder and imagination that games represent for so many, the word falsely infers that one can simply go and pay someone to “gamify” something – and somehow that’s supposed to be a good thing? There’s conflict in gamification. We seek to understand it. Bring on the badges!

Yes. The business world sees the Farmville invites and Foursquare badges a-flyin’, and figures that gamifying their world means imitating the tactics readily surveyed by just being on Facebook. -5, friends. There’s more to it.