In the tech world, the word “gamification” stands for the technique of exerting game mechanics into the non-game environment, such as websites and mobile applications.
Gamification in UX. Increasing User Engagement.
Tubik Studio
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It’s so much more fundamental than that.

So many UX designers clutter apps with badges, virtual currencies, etc. because they don’t understand that the app itself is the game.

A game is a form of structured play. Play is a voluntary experience that people pursue for the sake of having that experience. Structure is the set of rules, limitations, and win/lose conditions that push people to a goal.

Facebook is a game. Twitter is a game. Instagram is a game. Even ebay is a game.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s core mechanic is trading. You trade your attention for someone else’s content. The win condition is getting the most attention. You don’t have a leveling system, a plethora of different badges, or any of the other usual contrivances that designers employ in getting-things-done and fitness apps. You have interaction with *real* people. That interaction is constrained to viewing, liking, commenting, and sharing - and it works so much better than artificial challenges.

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