Notes from: For The Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business

This book is about the role gamification can play in business to motivate employees or customers to excel at activities that are in the interest of the company.


The use of game elements and game-design techniques in non-game contexts. (p26)


In an effort to improve Windows, Microsoft created The Language Quality Game to recruit employees to review dialog boxes in their spare time. They were awarded points for each suspicious bit of language they found and were ranked on a leaderboard based on their success. The game created a competitive dynamic that excited offices around the world and resulted in hundreds of significant fixes. (p18)

Gamification that targets customers aims to improve the relationship between business and customer, to produce increased engagement and identification with the product and stronger loyalty, and ultimately to increase revenues. (p22)

It is important to note that “players aren’t there to escape from your product [or business] into a fantasy world; they are there to engage more deeply with your product or business or objective [through the activation of their creativity and inspiration by the use of ‘fun’ elements].” (p29) Particularly, “extrinsic reward systems work for nonintrinsically engaging activities.” (p64)

Gamification promotes (p30):

  1. Engagement – our brains are wired to crave puzzle solving, feedback and reinforcement
  2. Experimentation – opens up the space of possibility, improves the chance of mastery

Games (p38-41):

  1. Are voluntary
  2. Require choices to be made
  3. Produce feedback
  4. Provide a sense of control
  5. Operate according to rules
  6. Break big challenges into manageable steps
  7. Promote teamwork

4 core questions to consider whether gamification fits your needs (p44):

  1. Motivation: is there an under-represented drive within your target audience to create that can be harnessed to produce important results?
  2. Meaningful Choices: is there sufficient freedom of choice and variability in execution that players will feel accomplishment from successful performance?
  3. Structure: can the desired behaviors be modeled through a set of algorithms?
  4. Potential Conflicts: can the game avoid conflicts with existing motivational structures?

Have you heard of the Volkswagen initiative “The Fun Theory”?? check it out:

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