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Is Gamification Dead?

Lithium Alumni (Retired)


If you’re like many, you may think of gamification as the points, badges and leaderboards that are used to motivate users to take certain actions or continue certain behaviors. But gamification is actually a big data discipline. It turns out that the misconception around what makes gamification work is one of the reasons many people fear gamification is dying.


It’s true that market growth has been slower than expected. Many bold predictions about the gamification industry simply have not materialized. And, the term “gamification” has received much push back from more traditional businesses. So, what does its future look like? Does it have one?

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In his latest whitepaper, Is Gamification Dead?, Dr. Michael Wu, (@MikeW) Chief Scientist at Lithium, explores why gamification appears to be decaying, what gamification is truly about and how you can be sure to leverage its full power in your product design and marketing endeavors.


He discusses how there are three ingredients that enable gamification to work:

  • The fundamentals of behavioral sciences—gamification’s psychology and behavioral roots;
  • Front-end interactive systems—large scale interactive platforms that provide feedback and rewards to the users (this is what you are most familiar with); and
  • Back-end big data/analytics systems—that capture, store, process and analyze behavior data so that feedback to the user is meaningful.


Many people focus almost exclusively on the front-end systems and miss the other two. Dr. Wu instructs that gamification must be seen through the lens of a big data discipline to understand how to use it successfully.


Ready to find out how to do so at your company?

Download the paper!