In her TED talk, "Gaming Can Make a Better World," author and researcher Jane McGonigal posits that in game worlds people are "motivated to do something that matters, inspired to collaborate, to cooperate." Video games are interactive and engaging. It's no wonder they are so pervasive with both children and adults!
A recent trend in the business world has been to bring game world elements into the real world. This methodology is referred to as "gamification." According to a Pew Research Center report, gamification is "interactive online design that plays on people's competitive instincts and often incorporates the use of rewards to drive action -- these include virtual rewards such as points, payments, badges, discounts and free gifts; and status indicators such as friend counts, re-tweets, leaderboards, achievement data, progress bars and the ability to level up."
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc, Dennis T OConnor