Gamification appears to be ever-more prevalent by the day. This, of course, comes as no surprise considering the associated positive effects (of which the most commonly cited include increased user/employee engagement, better social interactions and greater productivity). The below article by Jim Pugh (Huffington Post) provides a brief overview of the core elements of gamification – it’s a nice and concise read, and a good place to start for those looking to gamify.

Jim’s mention of surprise [in gamification] is fairly reminiscent of the ‘variable reward’ concept in Nir Eyal’s Hook Cycle model. The idea being that variability in reward schedules causes greater peaks in dopamine oscillations (yes, I’m sorry I mentioned the frankly overused D-word). While this is typically analogised to gambling (slot-machines, lotteries, etc.), it can go some way in explaining why people engage so frequently with social media.