Articles Posted in Gamification



A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.





Epic Games to make government training games

Of all the companies you’d expect to announce a big government partnership, a major video game studio is probably not at the top of your list. Nevertheless, Epic Games announced Tuesday that it has entered into a “long-term, multi-platform” deal with a division of Applied Research Associates to license the Unreal game engine for government use.

Royal Canadian Mint unveils MintChip virtual currency

Having revealed plans to ditch the Canadian penny last week, the Mint is continuing its assault on physical cash with MintChip, which it describes as the “evolution”
of currency. The system brings all the benefits of cash into the digital age,
claims a dedicated Web site, providing users with instant, private and secure access to their money.

Social Gaming Key for Advertisers in 2012

Did you know Internet marketers will spend upward of $271 million on social gaming ads in 2012? In-game advertising is the next big trend in the industry,
with analysts expecting ad spend on social games to reach $900 million annually in less than three years. The stakes are higher than ever for brands as they budget ad spend on laptops, mobile devices, and consoles.

Gamification Platform BigDoor Raises $5 Million From Foundry Group

White label gamification platform BigDoor has raised $5 million in new funding led by existing investor Foundry Group,
bringing BigDoor’s total funding to $13 million. BigDoor’s gamification platform essentially allows online publishers to add game mechanics to web interactions and engagements. BigDoor helps companies build game-like mechanics and loyalty programs into their sites or apps by enabling points, badges,
levels, leaderboards, virtual currency and virtual goods.

NRDC, Opower, & 16 Utilities Team Up to Create Social Gaming App

“With an initial reach of 20 million households, the effort is one of the most significant to date, enabling people to take action and become more energy efficient,” NRDC said in a statement today. “Leveraging the Facebook platform, the app allows people to quickly and easily start benchmarking their home’s energy usage against similar homes, compare energy use with friends, enter energy-saving competitions, and share tips on how to become more energy efficient.”

Google Glasses Face Serious Hurdles, Augmented-Reality Experts Say

When Google officially unveiled
Project Glass — the company’s bid to develop Terminator-style augmented-reality glasses — we saw a provocative glimpse of the future. The video Google released yesterday showed us the point of view of someone wearing the glasses, with icons, maps and other graphical overlays appearing over the user’s complete field of vision.


A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Virtual Fairs Offer Real Jobs

As companies find themselves swarmed with applicants, struggling to match workers with the right skills to job openings, many are turning to virtual career fairs. Employers say these online forums–accessed by companies and job seekers from anywhere in the world–can save them time and money, as well as broaden the candidate pool.

Deal United’s Facebook “Credits Rewards” Lets Clients Incentivize Signups and Purchases With Virtual Currency

German offer provider Deal United today announced it is entering the virtual currency incentives industry with the launch of “Credits Rewards”. The new service allows brands to reward to users with Facebook Credits when they make purchases, registrations, signup for newsletters, enter contests, fill out surveys and more. Because virtual currency is so cheap to distribute and Facebook users may value Credits higher than their actual cost in dollars, they can be a cost effective way for businesses to reward users for following their call actions.

Children’s book publisher heads into virtual world

Given that virtual worlds are driven by strong narratives, it comes as little surprise that more book publishers are eyeing opportunities in the space. The latest example comes from Finnish publisher DramaForum, which is transitioning its Petra’s Planet book series into a virtual world through UK development studio Dubit.

Three ways virtual environments are changing how companies conduct business

One of the more popular attractions at major theme parks is the “motion ride.” Through the use of visual, audio and other sensory cues (along with some pretty slick technology), visitors are given the opportunity to go places and do things they never could in the real world. Whether it’s flying through the jaws of a dinosaur in Doc Brown’s Delorean, visiting a galaxy far, far away, or taking a tour through the inner workings of the human body, these virtual environments engage visitors with a sensory experience that moves them in a way ordinary roller coasters can’t.

Samsung Launches the Industry’s First Gamified Corporate Website

Samsung Electronics America today announced the launch of Samsung Nation, its first social loyalty program. Available on the Samsung U.S. website, the program rewards consumers by enhancing their online experience with Samsung.

The Not-At-All-Distant Future of Green Gamification

Games are like ketchup: widely loved and diversely applied, with an appeal rooted in childhood. In fact, a new report reveals that over 90 percent of U.S. kids aged 2-17 are gaming today. Yet the gaming generation has been on the rise for three decades, leading to not only an army of young gamers, but also an influential adult segment. It is small wonder, then, that “gamification” is the most disruptive force to impact marketing since the arrival of social media.

Macy’s Introduces Augmented Reality Experience in Stores across Country as Part of Its 2011 “Believe” Campaign

For the first time, customers mailing their letters at Believe Stations in Macy’s stores will have an opportunity to take a photo with the campaign’s animated stars Virginia and Ollie from the animated holiday special “Yes, Virginia.” Using new augmented reality technology, customers with IOS and select Android smartphones can download the “Macy’s Believe-o-Magic” application that allows them to unlock the magic to see and interact with Virginia, Ollie and their friends.


A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Bambuser Powers World’s First 24-Hour Virtual Tour of New York City

Starting and finishing in Times Square on Tuesday, 1st
November at 9am EDT, Hans Eriksson – executive chairman of the live mobile streaming application Bambuser will spend 24 hours exploring New York, broadcasting all he encounters live onto the web from his iPhone – with his itinerary selected by his online audience.

Square Enix, DeNA Team Up For Japanese Final Fantasy Social Game

Square Enix and Japanese mobile social gaming company DeNA are teaming up to create the first social game based on the popular Final Fantasy series. Few details have been announced regarding the Mobage title, which is based around the theme of “fighting for teammates,” but DeNA said it will be developing the game in-house using familiar characters from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series.

Bunchball Wants to be the ‘Motivation Engine for the Internet’

Who would have thought that a company located just above an Irish pub in San Jose would grow to be so successful? According to Bunchball‘s Founder and Chief Product Officer, Rajat Paharia, Bunchball originally had roots in “social gaming”, a concept that he admits was a bit too early to market and proved very difficult as a pitching point.

Nirav Tolia launches Nextdoor,
private social network for neighbors

“Even though social networks are completely ubiquitous, I didn’t see a social network for one of the most important communities in our lives: the neighborhood,” Tolia said in an interview this week. Tolia says neighbors have lost touch with each other. He points to a 2010 study from the Pew Research Center that found that 60% of Americans didn’t know the people who lived near them.

Video games for sweepstakes argued before NC court

The state is seeking to preserve a law that attempts to rid North Carolina of sweepstakes that use video-style games to reveal winnings but that companies say infringes on free speech rights and should be thrown out.

The Top 10 Most Influential People in Facebook and Social Games

In an attempt at fairness, we took to AppData’s developer leaderboard, but also peppered the list with industry transplants of note. We’re certain we’ve glossed over some video game veterans, but did you really want a list of 30 people? So, feel free to give us your two cents in the comments. (We’ve put on our flame-retardant suits already.) Here are the top 10 most influential people in Facebook and social games…



A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Social network ad revenue to hit $10B

Non-U.S. markets would account for slightly more than half, or 51.9 percent, of the US$10 billion global ad revenue in 2013, the research firm said in report Wednesday. While revenue growth would be in the double digits in the United States, higher growth elsewhere meant that spending in non-U.S. markets would account for a slighter greater share each subsequent year, it explained.

Steve Jobs: Accidental video games visionary

Sure, Jobs had some history in the space. He took a job at Atari as a technician in the mid-’70s, but this was because he was looking for money to fund a spiritual retreat to India. Later,
with the release of the Apple II in 1977 he helped usher in a golden age of video games by providing a platform for the explosion of creativity that came in the early ’80s: Bubble Bobble, Beach Head, Boulder Dash, Choplifter, F-15 Strike Eagle, Hacker, Hardball!, Karateka, King’s Quest, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Leisure Suit Larry, Lode Runner, Might & Magic, The Oregon Trail,
Raid Over Moscow, Skyfox, Ultima, Wizardry, Zork. So many games that so many of us remember fondly, and all of them made possible because of the Apple II and Jobs.

Supreme Court Dodges Video Game Fee Request

In a surprisingly precarious move, the U.S. Supreme Court took no action Monday on a request from the video game industry for 1.4 million dollars in attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred fighting the unconstitutional violent video game ban law, originally passed in California. 

How will Facebook’s newest changes affect gamification?

If you’re at all interested in the world of social and casual games, and the gamification of social media, the stream of major and minor changes from Facebook over the past week or so has got to be top of mind. Besides the major F8 developer conference,
which introduced Timeline and an updated version of Open Graph, we’ve also seen the introduction of Facebook subscriptions and an updated news feed in the past few weeks.

What the iPhone 4S Means for Mobile Gaming

Some of the best news is that the iPhone 4S is getting a power upgrade. The 4S is getting a dual-core 1GHz A5 processor with dual-core graphics. That means the 4S have comparable graphics to the iPad 2. Games are almost guaranteed to run smoother and faster on the new 4S, since it will be about 7 times faster than the old iPhone 4. However, gamers might not be able to enjoy the increased details due to the tiny screen size which stayed at 3.5″.

Augmented Reality Meets Location-based Social Networking

A new app in this field is TagWhat. Part augmented reality-app and part social networking service, it lets people check and view locations along with additional random info like the place’s history, the famous people who lived in it, anecdotes about the neighboring establishments, or any other information that can either be trivial, interesting, or extremely useful.



A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Video Game Targets ‘Tea Party Zombies,’ Fox News Personalities

A New York-based video game developer has set his virtual crosshairs on Republican and conservative political figures in a game called “Tea Party Zombies Must Die,”
which allows players to indiscriminately slaughter politicians like Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin.

Red Robot Launches Life is Crime Game With Location-Based Play

There’s got to be more to location-based mobile games than checking in. That was the thinking behind the game startup Red Robot Labs and its first game, Life of Crime. Life of Crime uses what Red Robot believes is going to be its critical asset: the R2 Gaming Network platform for making location games.

Can Gamification Help Solve the Online Anonymity Problem?

There’s been a lot written recently about the issue of online anonymity, and in particular how Google believes that a “real names” policy is necessary so that the Google+ network maintains a certain tone and level of trust.

Amazon Gets Serious About Social Games, Calls Out for Developers

The Facebook gaming arena is about to welcome a new gladiator: Amazon. The household name of online retailers (and e-readers) is officially pulling out all the stops for its inevitable entrance into the space, openly and internally calling out for a team of designers and developers.

Most Bosses Monitor or Block Social-Network Use At Work

Viruses, loss of confidential data and fear of employees tooling around doing sweet FA on Twitter are the top reasons that employers give for putting the brakes on social media in the workplace. And it’s stopping them benefiting from new collaborative technologies, says ClearSwift Research.

Social Gaming Startup Guerillapps Launches First Green-Theme Upcycling Game on Facebook

a Manhattan-based social gaming startup, today announces the launch of Trash Tycoon, its first green-theme social game for Facebook. The game is now available for play and takes a unique approach to social gaming by incorporating awareness for environmental issues and sustainability. The first game to ever highlight the concept of upcycling, Trash Tycoon is an immersive,
fun game that presents opportunities for real-world impact.

Your Virtual Cow Could Be Worth $0

Fans of SuperPoke! Pets were crushed recently when Google announced it was pulling the plug on the game. Google killed off all but one project from social app maker Slide, which it bought last year for around $200 million.



A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Enter at Your Own Rift: How gold farming really hurts the economy

Recently, Trion Worlds CCO and RIFT Executive Producer Scott Hartsman talked to Gamasutra about how gold farming is a much bigger threat than we assume, particularly because of the large amount of credit card fraud. Those who played RIFT at launch probably recall the large wave of hacked accounts early on. According to Hartsman, the hacking attempts were so quick and so intense that the game could have been “denial-of-serviced off the internet” when it launched.


Want To Be a Gamification Expert?
Get Certified

that buzz word panned as hype
by some, has increasingly won over companies, investors and even research firms like Gartner, which now predicts half of all companies will use gamification
by 2015. So what’s next? How about gamification certification.

Facebook Ramps Up Lobbying Over Privacy

Facebook Inc. has beefed up its public policy efforts with an eye to shaping federal privacy legislation, sharply increasing its lobbying expenditures and expanding its roster of Washington insiders, disclosure records show.

NYPD Looks to Mine Social Networks for Infor on Criminal Activity

Privacy is something most people worry about and try to protect, but on social networking giants like Facebook, it’s almost impossible to protect all of your information despite privacy settings. Now, the New York Police Department (NYPD) is data mining Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to track hooligans who have committed or are planning to commit crimes.

Registration Opens for Game::Business::Law 2012

Registration is now open for the 4th Annual Game::Business::Law Summit on January 25 – January 26, 2012. The event will be held at Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law and is hosted by The Guildhall at SMU, SMU’s Dedman School of Law and The Center for American and International Law.

A Guide to Controlling Privacy, Info on Google+

Google+is the new social networking kid on the block, and one of the main reasons so many people are interested in the service over Facebook is Google+’s proclaimed focus on protecting users’ privacy. Whether you’re a new Google+ user or you’re already a pro, understanding how to control your information on the site can make you feel much more at ease on the social network. Here’s the lowdown on Google+’s privacy controls, including a few of the more buried settings you’ll want to know about.



A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Could Social Media Flub Cost You $4.3 Million?

What can a social media mistake cost your company in fines, litigation, or loss of customer trust? A new survey reveals some interesting data points.

Gamification: How Competition Is Reinventing Business, Marketing & Everyday Life

The word “gamification,” much like the phrase “social media” a few years back, is being lobbed around in technology circles as the next frontier in web and mobile. Just as nearly every application, website, brand and marketer now employs social media in some capacity, so too will these entities gravitate toward game mechanics in the years ahead.

Avoid Social Media Meltdown: Create a Strategy Take Back Control

Everyone said that you and your business needed to be on Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, and every other new social media site or service that has made its debut since then. You linked your webpage and your blog and made sure you had the right apps on your mobile devices to post on the go. You have profiles and pages on multiple services and…. now what?

Nixon bans Teacher-Student Friendships on Social Networking Sites

A new Missouri law is forbidding friendship between teachers and students, at least on Facebook. It’s part of a bill Governor Jay Nixon just signed designed to more clearly define teacher-student boundaries.

Qualcomm Releases Augmented Reality Game SDK

According to TechCrunch, Qualcomm has released its ARG SDK, which was originally intended for Android devices with Snapdragon chips, for iOS-compatible devices. This initial release has support for, specifically, the iPhone 4, iPad 2, and even the fourth-generation iPod Touch.

Virtual World Usage Accelerates

Virtual worlds gained 214 million new users in the second quarter of 2011, according to virtual worlds research firm KZero Worldwide. It was the largest quarterly increase since the company began tracking these numbers in 2008.

Lawsuits Against Grooveshark Continue; Music Publishers Seek To Redefine The DMCA

Grooveshark has been involved in a series of lawsuits
from the recording industry and, as with the Limewire lawsuits, it looks like the music publishers are piggybacking on the labels by suing later. We’ve already explained why Grooveshark appears to follow
the rules set out by the DMCA, but I would imagine that Grooveshark is the sort of site where judges simply won’t like the idea of it, and will thus figure out a way to rule against it. That could be very problematic.



A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


EBay Rings Up Mobile Payment Outfit For $240M

EBay Inc. unit PayPal will beef up its position in the online payment market with the $240 million purchase of mobile phone payment specialist Zong, as big online merchants continue to snap up upstarts in the world of virtual commerce.

The Metrics Are the Message: How Analytics is Shaping Social Games

The freemium gaming business is expanding rapidly. We all know about the Facebook behemoth Zynga, which now claims over 250 million monthly players, and is valued at anywhere between $5-10bn. But online, there are dozens of global companies hawking a range of in-depth gaming experiences.

Online Consumers Willing to Pay Premium for Net Privacy

Online consumers thought to be motivated primarily by savings are, in fact, often willing to pay a premium for purchases from online vendors with clear,
protective privacy policies, according to a new study in the current issue of a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Could Google+ Be the Best Social Network for Your Career?

Barely two weeks old, Google’s new social network, Google+, is already scrambling the social media hierarchy. One of its key features — that your professional and personal lives can go their separate ways — helps solve a key Facebook drawback., Inc., projects $50 Million Revenue

According to eMarketer worldwide social network spending is expected to reach $6 billion this year. The social networking market for kids age 13 and under is estimated at over one billion ($1,000,000,000) dollars per year and rapidly growing., Inc., is committed to earn a significant share of that revenue stream for shareholders and provide a safe Internet experience for pre-teens., Inc.,
projects annual revenues to exceed $50 million by third year of full operations.

Electronic Arts To Pay $750M for PopCap Games

Electronic Arts Inc. said Tuesday that it will buy PopCap Games for at least $750 million in a bid to snag a larger piece of the rapidly growing market for games on cell phones and social networks.

Badgeville Raises $12M to Lead the Way in Gamification

Gamification startup Badgeville has raised $12 million in a second round of funding to add game-like features to non-game applications.



On of the announcements
coming out of E3 is that GameStop and Virgin Gaming have formed  a partnership to power online video gaming tournaments. According to the announcement, Virgin Gaming will be:

The preferred online tournament provider for featured console game releases sold in U.S.
GameStop locations and through GameStop will offer publisher partners unique, large-scale online tournaments to help market, sell and create deep player engagement for their games. GameStop customers will have the opportunity to win cash and incredible prize packages through the GameStop/Virgin Gaming tournaments, in addition to Virgin Gaming credits redeemable for games and other merchandise.

As online gaming continues to grow, companies are seeking various ways to create ancillary revenue and drive user engagement. Tournaments can be one way of doing that. Tournaments, if done right, can be legal. However, there are a number of legal considerations of which companies must be aware to avoid running afoul of various laws.


A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


BIA/Kelsey Forecasts Social Media Ad Spending to Reach $8.3 Billion in 2015

Social media advertising revenues will grow from $2.1 billion in 2010 to $8.3 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate of 31.6 percent, according to BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Annual Forecast (2010-2015).

YetiZen Starts an Incubator for Game Startups

The game industry is hot, with lots of companies chasing the success of social game darlings such as Zynga and mobile game successes such as Ngmoco. That’s why YetiZen
is forming a new incubator to help launch game startups.

Gamification: Hype or Game-Changer?

Gamification is already shaping up to be one of the buzzwords of 2011. Educators, brands, charities and government are all looking at how to use gamification to improve engagement, make money or change behaviors.

Virtual Currency Lifts Social TV Guide to New Heights

With new startups jumping into the fray, the social TV space is suddenly very competitive. But one site is celebrating its third anniversary today with two big milestones. The internet TV guide Yidio said it hit 1.5 million registered users and 500,000 Facebook fans, making it the most popular social TV guide on Facebook.

Network Breaches, Social Media,
Smartphones Worry Administrators: Survey

In the latest What Keeps Network Administrators Up at Night survey from Amplitude Research, 41 percent of respondents named security breaches to their network and another 40 percent said they are worried about what their end users are doing.

How to Use Game Mechanics to Reward Your Customers

Your customers hoard airline miles and covet their status-symbol black American Express. What was once called “consumer incentives” is now known as “gamification”–and here’s how to integrate it into your company and win consumers’ hearts and minds while you’re at it.

U.S. Military Finds More Uses for Video Games, Virtual Worlds and Smartphones

Video games, virtual worlds and smartphones are an excellent way to train U.S. troops, say advocates of the technology within and outside of the military. Evidence of the growing interest in the technology can be seen from a recent GameTech convention held in Orlando, Fla. GameTech had 775 participants and 29 vendors.