Game mechanics like rewards and feedback loops are gaining ground in digital life and many experts think they will spread widely to key domains like education and health by 2020. Others worry about a darker side.
A new Pew Internet/Elon University survey of more than 1,000 Internet experts, researchers, observers and users points to significant growth in the use of game elements in online activities.
Roughly half of those responding to the survey said the use of game mechanics, feedback loops and rewards to spur interaction and boost engagement, loyalty, fun and/or learning will gain ground between now and 2020. While many of those surveyed said there will be limits to the growth of gamification, the tech experts generally believe that game elements in some form will become more prevalent in the everyday activities of many of the people who are actively using communications networks.
“The development of ‘Serious Games’ applied productively to a wide scope of human activities will accelerate simply because playing is more fun than working,” observed Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow at The Institute for the Future.