The popularity of video games and the explosion of social networking are intersecting to redefine how we will experience the Web over the next decade.
The melding of these two powerful forces has been labeled "gamification." At its most basic level, the term refers to the idea of incorporating the elements of video games into nongaming Web sites and services that utilize social networking features. You've probably already encountered some of the most basic tools: leader boards, progress bars, badges and virtual gifts.
These may sound frivolous, but the rush to adopt such tools represents a growing sophistication on the part of developers that will lead to a profound shift in our online experiences. Developers are no longer content to simply track our behavior or passively gather data about us. By using game design, they are actively trying to direct what we do and influence how we interact with others online.
From The San Jose Mercury News
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