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This is a question I get asked all the time. Is it gamification if x,y or z. Depending on my mood and their question, I answer a little differently at first but always end the same way. Is it taking something that is not a game and making it more game like in some way? If it is, then you could call it gamification – but you are likely to get people complain one way or the other!
As you may or may not know, I have spent a great deal of time trying to organise my thoughts on this and define gamificaiton, which is how I settled on Game Thinking. This is my umbrella term that covers everything from making interfaces look a little more “gamey”, to making full fledged games.
The reality is we will probably never totally agree all the time on this. A better questions is “Does this solve the problem”, or “Is this the best solution for the users?”. It doesn’t matter if you use gamification or games or ninja monkeys. As a gamifier, you are a problem solver. Your job is to solve an issue the client is having. The likelihood is you will favour a solution with a game like flavour – but I would think that you would not reject a solution just because it is not “proper” gamification.
Never reject an idea or a solution that may be better than yours because you don’t know how to or have the expertise to execute it. If the answer is to create a game, it doesn’t matter if you think that is true gamification – it is still the answer and you should do what you can to facilitate it!