When those that care talk about gamification, we speak of engagement through play, games, well designed activity loops, game mechanics and elements, narratives and more.
However, even though we’ve been banging that drum for over a decade, it’s still thought of as nothing more than points, badges and leaderboards being used to bribe people into activity.
When you look back at the history of gamification, should we really expect anything else?
Pre 2010, gamification was used by few people. Nick Pelling is often cited as being the first person to officially use the word in writing way back in 2002, using it to describe the process of making non game based interfaces more like games. But if you speak with game designers, such as Richard Bartle, they will tell you the word in some form was used long before that, to literally mean making games out of experiences that were not games previously.