It is very important to note that "gamification" is simply a buzz word applied to an old theory: Reward with a token of merit the accomplishments an individual attains. Earning badges for completing steps in a process is very old.
- The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts (USA) have been earning badges for accomplishments for over 100 years.
- Children have earned trophies, ribbons, medals and awards for school events for centuries.
- Though less gamified, nearly every branch of the armed forces globally has some level of merit/badge/medal system to honor accomplishments and completions of tours of duty for their uniformed soldiers.
The process of adding game play layers to a task is not restricted to the business world either. We see it show up in education (math bingo for candy prizes), within families (do your chores to earn an allowance), in the work force (Employee of the month earns a good parking spot) and even in athletics (Salary bonus for reaching the world series or super bowl).
What should be unique to our Gamification SE is the process of developing interesting and innovative games for players, as well as a focus on balance and rewards to offset the "task" of completion. Coaching other game-play designers on what has worked or hasn't worked in a certain set of scenarios is the Q&A format we could provide. If a coach wants to gamify the attendance to Saturday AM practices, we should be able to offer suggestions on different tactics that could be tried. If a boss wants to offer incentive program for employees, we should help with the balance of how much to give away without making it a worthless endeavor.