Is gamification still just a bunch of hype? Gartner Research says yes, and that the buzz around using game-like mechanics in non-game scenarios is just about to reach its peak.
This week, gamification made its debut on the Gartner’s Hype Cycle chart, an infographic designed to show the potential real-world success of emerging technology. Gamification sits right alongside 3D printing, social analytics and group buying, and, according to its positioning, is just about to hit its high point on the “peak of inflated expectations,” thanks to early adoption and publicity.
If Gartner’s assessment is accurate, Gamification will soon begin its descent into the “trough of disillusionment,” where it will start to be used by people other than early adopters. (For some reason, this reminds me of the Pit of Despair in ‘The Princess Bride,’ but I digress). These later adopters tend to be less enthusiastic about the emerging tech and more vocal about its flaws. According to the chart, this is where gamification will sink or swim -- and if it survives, will have to climb another small hill toward mainstream adoption.
I'd have to argue that gamification has already hit its peak and is well on its way to the disillusionment phase as more begin to wonder how to make gamification more compelling, beyond slapping virtual badges and points on anything and everything.