Aaron Sumner


Gamification Master Class with Gabe Zichermann (a Book Report)

Gamification is a hot topic right now, as designers, marketers, and educators look to game theory to increase engagement. Gabe Zichermann is at the forefront of gamification, with a couple of books under his belt and now an excellent addition to the O’Reilly Master Class video series. I’ve just begun my own exploration into gamification and am glad I started it with this three-hour set.

In Gamification Master Class, you get a seat at the table with Zichermann and six representatives of large companies and startups alike looking to gamification to increase users’ engagement with their products (which, if I recall correctly, are pretty much all web-based). Like all of O’Reilly’s Master Class videos, this series maintains high production values. Zichermann’s presentation style, though, puts it at another level from other videos I’ve watched from this series. He keeps his audience (both in-studio and those of us watching from home) engaged with great information and hands-on activities throughout. These activities are provided to us home viewers as a PDF as soon as we complete our first “challenge”—a clever use of gamification to keep us hooked, and a valuable tool for our own gamification efforts moving forward. It’s not a lecture; it’s a conversation about gamification and how to make it work for a variety of marketing or learning goals.

To summarize, Gamification Master Class is a top-notch, three-hour introduction to an exciting movement in software design and marketing. You probably won’t walk away from it with all the resources you need to develop world class gamification implementations of your own, but you’ll be well-equipped with the important concepts, tools, and next steps necessary to make those implementations happen.

More information about Gamification Master Class with Gabe Zichermann is available from O’Reilly.

Note: I wrote this review for O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program. It’s a pretty nice deal: Get a free e-book to read, share a review in your blog, get another free book to read. Sign up for yourself to take advantage of this deal, and watch for more book reports in my blog.

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