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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After reading this book, I took the Cousera gamification course
One of the authors of this book is the professor at the Wharton School who runs the online gamification course. I bought the book to get a good grounding in a new subject before I started the course. And it does its job and it is clearly written and the theme is developed well.

If I have any hesitation it is about the extent to which gamification knows exactly...
Published 14 months ago by Bennettskaya

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How game thinking should revolutionize your writing
For The Win has many superior features. For someone, like me, who is relatively new to the topic, it serves to break the ice and make initial introductions. It is easy to read in the sense that it contains almost nothing in the form of high-level geek speak or business jargon. The inclusion of a glossary was a superb idea.

The authors are careful not to...
Published 14 months ago by Allen Baird


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After reading this book, I took the Cousera gamification course, 24 Jun 2013
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
One of the authors of this book is the professor at the Wharton School who runs the online gamification course. I bought the book to get a good grounding in a new subject before I started the course. And it does its job and it is clearly written and the theme is developed well.

If I have any hesitation it is about the extent to which gamification knows exactly what it is beyond badges, points, and leaderboards.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How game thinking should revolutionize your writing, 16 Jun 2013
By 
Allen Baird (Belfast, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
For The Win has many superior features. For someone, like me, who is relatively new to the topic, it serves to break the ice and make initial introductions. It is easy to read in the sense that it contains almost nothing in the form of high-level geek speak or business jargon. The inclusion of a glossary was a superb idea.

The authors are careful not to present gamification as a magic potion for every business ill (p. 43). They are clear in their definitions of what gamification is (p. 26, 36) and isn't (i.e. building a game - 27/8). They insist that a certain type of game thinking lies at the basis of successful gamification projects, not just a throwing in of a lot of game elements ('PBLs'). This game thinking is hard work, as much an art as a science.

Werbach and Hunter are explicit and brutal on what gamification can become at its worst ('pointsification' - 105-7). "Don't think of gamification as a cheap marketing trick: think of it as a deep and subtle engagement technique. A substantial percentage of the gamificatione exmaples in the wild today are just pointsification." (107)

But, I'm left wondering, with all these qualifications, is gamification that revolutionary after all? Well, it turns out, gamificaiton "may" turn out to be revolutionary, although it is at least fascinating (13). OK, so I admire their honesty, but my initial enthusiasm is somewhat dampened. This doubles when I learn that "some examples of gamification are only game-like in the vaguest sense." (40) Their "impact varies" (45).

As they put it, "If gamification is just a gloss on existing marketing or management practices, or traditional rewards in shiny packages, it won't produce any added value." (11) True story. If we are to avoid this and use ganification successfully, we must attain an understanding of both game design and business techniques (9, 124). It is rare for someone to possess both skill-sets.

There's enough familiarity here to stop me feeling completely out of my depth. I play some games. I know Richard Bartle's four player types (92) and Nicole Lazzaro's four kinds of fun (98). As someone interested in game studies, I've read the works of James P Carse (38) and Johan Huizinga (39). Perhaps the best chapter/level is 4, on motivation, where the authors cover my main men Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Daniel Pink, whoop whoop!

So what's my problem? Why only three stars?

The book is dull, dull, dull. Its authors are academics, professors of law no less, and it shows. They've made some attempt to sex up their book by 'gamifying' each chapter, so that Chapter 1 represents Level One etc. Epic fail. The tone is one of seriosity, not play. Thankfully, since For The Win is a slim work, reading it is made bearable.

Some of its throwaway comments sound funny peculiar to me, perhaps explaining the lack of funny ha ha. For example:

"The essence of games isn't entertainment...it's a fusion of human nature and skilful design." (p.9)

False dichotomy, surely?

"The aspects of games that make them fun, addicting, challenging, and emotionally resonant can't be reduced to a list of components or step-by-step instructions." (p. 29)

Then why write a book the bulk of which consists of lists (chapter/level 4) and steps (chapter/level 5)? It may be that the best material in the book are the lists, such as the list of reasons why businesses should consider gamification (30), the list of areas where gamification can help satisfy business needs (44), or the list of lessons about feedback (65-6).

"Your players aren't there to escape from your product into a fantasy world; they are there to engage more deeply with your product or business or objective...[Yet] somehow, magically, it still [feels] like a game." (p. 29)

Aren't fantasy and magic kind of the same thing? Isn't a game "what happens in the magic circle"? (p. 39). And, since reading is a type of play, doesn't designing a book as much as designing a game require a little bit of magic too? But reading For The Win feels like reading a watered-down textbook for analogue undergrads, not an invitation to experiment and explore.

But it's a start, I suppose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars gamification explained in a few words, 20 Mar 2014
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
This book is well written and to the point. It will give you a great insight on when and when not to use gamification
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4.0 out of 5 stars Useful introduction to gamification, 8 Mar 2014
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
The book provides a very useful and fairly easy introduction to gamification, which is a developing issue in many business and organizational contexts. Prof. Werbach is a very knowledgeable specialist within gamification and its application.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The book is ok, 7 Mar 2014
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
An introduction and 'business school' style presentation of some ideas and theories surrounding the use of game concepts in general business contexts. Depth is sacrificed for simplicity but simplicity is perhaps too shallow and trivialises what should be a deeply interesting subject matter...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of gamification, but not as practical as I would have liked, 17 Nov 2012
By 
Frank Carver - See all my reviews
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This book is squarely in the category of business books which provide an introduction to and evaluation of a field rather than rather than teaching you how to actually do it yourself. That's not to say that it is superficial - it does go in to more detail than any other business book I have found on this topic area, particularly in its coverage of aspects of gamification beyond the common points, badges and leaderboards.

Where it runs out is on the details of implementation. The book is overflowing with ideas and inspiration, and certainly provides you with the understanding to recognize and evaluate gamification when you encounter it, but it provides little or no help in producing a gamified system once you get beyond the stage of brainstorming product ideas on a whiteboard. To take these ideas into existence needs a rare combination of gamification vision and specific development skills (app development, web development, marketing campaign development and so on.

Despite its limitations, I'd still recommend this book if you have maybe heard the name or idea of gamification and want to know what it can offer and whether its right for your business or project.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionize your business by using game thinking !, 6 Nov 2012
By 
Caufrier Frederic (Belgium) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
I am kind of biased here as I was one of the 8000 students of Kevin Werbach's online course on Coursera (Gamification 2012) who got the certification. The online course itself was excellent and very much engaging. Certainly highly recommended!

The book start with a general introduction and builds up by asking the question if gamification is right for your business challenge (following four core questions):
- Motivation: Where would you derive value from encouraging behavior?
- Meaningful choices: Are your target activities sufficiently interesting?
- Structure: Can the desired behaviors be modeled through a set of algorithms?
- Potential conflicts: Can the game avoid conflicts with existing motivational structures?

It continues on what makes gamification work - what motivates? Furthermore it explores game elements like the classic PBL triad (points, badges and leaderboards) in all its details.

The book continues with a very clear framework on how to create a gamified system. Having worked out myself a business model following this six steps framework, I can gladly say it does makes sense to follow these steps to get actual results rather fast.

A nice chapter on possible pitfalls is added at the very end.

This book "For the Win" delivers nicely as a good introduction on the interesting topic of gamification. Keep in mind it is actually only 100 pages about, so when expecting an in-depth look into gamification you will need to look elsewhere. Despite being short (in pages) it does cover the concepts of gamification very nicely.

A great introduction!

Contents:

Introduction: Why can't business be fun?
Level 1: Getting into the Game: An introduction to gamification.
Level 2: Game Thinking: Learning to think like a game designer.
Level 3: Why Games Work: The rules of motivation.
Level 4: The Gamification Toolkit: Game elements.
Level 5: Game Changer: Six steps to gamification.
Level 6: Epic fails: And how to avoid them.
Endgame: In conclusion
Acknowledgements
Glossary
Additional resources
About the authors
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5.0 out of 5 stars worth it!, 16 July 2014
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Great book. Enjoyed it. Covers the game elements theory required. Useful info for designing my own games. Worth the money.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, 12 Jun 2013
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
Simple as that a great book about a very interesting subject, especially if you were born past 1980. Also written in such a way so as to be as easy to understand as possible.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Gamification, 6 May 2013
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This review is from: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business (Paperback)
I read this book alongside taking Professor Werbach's Gamification course on Coursera. The material in the course and lectures runs parallel to the subjects in the book and give a great introduction into gamification. Organise like a game, the book is split into 6 levels:

Introduction: Why can't business be fun?
Level 1: Getting into the Game: An introduction to gamification.
Level 2: Game Thinking: Learning to think like a game designer.
Level 3: Why Games Work: The rules of motivation.
Level 4: The Gamification Toolkit: Game elements.
Level 5: Game Changer: Six steps to gamification.
Level 6: Epic fails: And how to avoid them.

Overall, this book is well-written and if you're interested in developing your gamification thinking, I'd recommend starting with this book before progressing onto others.
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For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business
For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business by Kevin Werbach (Paperback - 30 Oct 2012)
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