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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very useful. Avoid if you are serous about games and marketing.., 26 July 2011
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This review is from: Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges, and Contests (Hardcover)
This book fails to link games and marketing convincingly. It's little more than a homebrewed recipe for building frequent flyer programmes.

I kept waiting for the good stuff on games. It never came.

The basic idea in "Game Based Marketing" is this: We all engage in game- and competition-like behaviours in our everyday lives. If designed more like a game, previously unwitting players will spend more energy pursuing the goals you set up for them, than in their previous practical guise. There. No need to read the whole book. Because sadly, the 200-something pages fail to add anything new beyond this.

Being both an academic researcher, consultant and game-designer, I would have thought to find something useful in a book with this title. There are many stories and observations, but thrown together in a rather haphazard manner, they fail to emerge in a coherent argument or toolbox (beyond repeating the word "leaderboard" and the occasional unrealistic fantasy about building massively multiplayer online games for large companies). At times, it almost reads like the authors' repetitive and unimaginative sales-pitch to a lot of different companies about how they should have done this or that in specific campaigns.

The authors mix a lot of different ideas about costumer loyalty, sweepstakes, frequent-flyer programmes, employee competitions and even mentions digital stuff like Second Life and MMORPGs. They call it all games, but seem to have little serious background knowledge in the area. Their favourite tool appears to be a simple leaderboard. Nothing much on how such games work, or how people actually get motivated to play them. The few credible studies cited are dumped down and/or misinterpreted (hard to tell which) to a point where they are basically useless.

Cutting through the fluff, every useful thought in here could be written in a short magazine-article. The book gets its second star because of the anecdotes collected on costumer loyalty programmes. The only other good news is, it's quick to read.
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