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For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business Paperback


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For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business + Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World + The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Wharton Digital Press (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613630239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613630235
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Video games now have the dubious honour of having inspired their own management craze. Called ‘gamification,’ it aims to take principles from video games and apply them to serious tasks. The latest book on the subject, For the Win, comes from Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter, from the Wharton Business School and the New York Law School respectively….[T]heir central idea—that the world might be a better place if work was less of a necessary drudge and more of a rewarding experience in itself—is hard to argue with.”
The Economist

“Here's a conversion worthy of a Transformers movie: Take buttoned-down, MBA-toting business professionals and turn them into video game designers. That's the goal of a new book about Gamification, changing behavior of employees and customers by appealing to their sense of fun and their competitive instinct, video game style. The co-author of For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business is Dan Hunter, who runs New York Law School's Institute for Information Law and Society. He says gamification done right is about meaningful competition.”
—David Brancaccio, Marketplace, American Public Radio

“Werbach and Hunter aren’t playing around with this book on how to add the joy of gaming to your enterprise. This is a quick but thoughtful look into the pros and cons of gamification, what works and what doesn't, with plenty of insight into what really motivates and engages customers and employees.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

For the Win is a total win! In the 21st century, business must shift from push to pull to get the best out of their employees and to entice their customers. This book brilliantly explains how to design and use gamification techniques to that end. I highly recommend this useful and fun to read book.”
—John Seely Brown, Coauthor of The Power of Pull and A New Culture of Learning; Co-chairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge; Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corporation and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

“If you want to understand one of the most important trends in business today, go out and buy For the Win. Werbach and Hunter reveal the secrets to powering up your organization through game thinking. Read this book. It's a game changer.”
—Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group; Co-author of Do More Faster

“If you prefer realism to hype and rationality to bandwagons, this is the gamification book for you. As a work about gamification today, this book is excellent; as a work about gamification tomorrow, it's staggeringly excellent.”
—Richard Bartle, Professor, University of Essex; Creator of MUD1, the first multiplayer online game; Author of Designing Virtual Worlds

“Like gamification, this book is a fusion of human nature and good design. Far and away the best book on the subject, with the most examples and the best intellectual grasp of the topics.”
—Bing Gordon, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; former Chief Creative Officer, Electronic Arts

“Every business executive, small business owner and public servant should read this book; the public and private benefits would be enormous. I’m not kidding. If you’re even half as blown away as I was by For the Win, it’ll be your best book purchase of the year. Applying ‘game thinking’ to everyday life might just change… well, everything. Read the book and you’ll see what I mean.”
—Jessica Mulligan, Online game pioneer and co-founder, Themis Group

For the Win is the perfect title, because businesses that understand these techniques will be the standout winners in their markets. Do yourself a favor and read this deep yet practical guide before your competitors do.”
—Rajat Paharia, Founder and Chief Product Officer, Bunchball

“A wonderfully written, funny, and timely work. Should be required reading for anyone pursing a modern undertaking utilizing these concepts. As the concept of ‘gamifying’ continues to grow, the importance of this text will continue to emerge.”
—Professor Andrew Phelps, Director, School of Interactive Games & Media, Rochester Institute of Technology

For the Win hits a home run in illustrating the business value of gamification for both small and large companies across the globe."
—Kris Duggan, CEO, Badgeville

“An entertaining and immensely practical guide to this rich managerial opportunity.”
—Philip Evans, Senior Partner, Managing Director, and BCG Fellow, Boston Consulting Group; co-author of Blown to Bits

“In For the Win, Werbach and Hunter eloquently and practically explain how to apply one of the most important shifts in our cognitive models.”
—Joichi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab

For the Win is the smartest book written on the practical potential of gamification. With eyes wide open to both the promise and the risks inherent in yoking business practices to the power of play, Hunter and Werbach may have singlehandedly saved gamification from collapsing
under the weight of its own hype."
—Julian Dibbell, author of Play Money and My Tiny Life

About the Author

Kevin Werbach is an associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also the founder of the Supernova Group, a technology analysis and consulting firm. He co-led the review of the Federal Communications Commission for the Obama-Biden Transition Project. Called “one of the few policy wonks who really got it” by Wired, he helped develop the United States Government’s e-commerce policy, shaped the FCC's approach to Internet issues, and authored Digital Tornado, the first comprehensive analysis of the implications of the Internet. A sought-after speaker and commentator, Werbach appears frequently in print and broadcast media including CNN, CNBC, NPR, ABC News, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His writing has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Fortune, The Industry Standard, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Slate, among other publications. He blogs at http://werblog.com and tweets at @kwerb.

Dan Hunter is an expert in internet law, intellectual property, and the application of games to public policy arenas. He is a professor of law at New York Law School and the director of the school’s Institute for Information Law & Policy. He is also an adjunct associate professor of legal studies at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. His research has appeared in journals such as the California Law Review, the Texas Law Review, the William & Mary Law Review, and the Journal of Legal Education. Hunter is a judge for the resolution of domain name disputes for the World Intellectual Property Organization, and is on the editorial board of numerous journals. He was one of the first scholars to examine the social significance of virtual worlds, and he co-founded the scholarly blog Terra Nova (terranova.blogs.com).


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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to people as a starter book on Gamification.
Prateek
Both the course and the book are well laid out and full of interesting, thought provoking ideas about gamification.
Tamara Lewis
I took the online course Wharton offered through Coursera and have been looking forward to this book.
S. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Caufrier Frederic on November 1, 2012
Format: 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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Allen Baird on November 7, 2013
Format: 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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Gibbs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
A well-designed game is a guided missile to the motivational heart of the human psyche, and the lessons that games can teach can be valuable tools in addressing serious business pursuits like marketing, productivity enhancement, innovation, customer engagement, human resources and sustainability, according to Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter in this book.

At the simplest level, gamification is about reverse-engineering games to discover what makes them so compelling, and then devising ways of applying those compelling features to enhance motivation in a business environment. Game elements which are explained in the book include:

* Dynamics: constraints, emotions, narrative, progression and relationships
* Mechanics: challenges, chance, competition, cooperation, feedback, resource acquisition, rewards, transactions, turns and win states
* Components: achievements, avatars, badges, boss fights, collections, combat, content unlocking, gifting, leaderboards, levels, points, quests, teams and virtual goods

The book does not provide sure-fire techniques for making the workplace compelling using gamification; instead, it outlines a range of tools and leaves to the reader the difficult design process of applying them to a business environment in a way which will increase engagement without negative side-effects. The authors recommend that the design process start with defining business objectives and target behaviours, and work from there to apply a suitable range of game elements to business processes, using a process of trial-and-error to optimise the results. There are of course plenty of things that can go horribly wrong, and a whole chapter is devoted to epic fails and how to avoid them.
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