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Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps Paperback – August 22, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1449397678 ISBN-10: 1449397670 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gabe Zichermann is an author, public speaker, serial entrepreneur, and the foremost expert on the subject of gamification. His book, Game-Based Marketing (Wiley, 4/2010) has achieved critical and industry acclaim for its detailed look at innovators who blend the power of games with brand strategy. Zichermann is also the author of the Gamification Blog at http://gamification.co and chair of the Gamification Summit and Workshops.

Christopher Cunningham is a software architect and developer who helped found ChroniQL, an early gamification solution; beamME, a mobile social application; and TrekMail, a breakthrough mobile email/text application. Christopher has deep expertise with agile development processes and distributed team management.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449397670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449397678
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

GABE ZICHERMANN is the chair of the Gamification Summit 9/15-16 NYC (GSummit) - where top thought leaders in this burgeoning industry gather to share knowledge and insight. Zichermann is also an author, highly rated public speaker and entrepreneur whose book, "Gamification by Design" (O'Reilly Media, 2011) looks at the technical and architectural considerations for designing engagement using games concepts. His book "Game-Based Marketing" (Wiley, 2010) achieved critical and industry acclaim for its detailed look at innovators who blend the power of games with brand strategy. A resident of NYC, Gabe is a board member of StartOut.org , advisor to a number of startups and Facilitator for the Founder Institute in Manhattan. For more information about Gabe and gamification, visit the Gamification Blog at http://gamification.co.

Customer Reviews

The Book is very simple and clear to read, with a lot of tools and examples.
Martin Gonzalez
Great insights of gamification or how to engage people in a service or product thanks to game mechanics.
Mathieu Jehanno
If you ask me it feels a little too sleazy considering I've already paid for the book.
M. Forr

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By M. Forr on November 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a UX designer working on various websites and mobile apps I found the first five chapters useful in my design thinking but I also found a the coding and platform chapters to be weak and kind of sleazy.

Before I write anymore, I want you to know that I'm not going to critique Gamficiation Theory here as that has been done well enough elsewhere. I just want to talk about the book :)

So the first five chapters of the book are useful and meaty enough to get you on your way. For instance, it provides some compelling arguments to think about your analytics in terms of 'levels' and 'experience points' in order to see what they are accomplishing, even if you don't expose the information to them. Moreover, the first five chapters gave me enough to work with to implement some gamified elements into my next project. There's also a supplemental workbook PDF on the authors website that compiles all the exercises found in the book which I could see using at a project kickoff.

That being said, I do have some complaints about this book. First, I feel like the author was selling his website GamificationU a little too hard. In order to download the aforementioned workbook I had to fill out a contact form and in order to get the 'advanced' movies the author provides you have to follow him on twitter. If you ask me it feels a little too sleazy considering I've already paid for the book. If I really want to be on the mailing list or to follow you, I would.

My second issue has to do with "Chapter 7: Coding Basic Game Mechanics". I applaud the author for including a chapter that walks us through the code, I really do. But given the current rapid development of rails he should have forked the project on Github and been more thorough with his documentation.
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64 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Andreas West on September 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
You want to have a textbook to install Gamification for your own services, programs or company? Motivated by all the hype about how Gamification is the solution to get an almost lifelong customer engagement and many returning sales? You want to copy the success of Zynga, Nike+ and Groupon (note the absence of Foursquare in this list as I think it's rather a bad example of Gamification)? You want to find the secret recipe in just one easy to read book?

Why not buy and read the newest book from the "foremost expert on the subject of Gamification"? Well the title of this book by Gabe Zicherman sounds like the perfect solution for your motivations above, right? Well, I have bad news for you, there is no easy shortcut to understanding and implementing successful principles of Gamification for you! Nor is this book gonna help you in achieving all that is promised on the outside of the book. Ever heard of "No pain no gain?". That's right, as I will tell you here right away that you have to do it the hard way, buy and read a minimum dozen of books (some reading list provided later) and even then it's not guaranteed you've found the secret recipe.

So safe your 14.10 US$ (strange that Amazon is already cutting the price on a newly book almost in half, unless it's not a bestseller, right?) and invest that and some more dollars into various other books with more insights, more practicable tips, more take-aways than this book. Save yourself from the pain to read through some cheap advertising of the services of Badgeville.com as there are many other companies that offer the same service as them - at least two others start also with a B in their company name (hint).
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Hamblin on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The whole book reads like an add for the authors website. The book wasn't totally useless, but the "ad-like" tone was unacceptable for a product I paid for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was very shallow and further perpetuates the belief that anyone can "gamify" their app or website using one of the ready made platforms, when really, it is much more complicated then that.
It was also very manipulative, and in order to get access to the accompanying videos and "master's course", you need to buy more materials for $50 in oreilly's website. These materials are not worth the money at all.

Instead of buying the book, I recommend you watch this video of his on youtube:
[...]

it has the exact- THE EXACT - same information as the book. Don't waste your money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Barber on April 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was published in 2011 so it seems to have been written late 2010. This is a telling factor on some of the examples given in the book, more on that later. As with most titles of this type it is very US centric, which really should have been looked at.

It deals with an introduction to gamification techniques, at 170 pages, it's a quick read, even more so if you skip sections.

The book discusses aspects of loyalty generation, motivation both intrinsic and extrinsic, overall game mechanics, engagement and reinforcement techniques. Pretty much all the major techniques are covered off reasonably well.

A good quarter of the book is a developmental tutorial involving step wise (using ruby) code examples of gamification. Which I didn't find to be that useful at all.

The final chapter is nothing more than a sponsored insert, like those brought "sponsor" talks at conferences, this was a waste of space. Plus it dealt with badges, which are the worst aspect of gamiification.

When you read this book you aren't really sure if you are reading a book on gamification or game design. So many times the examples quoted where just pure games, games that people would use as distractors or time fillers rather than example of commercial sites or applications using the same techniques for commercial gain.

The case studies that I was hoping to be a core aspect of the book, seemed to be too brief or in several cases dated very quickly; such as [...] or[...]. However the examples dating is often an issue with light weight tech books.

Maybe this is a US thing, but Yahoo Answers have never been relevant here. It just seemed overloaded with bad information, even years ago.
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