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Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps 1st Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449397678
ISBN-10: 1449397670
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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: 182 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: #866,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At a mere 169 pages I was hoping for at least some deep concepts for applying game mechanics to other projects of interest and instead got 169 pages describing how modern social media websites are designed. There is very little content as many of the pages are filled with graphics and notes which leaves about 3 paragraphs per page which leads to being able to read the book in an hour. Furthermore it is evident that the authors do not have much experience and/or knowledge of the subject due to the poor examples and comparisons they use. The title of the book should of been 'Designing social media sites like Facebook'.

Bottom line: If you know absolutely nothing about the current trends that are used in social media (i.e. achievements, badges, avatars, virtual currency, etc..) then I would recommend using a social media site like Facebook and/or explore the site and some web applications over buying this book. This book would be 'okay' as a $5 stocking stuffer for a 14 year old Facebook developer and a big coffee coaster for everyone else. The reason why it gets two stars is due to the quality of the paper. It has a nice thickness that you will not be afraid of ripping the pages when flipping through the book and all the graphics are in color which is nice. If you really, really, really, want to read this book then I would find it for cheap or visit a local bookstore that has it and read it there.
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