Elon University

The 2012 Survey: What is the likely future of gamification – game layers, feedback loops – and Internet between now and 2020? (Credited Responses)

Responses to this 2020 scenario were assembled from Internet stakeholders in the 2012 Pew Internet & American Life/Elon University Future of the Internet Survey. Some respondents chose to identify themselves; many did not. We share some—not all—of the responses here. Workplaces of respondents who shared their identity are attributed only for the purpose of indicating a level of expertise; statements reflect personal views. If you would like to participate in the next survey, mail andersj [at] elon dotedu; include information on your expertise.

Gamification Survey Cover PageCredited responses to a tension pair on gamification and the Internet in 2020

This page includes credited survey participants’ contributions to the discussion of the future of the Internet and gamification by 2020. This is one of eight questions raised by the 2012 Elon UniversityPew Internet survey of technology experts, stakeholders, and social analysts. Results on this question were first released by Pew Internet Director Lee Rainie and Imagining the Internet Director Janna Quitney Anderson in the spring of 2012.

In a recent survey about the likely future of the Internet, technology experts and stakeholders were fairly evenly split when it came to imagining what role gamification may play by 2020.

>To read the official study report, please click here.<

>To read the responses of anonymous participants in answer to this question, click here.<

Following is a large sample of the responses from survey participants who took credit for their remarks when sharing their thoughts in the survey. Some are longer versions of responses that were edited to fit in the official report. About half of the respondents chose to remain anonymous and half took credit for their remarks (for-credit responses are published on a separate page).

Survey participants were asked, “share your view of gamification and implications for the future. What new approaches to information sharing do you anticipate will be finding their footing by 2020? What are the positives, negatives, and shades of grey in the likely future you anticipate?” They answered:

“I’m all for feedback loops in our complex world. Emergence is how everything works. But for some reason, I’m resisting their explicit disruptive role in education and health; there are too many entrenched reasons (some of them good reasons) not to run things this way. If everything was a game, no one would have a reason to invent; any metric corrupts, as people shape their behavior to ensure that they come out on top. There have to be other routes to excellence in work, health, and education; there have to be ways to explore, invent, create, and avoid—it can’t be that we’ll be adding up points for every salient element of our lives. (Excuse me, now, while I check whether I’ve been mentioned on Twitter.)” —Susan Crawford, professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; previously a leader on the ICANN board, President Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, and founder of OneWebDay; based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

“The scale of interrelated feedback loops to achieve the cognitive buy-in will continue to be difficult to implement in the timeline suggested. Also, there is the strong possibility of a substantial fraction of the population choosing to ‘leave the game’, as the controlling nature of the gamification becomes more overt, and the complexity of playing the game increases.   Commercial interests will continue to attempt to sublimate the gamification, however their tendency to form competing blocks which greatly reduces their effect, partly due to the thankful presence of anti-trust and consumer protection regulation in most countries. Nonetheless, I continue to be amazed at how readily many do accept some level of gamification, e.g., the prevalence of petrol discount vouchers in Australia, even though the discounts are typically less than 4% in real value, so perhaps I will be surprised. Finally, many of these corporate games require the presentation of rewards that, if fully exploited, would be cost-negative for the enterprises. The growth of data sharing among citizens may produce coordinated mechanisms for exploiting these flaws in the games to the net detriment of the corporations, thus disrupting the games. For instance, if consumers in Australia coordinated to always purchase the maximum amount of fuel with their dockets, they would extract perhaps three times more discount from the game than if they continue to play individually. Combined with other game features that allow the discount to be doubled or tripled (e.g., spend $5 in store for another 4c off), resulting in total discounts that exceed the revenues used to fund them. Game theory can work both ways, a fact that corporations may come to regret.” —Paul Gardner-Stephen, rural, remote, and humanitarian telecommunications fellow at Flinders University; founder and director of the Serval Project; based in Adelaide, Australia

“Gamification will become ubiquitous. It provides a means to gain feedback in distributed communities of interest. It is present in forums where contributors acquire reputation in the form of points awarded for the quantity and quality of contributions to the forum. Gamification will become a means of reducing management in favor of self-organization.” —John Jackson, an officer with the Houston Police Department and active leader of Police Futurists International; based in Houston, Texas

“Some aspects of games, e.g., competition and narrative, are powerful factors in human behavior. Whether or not the increased ability to manipulate people is an overall benefit is an open question.” —Larry Lannom, director of information management technology and vice president at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), a research organization based in the Washington, DC, metro area

“The development of ‘Serious Games’ applied productively to a wide scope of human activities will accelerate simply because playing is more fun than working.”—Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow at The Institute for the Future; at one time or another, a consultant for the FCC, Congress, the White House, OSTP, NTIA, the Internet Society, IETF, Internet2, and other key organizations; based in Palo Alto, California

“Gamification describes a structure with accurate feedback. It transfers motivation back to the individual by engaging fundamental human drives: curiosity, connection, accomplishment, and social validation. This is not a new idea, but it seems new because we (society, parents, educators) worried so much about ‘self-esteem’ and ‘encouragement’ that feedback, rewards, etc., were not reflective of actual effort and accomplishment. The result was a decrease in motivation, engagement, and drive. Gaming has reintroduced these concepts through a side door without having to address the baggage and the damage done by the ‘self-esteem’ movement. It is not necessarily a gaming situation, but a transparent one, when you receive accurate feedback and rewards for your efforts and accomplishments, and it is more motivating and engaging (and effective) to give and get feedback sooner rather than later. I am grateful that gaming has reintroduced these concepts, but there will be significant advances when we quit referring to these basics of human motivation and transparent communication as ‘gamification.’” —Pamela Rutledge, director, Media Psychology Research Center, Fielding Graduate University, and instructor, UC Irvine Extension Business School; based in Palo Alto, California

“Positive: All learning is play, all learning is social. People are wired to play games. So, yes, use of game-design thinking can be introduced successfully and will continue to proliferate in many ways in many areas of human activity. The first place game-design thinking was tried was in education—particularly K-12. Sad to say, in early days the gaming interfaces to learning should have been kept away from the instructional designers, they generally ‘killed all the fun,’ and tainted the idea; that isn’t so true these days. However, the private sector still understands much better how to do this. Games are social networks, even single-player games (there are communities of people who play them who interact a lot with each other online—outside the gaming environment). It makes all kinds of sense that as social networking has emerged, so have gaming interfaces to social networking activities (which, when you think about it, pretty much sums up human behavior). Gray: I still wonder about children and young adults confusing games with reality. The research about this is mixed. And gaming itself can be a terrible addiction—I’m not sure what the proliferation of gaming interfaces in non-game settings will mean to those with the addiction. Negative: gamification is a horrible made-up word. Just say games. Just say gaming interfaces. Just say game-design thinking.” —Vicki Suter, director of California Virtual Campus; PhD in educational technology, MBA, MIS; based in Sacramento, California

“Who’s going to argue against making things more fun?” —David Weinberger, senior researcher, Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Harvard Library Innovation Lab; based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

“One only has to look at how scientists at the University of Washington posted their problem of protein folding of AIDS DNA strand as an online game and had gamers figure it out in an instant to understand how much potential bringing together minds and perspectives from all over with a clear goal. I am very hopeful about this area.” —Tiffany Shlain, director and producer of the film “Connected” and founder of The Webby Awards; Henry Crown Fellow at The Aspen Institute; based in San Francisco, California

“‘Engagement’ and ‘fun’ are not the same concepts. In education, clearly we want students—at all levels—to take pleasure in learning. However, our education system is increasingly privileging ‘fun’ at the expense of serious discourse. The same type of shift can be seen in presentation of the news—networks are replacing straightforward newscasts with human-interest stories and sensationalism. More broadly, gamification (at least in the United States) may be narrowing our understanding of what it means to learn and our spectrum of experience.” —Naomi S. Baron, professor of linguistics and executive director of the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning at American University, Washington, DC

“Learning and working will be a game. Schools and offices, hospitals and factories, and even your own home—they will all become gaming zones.” —Marcel Bullinga, futurist and author of “Welcome to the Future Cloud – 2025 in 100 Predictions; based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Gamification may be the most important social and commercial development of the next fifty years. Commercially, we may be seeing the end of the marketing orientation, possibly marking the beginning of the ‘game orientation.’ This will touch all aspects of the organization as it is applied to sales, production, management, and other areas of commercial practice. Socially, gamified technology will evolve and humanize many of the artificial interactions we currently endure—checkin’s, like’s, shares, and their kin will all ‘just work’ and drive new waves of innovation in our technology.” —Ross Rader, general manager at Hover, a service of Tucows; board member of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority; based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“Gamification is not appropriate for all applications and may even limit the range of possibilities or potential for customization of certain platforms; nevertheless, the interfaces of many of the tools we use will be made more effective through gamification. Playbor (play plus labor) and Weisure (work plus leisure) will be ubiquitous.” —P.J. Rey, sociology research assistant, University of Maryland; based in Washington, DC

“This is a matter for intervention, not prediction. It should be illegal, with serious penalties (life in prison, for example), to use information ostensibly gathered for one purpose for something else without an explicit, competent, well-informed opt-in by the person who legitimately owns the information—not third parties, such as pharmacies or search engines or ISPs. Someone who puts up a game-like thing in order to coax people into providing free labor, or in order to collect information for any commercial purpose, is committing a profound violation of human rights.” —Brian Harvey, lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley; based in Berkeley, California

“Forms of gamification will definitely appear in many common tasks. Some of the practices under gamification may sound like gimmicks, but gamification is part of a trend towards making user interfaces interesting and engaging.” —Christian Huitema, distinguished engineer, Microsoft Corporation; active leader in the IETF; based in Redmond, Washington

“Feedback loops are remarkably powerful tools. As we learn more effective ways to incorporate these into non-gaming activities, the power that these techniques bring will make them more common in many aspects of our daily lives. My concern is around who is designing the game and to what end.” —Michael Goodson, assistant project scientist at the University of California-Davis; based in Davis, California

“By 2020, gamification will have made more advances in entertainment and more inroads in education and mass consumption, but will remain niche even for most retail businesses, as well as for health, work, self-help, personal productivity, self quantification, and other domains. People want to be increasingly entertained, and The Entertainment Economy and The Experience Economy are two good books describing how the best businesses will continue to drive us in that direction. But we simply don’t have the artificial intelligence necessary to build really good versions of this yet, and educational software remains pitifully poor at creating games that improve, rather than distract from learning. By 2030, once we have a real valuecosm, and our artificial intelligence agents (our cyber twins) have good models of the values, history, and learning goals of their biological twins (us), we’ll have an environment where gamification could move significantly beyond entertainment. Until then, notwithstanding great visionary works like Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken, don’t expect gamification to move us much beyond increasingly better entertainment games, and more serious games titles. Serious games will continue to remain mostly in the long tail rather than the fat head of the game market until serious artificial intelligence emerges.” —John Smart, professor of emerging technologies at the University of Advancing Technology; president and founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation; based in Mountain View, California

“Game mechanics have always been a part of everyday life. “Game mechanics and leveling up have been used in the military, the orchestra, schools, and in general professions since the beginning of human civilization. Before that, tribes and groups had ways of earning reputation by leveling up. The levels were often visually displayed or added to the human body or dwelling.  Game mechanics are simply a visual quantification of what has traditionally been a qualitative feature of everyday life. Game mechanics have simply highlighted this idea and brought it to the minds of designers and developers. The reason it is a big deal right now is that there is a great amount of new systems being developed right now, similar to what humans likely experienced in the first tribes and cities. The idea of game mechanics will simply blend into the idea of experience design or motivation design and marketing, making it easier for users to stick with a new experience.” —Amber Case, CEO of Geoloqi, a company that creates location-based software for commercial and enterprise use; cyborg anthropologist and professional speaker; based in Portland, Oregon

“Gamification is the new public relations or the new advertising and marketing. It will seep into many aspects of life without us even acknowledging it. It’ll become a central part of neoliberal ideology without folks even noticing it. Why? Because it’s a modern-day form of manipulation. And like all cognitive manipulation, it can help people and it can hurt people. And we will see both.” —Danah Boyd, senior researcher with professional affiliations and work based at Microsoft Research, Harvard Law School, New York University, and the University of New South Wales; based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

“I’ve been interested in this for five years now, and worked on it some. It’s very slow going. It definitely won’t be out there in 2020 for most people, most of the time.” —Jonathan Grudin, principal researcher at Microsoft; based in Redmond, Washington

“Not sure this will happen by 2020, but the idea of work, learning, and training as entertainment will certainly increase in usage.” —Jim Jansen, associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State University; sits on the boards of eight international technology journals; serves on advisory boards for three Internet start-ups; based in Charlottesville, Virginia

“The reward and game techniques will always be fun, used and practiced but as the decline of Foursquare has shown, they won’t become the motivating force in our world. They will be features on most websites and gaming will continue to be very popular, but the mentality they require people to adopt, by its very nature, will never become widespread enough to make them a primary platform.” —David D. Burstein, founder of Generation18, a youth-run voter-engagement organization; author of “FastFuture: How the Millennial Generation is Remaking Our World”; commentator on millennials, social innovation, and politics; a senior at New York University

“By 2020, gamification techniques will still work well for marketers and will have some educational applications. But turning everything into a ‘game,’ like ‘checking in’ via Foursquare, has proved to be of passing interest, at best. There will have to be strong rewards or feedback loops to sustain consumer interest in a game that seeks to educate or change health behaviors, for example.” —Lisa E. Phillips, senior research analyst at eMarketer, Inc., based in New York City

“While gamification will continue to grow, there are limits to the amount of time and attention people will give to gamification systems. People will pick a few systems in which they are willing to ‘play’ but will ignore the rest. It will be difficult for people to enlist their friends to play along, except for a few of the most compelling services. People will have gaming fatigue and annoyance at being asked to jump through hoops for no real reason other than a ‘badge.’” —Steven Swimmer, self-employed consultant; previously worked in digital leadership roles for a major broadcast TV network and a major museum; based in Los Angeles, California

“Gamification will be making waves on the communications scene and will have been implemented in many new ways for education, health, work, and other aspects of human connection by 2020. It will play a role in the everyday activities of many of the people who are actively using communications networks in their daily lives. The applications will be awesome like those in the Power of Texas, serious gaming. Cloud applications that are games will be significant.” —Bonnie Bracey Sutton, technology advocate at the PowerofUS Foundation; an international education consultant who has done work for the George Lucas Education Foundation and SITE.org as a volunteer; based in Washington, DC

“Gaming, in itself, will remain a niche market and technological and software innovations in gaming technology will begin to be used in many other sectors including communications.” —Julia Takahashi, editor and publisher at Diisynology.com; based in Santa Fe, New Mexico

“This will be a major fad—it will seem like it is taking over everything, then will mature, then will fade into the background. It will—as so many other fads before—teach us something about ourselves, about human-computer interaction, and then will fade out.” —Tom Rule, an educator, technology consultant, and musician; based in Macon, Georgia

“It is not that gamification will not occur in digital activities, but people will look past it. Attempting to reward people to spur interacting and boost engagement is unnecessary. What is necessary is to find what motivates the various levels of users, and find out how that can be used to improve their interaction. Online networks and communities are much like a self-sustaining ecosystem, and if they are disrupted it could potentially throw off the balance of your users. Lurkers may make up a large portion of any digital community, but they play a vital role in bringing external people back to the community by sharing their knowledge and experience from within.” —Elliot S. Volkman, online community manager and social media manager, Play This Media; a communications and marketing consultant; start-up founder at Bigfoot Careers; based in Falls Church, Virginia

“If gamification is done tastefully, appealing in style to wide age ranges and different cohorts, it may be expected to increase. On the other hand, games as currently played for entertainment are likely to be a distinctly different kind of information activity, given their emphasis on children and teens, and others will high amounts of disposable time. Major segments of the population will continue to prefer passive information processing if social stress and uncertainty continues to increase, as seems likely. Active seekers of gamifications are likely to be a smaller segment that like to reduce stress and kill time through extended immersion in active information processing. Mainstream gamification is likely to increase for purposes of increasing engagement in activities that promote consumer behaviors, provided it is perceived as tasteful, enjoyable, and requiring short bursts of participation, not immersion.” —James A. Danowski, professor of communication, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois; co-editor of “Handbook of Communication and Technology”; program planner for European Intelligence and Security Informatics 2011 and Open-Source Intelligence and Web Mining, 2011

“Play, it seems, may not only be an end in itself, it may be a better way to view and understand the world. The brilliant game designer and thinker, Jane McGonigal, has been saying for a few years, ‘Reality is broken. Why aren’t game designers trying to fix it?’ Recently gamers deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade. We will soon realize that games generate alternative realities. Because we view them as fictional worlds that are made-up, invented to entertain, we miss their astonishing utility. By 2020 we will see that these games and virtual worlds provide alternative ways of seeing and thinking, which is the essence of innovation. Games are like the apple falling in front of Newton’s eyes. Seeing the apple fall, Newton understood something else, namely gravity. Our view of gaming may be a legacy of the live-to-work ethos of the Industrial Revolution; this view may keep us from seeing the powerful uses of gaming. By 2020 we will realize that gaming’s ready-made (albeit carefully crafted) metalife is one of the best ways ever devised to see, understand, and improve upon reality.” —Barry Chudakov, principal at Metalife Consulting and a visiting research fellow in the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, University of Toronto; based in Winter Park, Florida

“The advantage of gamification is the motivation experienced by users. However, to be properly motivating, games must guide users in a specific direction. The big question is how to create and distribute games that are sufficiently targeted to each user’s individual needs.” —Charlie Breindahl, part-time lecturer, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School, Danish Centre for Design Research, Copenhagen, Denmark

“Movements like the Quantified Self will make everything we do into our own game of self-improvement, learning, and real-time advances uniquely crafted to how we learn and what we want to learn or become proficient at. People’s ability to advance in any field will be self-controlled, automatically recorded, and unique skill sets will emerge as needed. People will morph themselves into whatever they want at will creating an infinitely diverse skill packet for jobs that emerge by the day, the tiniest number of which exist today.” —Alan Bachers, director of the Neurofeedback Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Northampton, Massachusetts
“Great strides have been made in this.” —Stephen Hoover, lecturer at Minghsin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan; lives in Chunan, Taiwan, and works in Hsinchu, Taiwan

“Games are a young person’s field. As we age, we have learned the lessons various games can teach, and we will not need these incentive engines to drive our actions. Certainly the competitiveness of comparing me to my social network will spur people on occasion, but wholesale gamification of everything will inevitably lead to the anti-competitive question: What do I get for winning? Eventually, ‘in-game prestige’ will be an insufficient answer.” —Stephen Masiclat, associate professor of communications, Syracuse University; based in Syracuse, New York

“My answer here is deeply influenced by my experience raising three gamers, our experience with CPAs interacting via the virtual world of Second Life on CPA Island and Jane McGonigals’ inspiring TED Talk titled ‘Gaming can make a better world.’ McGonigal says we will go from three billion hours of games played per week to thirty-one billion hours in the future. She bases this on the need for brainpower and collective and creative problem solving to handle the world’s most wicked problems. I agree with her hypotheses that gamers develop significant problem-solving and collaborative experience from the thousands of hours they have accumulated since childhood. In fact, she argues that they have the requisite virtuoso skills, the 10,000 hours needed for mastery that Malcolm Gladwell made famous in the Tipping Point. She goes on to ask what we might accomplish if all of these people who have these amazing skills were to tackle the major problems we are facing in civilization through games. She then outlines benefits of using games to solve major problems: urgent optimism—extreme self-motivation; they weave a tight social fabric; blissful productivity—happier doing hard and meaningful work; epic meaning—the chance to connect to world-changing outcomes. This makes sense and seems to present a tremendous opportunity.” —Tom Hood, CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs; named one of the Top 100 Most Influential CPAs by Accounting Today and one of the Top 25 Thought Leaders in Public Accounting Technology by CPA Technology Advisor; based in Towson, Maryland

“Gamification is a passing fad, currently of interest to a small segment of the social tools developer community. In some segments it will have a long-term impact, but only in circumstances where it is integral, and not as a gloss or veneer. Much of what gamification seeks to do—to increase involvement, and foster certain collective behaviors in groups of people— actually runs counter to the fragmentation of user experience online. The rise of apps means that users are spreading their time out over a larger number of more specialized tools, and tool developers try to counter that through inducements to stay, or return frequently, and to align activities with others: a forced viralization. A much more profitable set of ideas? As people are made more autonomous, they naturally move away from collaboration, where users share the same aims and reward systems—toward cooperation—where users do not necessarily share long-term goals or values. Gamification has little use in cooperation, and that is the area of social software that is least realized at this time, and which I predict will be the highest growth area in the future.” —Stowe Boyd, principal at Stowe Boyd and The Messengers, a research, consulting and media business based in New York City

“For all of the reasons that critics of game theory have identified over the years regarding its inability to capture the full range of human motivations, perceptions, cognitions, and practices, I believe there will be efforts to gamify much of what we do, but that much of that will just come and go as fads.” —Sandra Braman, professor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; chair, Law Section, International Association of Media and Communication Research; editor, Information Policy Book Series, MIT Press

“Gamification is overblown, but that could simply be because I am not a gamer. Angry Birds was fun while it lasted, but it didn’t change my life.” —Jeff Jarvis, director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism; author of “Public Parts” and “What Would Google Do?” and blogger at Buzzmachine.com; based in New York City

“It’s really more about rich information than making everything play.” —Bob Frankston, computing pioneer, co-founder of Software Arts and co-developer and marketer of VisiCalc, created Lotus Express, ACM Fellow; based in Newton MA

“In the 1980s, artificial intelligence had a renaissance after what had been known as the ‘AI Winter,’ when research on the topic somehow died. That renaissance led to the creation of credit-scoring systems and many other systems that we now take for granted (or don’t even know exist) in many places, but AI didn’t fix the world’s ills, transform medicine, or otherwise revolutionize the world. I see gamification as similar. It’ll be used in many ways in many fields, but it won’t cause a wholesale transformation of our society. Authentic human connection does just fine without rewards, levels, and badges. We’ll be seeing more of that.” —Jerry Michalski, guide and founder, Relationship Economy Expedition (REXpedition); founder and president of Sociate; consultant for the Institute for the Future and corporate clients in many different industries; based in San Francisco, California

“As the Millennials and the generation that follows them age, these ‘kids’ for whom games are an integral part of their everyday experience, will easily segue into new uses—and commercial applications. On the other hand, for older users—for example, players of Farmville—games and their rewards are compelling but not necessarily essential. Older users may get ‘bored’ or fear ‘addiction,’ and limit their participation.” —Melinda Blau, freelance journalist and the author of 13 books, including Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don’t Seem to Matter But Really Do: based in New York City

“The whole idea of ‘gamification’ is silly, since games are a domain apart from the ‘real world’ (whatever that is supposed to be). The whole point of a game is that it is not real, e.g., first-person shooters. So the notion that we can only approach reality through un-reality seems almost oxymoronic, or maybe just plain moronic. I showed my nephew an old toy of mine, and he asked ‘what does it do?’—the implication being that all toys are like transformers and have some mode of interactivity. So I guess it is welcome to the future, live it or live with it.” —John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, former director of cyber- strategy and other projects for the Federation of American Scientists; based in Alexandria, Virginia

“Games are an ancient form of learning. It is likely that this will be carried forward to its next logical iteration.” —John Laprise, visiting assistant professor at the Doha, Qatar, campus of Northwestern University

“Young people are not raised playing videogames on multiple platforms. They enjoy them and learn from them. Most of that learning now is about playing NCAA or NBA basketball, football, or baseball. Others are learning from strategy games, and history recreations like ‘civilization.’ I have watched my grandchildren learn faster and more effectively on these platforms than from public school—and they go to great schools. In 1994, I spoke to all of the deans of education for New York state colleges and universities. I warned them that either K-12 start using more education technology, especially game-based, or they will be replaced by new schools created by the companies that produce these products. The US military has been one of the largest developers and users of videogaming and simulation for training. Companies have developed more than just flight simulators for learning. The Disney’s, EAS’s, and others are, or will be, seeing more commercial opportunity to create better products for multiple subjects at multiple grade levels. To me, it is just a matter of time before public schools purchase and partner to use these tools, or get replaced in a vouchered world brought about by these companies wanting into the market and being big enough to counteract the political power of school unions and the boards they control. It could be that my great grandchildren talk of going to the Disney school, or EAS school, not Lincoln or Washington elementary.” —Ed Lyell, professor at Adams State College, consultant for using telecommunications to improve school effectiveness through the creation of 21st-century learning communities; host of a regional public radio show on the economy; based in Alamosa, Colorado

“There would not be too many of the younger generation of today who are not hooked into some type of online game. They are adapting themselves to a new culture of learning through the virtual worlds in which they engross themselves. They are becoming used to instant feedback and gratification when they achieve game objectives. I have noticed impatience with my youngsters if I don’t respond as quickly to an information need that they have, like now—yet I might have to wait an age before I get a response if they are engaged in something themselves. I would say that gamification strategies will be essentially used more significantly to encourage Internet interactions, even if just to attract the attention of the young people to something that might be important. Online information seeking will become more interactive and immediate. Information seekers will not be interested in reading information, they will seek it directly from a source that will give them what they want to know, when they want it and more accurately—straight from the horse’s mouth. This may probably be more applicable to the business user or researcher. Online and web-conferencing will be more useful to them. They will be able to get the information they want by asking appropriate questions and cutting out the irrelevant bits they would normally have to read. eLearning and telemedicine are already going down this track, but there will be more interactive communication between experts and students being made available through the virtual medium. The enhanced ability to communicate virtually will also have a greater implication on the type of workforce we have in the future, as more people opt to work from home and to communicate with work colleagues in similar home-based situations. This would create less demand for office spaces in heavily populated city environments around the world as staff members may not necessarily be in the same towns, or countries, depending on the business’s operational needs and requirements. Learning and communication will be a whole heap different.” —Maureen Hilyard, development programme coordinator for the New Zealand High Commission; vice chair of the board of the Pacific Chapter of the Internet Society; based in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

“The second statement is perfectly plausible but the prediction is an old one, and not much progress has been made towards fulfilling it.” —Fred Hapgood, technology author and consultant; moderator of the Nanosystems Interest Group at MIT in the 1990s; writes for Wired, Discover, and other tech and science publications; based in Boston, Massachusetts

“Games are great, but there are other motivating factors. If everything is a game, then no game is fun.” —David Cohn, founder and director of journalism organization Spot.Us; lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley School of Journalism; based in Oakland, California

“As games become ubiquitous, people will increasingly expect game elements in a wide range of activities. Game development tools will enable most people to gamify many aspects of life and work, in digital, physical, and blended environments.” —Cathy Cavanaugh, associate professor of educational technology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

“Though I can’t stand this buzzword, I do believe the concept of gamification will continue to penetrate every aspect of our lives. Gamification will even shape our interactions with government. Crowdsourcing and other incentivized models for engagement will drive public participation programs for public issues (policy design, the planning of public space, etc.).” —Daren C. Brabham, assistant professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“I have been told for years that gaming is the future. This is likely true for people who work in gaming labs. For the rest of us, while many of us game to some extent, often on a daily basis, it is hard to believe that in nine years my optometrist and I will play a game in order to generate my new prescription, or that the clerk at Safeway will engage in a game in order to help me buy my groceries, or that my electrician will play a game with me in order to rewire a faulty outlet. Gaming is interesting and important for other reasons, but putting too much on its shoulders feels somewhat leisure-class.” —Karen G. Schneider, director for library services at Holy Names University; prolific author of books and articles on technology; based in Oakland, California

“This might come about, but the timeline is too tight.” —Peg Achterman, assistant professor of communication, Northwest University, Kirkland, Washington

“Like ‘Web 2.0’, the term ‘gamification’ will fade away as the enormity of its success sweeps across the globe. Areas afflicted by economic malaise will see more gamification, much as the US film industry boomed in the 1930s and 1940s.” —Bryan Alexander, senior fellow, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), a non-profit organization based in Ripton, Vermont

“The research and development on human-computer interaction for games is very advanced and will prove useful for other more serious applications.” —Tom Worthington, adjunct senior lecturer, Research School of Computer Science, Australian National University; also active in CSIRO ICT Centre Telecommunications Board, Australian Computer Society; based in Canberra, Australia

“When Apple and Windows came on the scene, it was all about the graphical user interface and the fantastic advance from text input and output. Gamification is just the next step along the innovation path to making it easier and more intuitive for humans to interact with digital tools.” —Adrian Schofield, manager, applied research unit, Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering; president, Computer Society South Africa; based in Johannesburg, South Africa

“The term gamification itself will not win much adoption. The idea that marketing messages, services, and situations need to be designed with human psychology in mind to best serve their purpose will continue to win acceptance—not necessarily because of the efforts of gamification consultants, but because of the general desire of businesses and governments to understand and influence consumers and voters. The increasing popularity of online and mobile games means that consumers will become increasingly familiar with concepts and structures employed in games, and thus these will also be increasingly usable in marketing.” —Vili Lehdonvirta, researcher at the University of Tokyo and visiting scholar at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology based at Aalto University, Finland

“The use of multi-player, real-time interactive gaming over the Internet is not a local phenomenon today. It is international in scope. As a result, greater understanding of divergent cognitive approaches to problem solving could be more widely accepted through the involvement of teams of players from diverse cultural backgrounds. The ‘winners’ of those who play these games are, in part, winners because of improved communication skills facilitated within the context of the gaming experience. As the complexity of the game increases, teams who are better at problem solving and communication are the ones most likely to win the game. It is not difficult to extrapolate how these skills translate into solving complex problems outside of the gaming context.” —David Lowe, innovation and technology manager, National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, a non-profit organization based in Arlington, Virginia

“As with some of the other changes to how technology may change life in the future, there have already been changes in the essential nature of communication and how it engages people in their day-to-day lives.” —David Morris, managing director of research for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; based in Lansing, Michigan

“I see the development of communications and education using gamification as a largely commercial enterprise. I believe that the software will be developed and marketed, and that it will be adopted by many users. The feedback, interaction, and rewards of games will be attractive to most people.” —Diane Dowdey, associate professor of English at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas

“Although gamification is gaining momentum as a key concept in education, health, and work, I don’t see it being widely adapted by the year 2020. There are too many people who will still consider these approaches as ‘games’ with no external value than fun and relaxation. I can see fantastic opportunity for these approaches in the future, but there are still major hurdles to overcome before we see widespread adoption.” —Mary Starry, assistant professor, University of Iowa; based in Iowa City, Iowa

“By 2020, anyone who ever used the term ‘gamification’ will be embarrassed to admit it. But that does not change the fact that most of these systems are already games of one sort or another. What motivates people to attend to and participate in a particular group will be an essential question for people working in a very wide range of fields.” —Alex Halavais, associate professor at Quinnipiac University; vice president of the Association of Internet Researchers; technical director of UCHRI Digital Media & Learning Hub; managing partner of Forward Memory; author of Search Engine Society; based in New York City

“The reality is that the more common it becomes, the more acceptable it will be to use ideas from games in non-entertainment environments. If the adaptive engine that makes a game more challenging and smarter can be applied to a learning environment, complete with rewards, it may help to make a much more immersive and tailored learning environment with dramatic results.” —Wesley George, principal engineer for the Advanced Technology Group at Time Warner Cable; he also works with IETF; based in Herndon, Virginia

“I can appreciate the power of game activities in engagement and the possibility for turning them to good purposes.” —Bruce Nordman, research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; co-chair, EMAN, Internet Engineering Task Force; based at Berkeley, California

“Over the next decade I expect gamification to be commonplace as an ancillary augmentation to everyday activities. This will especially be so in the marketing sector to encourage brand engagement and loyalty, as well as create hype for forthcoming products—such as the widespread use of ‘alternative reality games’ for an immersive hybrid experience. Gamification will be used to the benefit of education and health of youngsters but will be less used in later education as I believe it cannot be used to communicate deeper concepts, only to spur behaviour to encourage basic concepts.” —David Saer, foresight researcher for Fast Future, a consulting business based in London, UK

“As its absurd name suggests, ‘gamification’ is little more than the buzzword du jour: It’s the ‘push technology’ of 2011.” —Glyn Moody, self-employed author, editor, and journalist; active voice in online social media networks; based in London, UK

“I don’t see gamification as a natural tool to meaningful and positive results on health, education, or work. I hope to be wrong.” —Miguel Alcaine, head of the International Telecommunication Union’s area office, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

“Games have changed over the years and will continue to evolve much more quickly than in the past. The interest in gaming, as measured by both time and mental energy allotted to such efforts, of the youth today dwarfs the gaming interest in my generation (a baby-boomer born in early 1950s). While the goal of many ‘games’ in 2011 remain shooting the enemy or beating a computer in some way, the skills required to win include hand-eye coordination, intense multitasking, a fine mix strategy, and tactics, and without a doubt has been beneficial to the military in training an entire generation of fly-by-wire missile designers, unmanned aerial vehicle ‘pilots,’ and electronics warfare officers. Marketers have for many decades used games to entice people to play and win so that the marketers can sell more of something. That will continue unabated. The good and the bad will follow the gamification of many things in life, however many people will simply ignore it and avoid spending their time on such endeavors.” —William L Schrader, independent consultant; founder of PSINet in 1989 – largest independent publicly traded global ISP during the 1990s; lecturer on the future impact of the Internet on the global economic, technology, medical, political, and social world; based in Sterling, Virginia

“Gaming—a specifically understood form of play—is one of the most dramatic developments in contemporary culture, stretching back into the 1950s at least. Games are part and parcel of consumer-oriented leisure society, with its overwhelming desire for ‘entertainment.’ Games are a codified form of the inherent playfulness of humanity—it makes us human to play, and we learn to be human through play. Thus gamification naturally fits with the human condition.” —Matthew Allen, professor of Internet Studies, Curtin University, Perth, Australia; past president of the Association of Internet Researchers

“Gamification is a fad, in much the way that MySpace’s overly generous make-your-own-space stance seemed like the ultimate freedom but led to horribly unusable Web design and in part contributed to the company’s demise. Game mechanics will indeed be part of the lingua franca, but it will be seen as what it is—another tool of commerce trying a little too hard to wring personalized interactions out of mass behavior. Recognition of gamified interactions is growing— people know when they’re being played, and before too long they will tire of it en masse and refuse to engage with any but the most-personalized and meaningful gamified interactions.” —Mack Reed, principal, Factoid Labs, a consultancy on content, social engineering, design, and business analysis; COO, F8 Interactive, developer of life-like, non-violent games; longtime member of the WELL and the Burning Man community; based in Los Angeles, California

“I am not convinced that gamification will become an essential part of systems of commerce or education in future. Despite the success of reward systems in online games, I fail to see widespread application in other domains of communication.” —Hugh F. Cline, adjunct professor of sociology and education at Columbia University; retired from a position as a senior research scientist and administrator in an educational testing company; lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and works in New York City

“Games are, and will continue to be, primarily for entertainment. Certainly, gamification has a role in education, training, and work; but that role is limited, at best, and diversionary, at worst. Some people have learning and working styles that are positively affected by a limited amount of gaming. There are few, if any, examples of instances in which gaming—as the major mode of instruction and work—has produced sustained positive results over time. Years ago, some people espoused crossword puzzles (games) as a major innovation in English education. To a small extent, crossword puzzles have helped some people in building their English vocabulary. However, the overall educational effect of crossword puzzles has been marginal. But, for some of us, they are still fun to do! ‘Twill be the same for today’s interactive games on the Internet.” —Donald G. Barnes, visiting professor at Guangxi University in China; former director of the Science Advisory Board at US Environmental Protection Agency; based in Alexandria, Virginia

“Gaming is an excellent method for problem solving and scenario planning. It also allows for collaboration, which is necessary to solve more and more complex problems that have greater and greater urgency. The problem is that governments, like the United States, refuse to implement, even address complex problems.” —Bill Daul, chief collaboration officer at Social Alchemist, NextNow Network, and the NextNow Colaboratory, non-profit work based in Palo Alto, California

“Gamification will continue and really begin to change the way we think about education, health, work, and other parts of our lives. People will use games for different reasons. Some will be beneficial and others harmful. Positive aspects of gamification will be used to get people to improve their health, motivate rehabilitation after accidents, think about, simulate, get people motivated, and teach people about solving real-life problems,” he wrote.

“Negative outcomes are mainly in advertising. It’s insidious really, using game elements to get people to buy more [things] they don’t need. It’s especially bad when gamification-fueled consumer culture targets kids. Companies who use games in whatever it is that they’re doing really need to be reflective and think about what they’re doing past themselves. Nike or McDonald’s, for example, couldn’t care less about the effects of making buying their products fun. They just want to sell more things to people. Companies should take responsibility for the tremendous power they wield in society. I fear they won’t, but I hope they do. Then of course, you can also say I hope consumers—people experiencing gamification on the ground—are also aware (as best they can be) of the games they are engaging with, what are their purposes, who developed them, why, and so on. We’ve all got to be very critical when fun can mask trouble.” —David Kirschner, PhD candidate and research assistant at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

“Rewards and incentives are built into many aspects of technology use in ways that would not qualify as ‘gamification’ as it is defined here.” —Steve Jones, distinguished professor of communication, University of Illinois-Chicago; a founding leader of the Association of Internet Researchers

“Barriers to game development for many people will fall, leading to large numbers of micro-games and modifications of open games for a wide array of social, productivity, and entertainment purposes.” —Cathy Cavanaugh, associate professor of educational technology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

“People want to be entertained.” —Mark Walsh, cofounder, geniusrocket.com; chairman, board of trustees, Union College, Schenectady, New York; board chairman, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland; board member of many start-ups, angel investor; based in Washington, DC, area

“Some of us don’t think we have time to play games. Most of us spend an incredible amount of time playing or watching games. Gaming techniques to engage people will continue to spread throughout many aspects of society; because the alternative is less fun.” —Lee W. McKnight, professor of entrepreneurship and innovation, Syracuse University; founder of Wireless Grids; co-founder of Summerhill Biomass; president of Marengo Research; principal investigator of Wireless Grid Innovation Testbed (WiGiT); based in Syracuse, New York

“Whilst games become more and more sophisticated and will definitely lead to new human-computer interaction modes across many areas, the subset of the population very involving in gaming remains small and so I would not expect to see the widespread role in everyday activities described in the second scenario.” —Mark Watson, senior engineer for Netflix and a leading participant in various technology groups related to the Internet (IETF, W3C), specifically dealing with video standards; based in San Francisco, California

“It is thirty years, almost to the day, since I shared my then-formative ideas about the online world being a gaming environment within which we also did information work, describing my ‘Projection Encounter’ to a young friend who was to become my business partner. Another nine years won’t get us a lot closer, mostly because of compartmentalization of the human psyche and very different reward timescales.” —Tony Smith, secretary for the Kororoit Institute Proponents and Supporters Association; publisher at Meme Media; Open Source Developers Club; based in Melbourne, Australia

“One can already see the popularity of public lottery, public game halls (e.g., Bingo or off-track betting), casinos, TV game shows, games embedded in PCs, and mobile devices—not to mention online gaming. We’re already there.” —Randolph Hollingsworth, assistant provost, University of Kentucky; webmaster for Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice and other organizations; member of H-Net (Humanities and Social Sciences Online) Council; Wikipedia editor; based in Lexington, Kentucky

“Gamification has grown in use and in public knowledge over the past five years. Many have found success in specific applications in educational and other settings. Like medical research, a five-year span of findings and information, is not enough to judge whether it should become the predominant way of delivering, teaching, or digesting content available via the Web. The Web, although having changed in depth and capacity over the past ten years, still continues under the same basic premises. Options to display and interact with information and data have continued to evolve. Gamification will continue as an option where applicable but will not become the main connection point in 2020.” —Kevin Novak, VP for integrated Web strategy, technology, American Institute of Architects; co-chair, eGov Working Group, World Wide Web Consortium; speaker, author on Web, electronic government; consultant to World Bank on the eTransform Initiative; based in Washington, DC

“The difference between the two scenarios depends on the definition of ‘segments of the population’ vs. ‘many of the people.’ As they are expressed above, there is not much difference, assuming one refers, as usual, exclusively to the better-off fraction of the world population. The goodness of gamification depends on the level of critical thinking and ability to accommodate unforeseen or non-conventional events and attitudes they will allow.” —Michel J. Menou, visiting professor at the department of information studies at University College London; based in Les Rosiers sur Loire, France

“I, too, had a Cocoa Marsh Captain Midnight Decoder—but I hated Cocoa Marsh. Gamification in marketing has a long history longer and more enduring than Cocoa Marsh or even Captain Midnight. It’s as inescapable as coupons or bottle top collecting or the lotteries. Gamification is an overblown term for old-school marketing. Yes it works. Yes we use it. No, it’s no game changer (pun intended).” —Paul Jones, clinical associate professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“It will be making waves on the communications scene and will have been implemented in many new ways for education, health, work, and other aspects of human connection’—I agree with this statement. ‘It will play a role in the everyday activities of many of the people who are actively using communications networks in their daily lives’—I don’t agree with this. Games still are time-consuming in that you have to learn the game, play the game to understand the game, and keep playing the game to keep up. Gaming just is not something that works in absolutely every scenario.” —Kris Davis, user-experience designer for Webvisible; based in Costa Mesa, California

“Gamification is the process of bringing fun to the mundane. Fun is attractive and usually has a social component. As humanity becomes evermore connected by virtual reality and the Web, fun will build community. Some will prefer isolation and avoid having fun even in virtual reality where they can be who and/or what they want and retain a high degree of choice in relationships with others. Having fun will dominate in a culture where shared human values are the foundation of community and the inspiration for positive change.” —John Davis, independent distributor based in San Diego, California

“Clearly there are some areas where this will not make sense, but I think we will definitely see interfaces do everything they can to emulate the experience of gameplay.” —Ruby Sinreich, director of new media strategy and the Digital Media & Learning Competition at the Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory based in Durham, North Carolina; lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

“The choice in favor of gamification is already there. In my opinion, the point of non-return has already been crossed.” —Raimundo Beca, partner at Imaginacción, a Chilean consulting company, and longtime ICANN leader; based in Santiago, Chile

“The permeation of game mechanics into everyday life and work will be a byproduct of social media. Already, game-like elements have become routine parts of our online interactions: collecting points and badges, competing on leader boards, answering quizzes. While these kinds of tactics often feel a bit tedious or predictable, they are in widespread use because they help solve one of the key dilemmas in social media and online communities: how to generate participation. As that participatory medium takes over more and more of our working life and culture—both directly, by seeing us spend more or our time on social websites and using social web apps at work, and indirectly, by seeing participatory norms embodied into our offline interactions—we will come to rely on game-like techniques for generating participation in virtually any group interaction, and many of our private interactions.” —Alexandra Samuel, director of the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University of Art + Design; based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

“Through the combination of gamification with Web apps virtual reality becomes mixed completely with the reality. People will be attracted to the Internet for many activities. Fewer distinctions between virtual reality and reality will be identifiable. It is likely that a significant group of people will be ‘trapped’ in the communication network, especially teens.” —M.C. Liang, National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan

“Gaming has a significant impact on a specific audience, but outside that audience, the interest decreases dramatically. While gamification can have significant positive effects in certain environments, it can also get in the way of those oriented to production who want to get things done. Take, for example, the infamous Microsoft paperclip—a gamification of the word processing application in an attempt to make it more user friendly. The end result, however, was the annoyance of the core consumers who wanted to get their work done and kept getting interrupted by a paperclip asking if it could help. Gamification is in the field of the user interface. Perhaps the more accurate statement is that we will continue to learn from the Steve Jobs influence, that the human interface matters. The Steve Jobs revolution was a change in paradigms from one where the humans served the machine, to one where the machines served the humans. Computers were clunky and hard to work with. Even Windows, an innovation in interface, was designed for the geek user. Apple designed a computer interface that was attractive, intuitive, and could be operated with a flick of the finger. We may find a continued evolution of the Apple revolution, where great thought is placed in the interface, to ensure a compelling, interactive, and productive product—that gets done what it is suppose to get done. It isn’t so much that users want a pile of gold coins when the machine gets done what its suppose to do (gamification), it’s that the user wants the machine to ‘just work’ (Appleification).” —Robert Cannon, founder and director of Cybertelecom; senior counsel for Internet law in the Federal Communication Commission’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, Washington, DC

“Games are my dissertation topic, so I find this question too difficult to answer because I feel that I’m too close to it. Many people fail to realize that in order for gamification to really work, most actions people do in their daily lives will need to be made public. For example, Jesse Schell suggests gamifying dental hygiene to encourage people to floss and brush more often/regularly. However, people don’t change their behavior (or attitudes and values) because they are playing a game, or because they have technology, or because they have information. They change their behavior when they see the behavior (or attitudes and values) of their social set start to change. So there would need to be a way to publicize people’s behavior so that they could be chastised or rewarded. In the dental hygiene example, I could imagine the ‘scores’ of town residents being published in the local news weekly. But that’s stupid. Who wants to know how many times their neighbor flossed last week?” —Natascha Karlova, PhD candidate in information science at the University of Washington; HASTAC Scholar; based in Seattle, Washington

“The adoption of gamification is hindered by the difficulty in predicting what makes a good game that appeals to people. The potential for misfiring is great. Personally, I dislike most games.” —Z. Sroczynski, software engineer at ION Geophysical; based in Edinburgh, UK

“Effective and engaging games are expensive and difficult to produce, and I think this will limit the broad applicability of gamification, at least by 2020. If I’m wrong about this, it could be because so many minds have been shaped by game experiences that our thinking about the character of media will inevitably have gone there, in which case game structure may be so inherent that the cost and difficulty of production might be reduced. I don’t think this will be the case; though I see intense game influence among some, I don’t think it’s pervasive. And I think there are whole populations that just don’t get games.” —Jon Lebkowsky, Internet pioneer and principal at Polycot Associates LLC; consultant and developer for mission-driven nonprofits and socially responsible companies; president of the Electronic Frontier Foundation-Austin; based in Austin, Texas

“Technology derived from gaming will contribute to advances in many other sectors, particularly education, aged care, and work environments. We often won’t even know we are using such technology—it will just be part of what we do and how we do it.” —Rajnesh Singh, regional director, Asia, for the Internet Society; founder or co-founder of multiple companies; based in Singapore

“Gaming is really just a form of interaction. As more and more ‘intelligence’ is injected into a ‘gamed’ response, it gains more and more ability to impact whatever it is applied to. Games have always opened learning possibilities. With the sophistication that can be inserted into interactive responses, game-like approaches will be applied across an increasingly wide sphere of human endeavors.” —Charles Perrottet, partner at the Futures Strategy Group; author, speaker, and a leader on the Millennium Project Planning Committee; based in Glastonbury, CT

“The assumption of the statements—including the use of the trendy term ‘gamification’—is that game playing is something new. I agree more with statement two mainly because people are generally a game playing species who have always ‘gamified’ their activities, long before videogames or online gaming. Making learning more fun by building in game elements can only be a good thing. Manipulating people in the workplace (say, to make them more loyal or productive) or the political sphere, and ‘monetizing’ our every gamified interaction, would be the bad things.” —Richard Holeton, director, academic computing services, Stanford University Libraries; co-leader, EDUCAUSE Learning Space Design Constituent Group; author of “Cyberspace: Identity, Community, and Knowledge in the Electronic Age”; based in Stanford, California

“This is already on the radar. It was extremely evident at the last International Society for Technology in Education convention when it comes to mainstream education.” —Diane Kendall, editor at Children’s Software Press; primary columnist for Power to Learn, part of Cablevision; based in Houston Texas

“When gamification strategies are being considered to build user engagement in continuing education for people who are accountants, you have to believe that it is here to stay. It’s been demonstrated over and over that human beings like to compete and win. They also like to engage in activities that increase their status—whether that’s the old fashioned ‘employee of the month’ or the ‘Exalted Warrior’ label in a multi-player online game. Plus, we have an ever-increasing number of individuals (mostly younger than 35 years old) who have grown up with videogames and have been conditioned to pursue online rewards. There’s no doubt that companies will find ways to cash in on these factors.” —Marcia Richards Suelzer, senior writer and analyst at Wolters Kluwer, an international information provider; based in Riverwoods, Illinois

“Obliviously, gamification will grow, but people will still want straightforward ways to accomplish many tasks. There is a point where too many feedback loops and rewards programs is just clutter.” —Peter Mitchell, chief creative officer at Salter-Mitchell, a company that builds behavior-change programs, relying heavily on inventing digital products; based in Alexandria, Virginia

“For the most part, people are too busy to keep gamification going.” —Elizabeth Swift, integrated library systems administrator at the Jefferson County Library Cooperative; based in Birmingham, Alabama

“Everything will have a game associated with it, but not everything will benefit from it.” —Rich Tatum, research analyst for Zondervan, a religious publishing house; based in Grand Rapids, Michigan

“However, the more realistic virtual reality becomes, the greater the toll on our real social connections, and the greater the impact on GDP through lost productivity. For some, assimilation will be inevitable.” —Paul McFate, an online communications specialist based in Provo, Utah

“Remember back in the 2010s when we thought gamification was going to change everything? What were we thinking?” —Barry Parr, owner and analyst for MediaSavvy; editor and publisher at Coastider.com; based in Montara, California

“There will be significant advances in the use and adoption of gamification by 2020. Organizations will become more sophisticated in its implementation, and schools and governments in particular will use it to drive preferred activities in ways that benefit society as a whole. As social networks spread behaviors (and perhaps even moods and obesity) virally, the traditional public service announcement will be supplanted by gamification to drive ‘nudge.’” —Perry Hewitt, director of digital communications and communications services at Harvard University; based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

“Gamification will be making work into play, and used in training and connecting.” —Janet D. Cohen, self-employed futurist, writer and Internet specialist; assignments include work for World Future Society publication, World Future Review; based in Minneapolis, Minnesota

“I’m torn here. I’m not a gamer. Yet my students are, and I wonder if we are so starved for positive feedback that games have become our daily ‘fix’?” —Cyndy Woods-Wilson, high school teacher in Flagstaff, Arizona; adjunct faculty member at Rio Salado Community College in Tempe, Arizona; content manager for the LinkedIn group “Higher Education Teaching & Learning (HETL)

“Most organizations are trying to ‘engage’ their stakeholders. ‘Gaming’ is one significant way of engagement. Digital technology is facilitating a traditional process by speeding the cycling of contacts and information and in a more targeted way.” —Glenn Omura, associate professor of marketing at Michigan State University, based in East Lansing, Michigan

“The health field will see a lot of growth in this sector. Making physical activity fun by adding a layer of intrigue and reward will encourage people to be active, eat healthy, and lose weight. Social competition also helps this.” —John Bobosh, digital media strategist, American Institutes of Research, a consulting business, based in Washington, DC

“Gaming techniques will be adopted outside of games only if they lead to increased efficiencies. That has already happened in areas such as flight training and avionics (synthetic vision offered by some GPS units). That will happen in more areas, such as synthetic surroundings or virtual environments. I can imagine a future Google Earth that allows one to walk down a street and enter a building and participate in a virtual conference, for example.” —Robert Ellis, partner, Peterson, Ellis, Fergus & Peer LLP focusing on Internet law since 1989; a co-author of “Internet and Online Law”; based in Columbus, Ohio

“Everything is not a game and not everyone is not a potential gamer.” —Pat McKenna, president at MojoWeb Productions LLC; teacher of web design, principles of e-marketing, and social media for small businesses at Waukesha County Technical College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“The ‘game theory’ school is overblown. It suggests that because students of a certain age like to play games, they will like to play instructional games, ones that are designed to be fun, yet filled with curricular goals. I am not convinced that there is a correlation between gaming and academic success in low-achieving students, and high achievers will thrive anywhere.” —Ron Smith, bridge coordinator at Helen Bernstein High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District; based in Hollywood, California

“Interaction skills and perspectives learned in other realities could aid problem solving on the global level.” —Jeanne Brittingham, principal at Brittingham Associates; former consultant for USDA, USEPA; based in Tryon, North Carolina

“I hope gamification will not become the dominant force in communication and education. Competition is a negative direction for people. The world of online communication does offer much opportunity for entertainment and education through gaming, but I see greater interconnectedness and synthesis as the more dominant long-term effects of the Internet. The competitive nature of gaming is antithetical to the continued collaborative, negotiable effects of the Internet. Gaming will remain tangential rather than a key component of personal interaction.” —Emily Rogers, university reference and instruction librarian, based in Valdosta, Georgia

“The findings yielded by the emerging field of neuroscience provide powerful tools to understand and hence manipulate the human brain. In light of advances in neuromarketing, there is no reason to believe that the most powerful economic entities are not going to use that knowledge (rewards, feedback loops) to spur interaction, boost loyalty (especially brand loyalty), and provide neural pleasures when consumers and customers do what they’re told. I do not see any positive in this development and am concerned about the use of that knowledge not only by economic entities but by political ones as well. In addition, the ability to self-induce pleasure at the neural level through the use of computer programs will further eliminate the need of others and the pleasures they can spontaneously provide, hence further deskilling us in those social psychological skills necessary to experience pleasurable interaction with other people. The gamification of everyday life is not unlike teledildonics—at a neural level. Both enable users to experience pleasure without asking them to develop and deploy the social psychological skills typically required to enjoy those experiences.” —Simon Gottschalk, sociology professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas

“Games are fun and entertaining—Angry Birds showed that. Sure, what is learned in one area will be applied in another. Sure games and entertainment help make education, health, work, human connection fun—they always have. But they aren’t some massively new and different driver of change.” —Heywood Sloane, principal at CogniPower, a consulting business; based in Wayne, Pennsylvania

“There is so much that we teach that could be better taught and learned using games and simulations. A great deal of whether scenario two comes to fruition depends on adoption of new paradigms of pedagogy, health care, and work, etc. This will also depend on whether the experts in these fields are engaged in the production of the games and, frankly, if designers and producers can make money on the work.” —Suzanne England, professor of social work, New York University, New York City

“Gamification is like feeding castor oil as honey. It will become the norm.” —Dwayne Thompson, content strategist

“The second choice here is much closer to what we will see in 2020 than the first choice. Gaming has already been integrated in lots of marketing campaigns and other uses. It will only continue to advance—gaming is cutting-edge technology; without gaming you wouldn’t have a lot of the technologies we have today. Gaming and porn were the drivers of bandwidth and streaming in the early years and gaming continues to break new ground with user immersion and experience.” —Greg Wilson, a marketing and public relations consultant who provides organizational change management and service/execution process development services; based in Los Angeles, California

“Games are the second-most-time-consuming activity on the Internet now (behind social networking) but the primary and overwhelming use is for simple entertainment. The crossover into education is almost counter-intuitive to what gaming is all about. However, the continued integration of personal and professional lives will result in more blurring of those lines, and the growth of gaming as an aspect of all individuals’ Internet lives, but not for the foreseeable future.” —Michael Castengera, senior lecturer at the Grady College of Journalism, 26 University of Georgia, and president at Media Strategies and Tactics, Inc.; based in Athens, Georgia

“The feedback loops in games rely on old (20th century) psychological principles. New technology is allowing those principles to be applied more effectively. Games allow educators and others to control reward structures to increase time on task and to guide learning by adaptively responding to errors.” —Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, University of North Carolina-Charlotte

“Gamification will be mostly invisible to the users of the Internet and it will simply be the mainstream methodology employed by providers and developers of services. Whether or not this is a good thing remains to be seen.” —Jane Vincent, visiting faculty fellow, University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre; expert on emotions in social practices of ICT users; also an expert in mobile communications industry since 1984; based in Surrey, UK

“Gamification plays to some very basic aspects of human nature and therefore has ‘stickiness,’ that is, it works well on variety of levels both cognitively and economically. Games are something that are created in real-time and are unique and therefore hard to steal. It is one thing to pirate a movie, it is another to pirate an interactive system. Common impulses such as community and identity—things we already know are effective in increasing and maintaining interest in many activities—fit well with game-style pursuits. Gamification works and can be a productive way of approaching life and work. Perhaps this will turn the idea of ‘infotainment’ into a positive as opposed to a negative force.” —Ted M. Coopman, lecturer, department of communication studies, San Jose State University; member of the executive committee, Association of Internet Researchers; lives in Santa Cruz, California, and works in San Jose

“It will become more widespread to boost loyalty and fun, but not learning. I see this used more as a way to help businesses boost brand loyalty and believe that 2020 is still to early for most to be engaged in such activity.” —Lucretia Walker-Skinner, quality improvement associate with Project Hospitality, a non-profit organization based in Staten Island, New York

“Games are engaging, but the answer is not to make games of everything, but rather to pay attention to the reasons people are engaged by games, and incorporate features like rapid feedback, recognition for extraordinary performance, and prompt response to mastery at one level with additional, more complex responsibilities at the next, into jobs and learning activities.   Gamification fans will figure this out before 2020.” —Valerie Bock, technical services lead at Q2Learning, LLC and VCB Consulting; based in Decatur, Illinois

“From the Internet standpoint gaming is another way to learn about human brain mechanics, psyche, and potential for manipulation. It will be used to help gather ‘big data’ but as communication by 2020 it will remain more hidden than in view but more in view than in 2011.” —Michel A. Coconis, assistant professor of social work at Wright State University; advocate and activist; lives in Columbus, Ohio, and works in Dayton, Ohio

“After reading Steven Johnson’s book Everything Bad is Good For You, I’ve realized just how important that feedback loop is. By turning projects into a game, people are more motivated than if they were forced to complete the project. This idea has been around for a while, but it’s been discussed in more detail in recent years as a more important way to encourage people to act.” —Erica Johnson, assistant lecturer at the Universite Paris-Est Creteil; based in Creteil, France

“The concept of human-machine interaction is becoming increasingly used in the design of new equipment, the user no longer has the role of selecting only one option in a menu but can interact with your whole body. Just thinking about a smart TV with 3D capability, a game console, and a motion sensor can inform the program what we are doing, and we are moving on the verge of ceasing to be a mere couch potato.” —Daniel Ferrari, systems analyst based in São Paulo, Brazil

“The gaming situation will be true, though I have my dinosaur belief that some learning does not have to be fun but must be learned for the sake of learning and advancing one’s mind. I cannot argue, though, with the fact that many people need to learn about health, good work habits, and other everyday activities, and if they can learn them through gamification then that will be good. Give the rest of us some leeway, though, on how we want to learn. For example, my university has modules on campus security that people are required to read and pass. The modules are tedious to go through and it takes time. They try to be ‘fun’ with their scenarios but ultimately it is a time task that has to be done to satisfy the administration that everyone has at least been exposed to the message and all must score at a certain rate or they have to take the module over again.” —Leara Rhodes, associate professor of journalism and international communications at the University of Georgia; based in Athens, Georgia

“Using gaming principles to develop better online applications and Web experiences is a very good advance and can engage more people.” —Lee Hurd, senior user-experience designer for the State of California; based in Sacramento, California

“Gamification is already happening on a daily basis and is being utilized more and more on the ground, such as in the nonprofit arena. In order to attract more attention to certain issues, to educate kids (and adults), and to keep things interesting, this concept will become more important throughout the years, particularly as mobile technology plays an increasing role in our day-to-day lives.” —Sabeen H. Ahmad, new media director, Brodie Collins Consulting; co-editor, Divanee.com, a consulting business based in Washington, DC

“Gaming behavior is innate in humans. We have learned to use technology to capture people’s attention and energy, and are now learning how to turn technology-based gaming to productive use. In 2011 online players used the game Foldit to discover the structure of a retrovirus enzyme after it had baffled scientists – http://nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121680. Humans are clever and inventive, and we will find and exploit many more ways to use games to further our goals.” —Mark J. Franklin, director of computing services and software engineer, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

“The best kind of games involve risk. Think high-stakes poker. And if they don’t involve risk, the games that are the most fun to play are the ones where stakes are highest. Think about the annual gathering of grandparents, parents, and grandchildren for a take-no-prisoners round of family Monopoly. To make a game riskier, an individual has to wager wealth, liberty, or health. Technology may allow more people to wager wealth. Will technology really allow people to wager liberty or health? That seems impossible. What about something where the stakes are higher? Well, in my example of a round of family Monopoly, the stakes are high or special precisely because it may be difficult to get all members of a family physically in one place. ICTs, of course, make it easier to bring everyone together and, in doing so, make the event less special, i.e. if we can be online together every three or four days, that doesn’t seem so special as a special, everyone-in-the-same-cottage Thanksgiving Day tournament. Side note, not really explored in this: Gamification will be a big deal for education and self-exploration. If I had the time (and smarts), I would love to take drama theorist’s Herbert Blau’s ideas about ‘play’ and put a digital twist on them.” —David Akin, national bureau chief, Sun Media; technology reporter and editor, based in Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

“The success of using games to teach, learn, and improve lives will be a likely thing by 2020. I am influenced by a recent story I read about gamers helping solve some enzyme problems in AIDS patients. Gamers actually helped research scientists get ideas for new pharmaceuticals for AIDS treatment. Something the scientists had been searching for for years, the gamers came up with in about two weeks. This kind of thing is happening now, in 2011, and with that kind of hopeful scenario going on, one would think that more of the same would occur as the years go by. As an educator, I know that people learn better, faster, and retain more when learning is made into a game.” —Nancy Brown, author and media manager for The American Chesterton Society; based in Chicago, Illinois

“Games and game-like structures have their limitations, so a lot of life’s areas will continue to be without gaming.” —Anders Fagerjord, professor of media and communication, the University of Oslo; based in Oslo, Norway

“I’m not bullish on gamification. It can be fun and useful for a bit, but people are looking for deeper social connections that current gamification strategies are not scratching the surface of. Rather than using game mechanics to build these connections, in my view other methods are likely to be developed that will yield more real, personal results.” —Phillip Herndon, communications strategist for New Media Strategies, a consulting business based in Arlington, Virginia

“Games present an interesting incentives model, and the idea that people can be nudged into new behaviors through game-like rewards is compelling. But it is not clear to me that this is a fundamentally new insight. Perhaps the game metaphor will help to push this time of incentive-centered design into new domains, but it isn’t a game changer.” —R. Kelly Garrett, assistant professor at The Ohio State University School of Communication; based in Columbus, Ohio

“Entertaining consumer interactions will drive the successful digital campaigns. Games from World of Warcraft to Farmville have produced legions of developers, designers, and software architects with the skills to make the commercial world’s diverse digital touchpoints engaging, entertaining, and even addictive. Consumers will demand much of the time that you give them entertainment if you want their attention.” —Sean Mead, director of solutions architecture, valuation, and analytics for Mead, Mead & Clark, Interbrand; member of the Internet and Electronic Commerce Committee, 1997-present; lecturer at Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum; based in Dayton, Ohio

“The logic of games is entering many areas of endeavor and will continue to do so. Game strategies look ready to take great effect in crowdsourced arenas where no authority or reward system (e.g., grades) are immediately present. As Eric Raymond noted [in his work The Cathedral and the Bazaar] about open-source development, engagement is the mechanism that keeps people coming back and it leads to success.” —Caroline Haythornthwaite, director and professor at the School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies of the University of British Columbia, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

“Gamification, like other means of reinforcing behavior and providing entertainment, will be very effective for some segments of the population, but that’s it.” —Walter Dickie, executive vice president and managing partner, C+R Research; based in Chicago, Illinois

“I regard gaming as mostly a waste of time. I can see that online gaming has had significant cultural impacts, even as a route for social interaction. However, I don’t see gamification becoming widely used outside of the gaming subculture.” —Lawrence Kestenbaum, Washtenaw County Clerk and Register of Deeds and founder and owner of PoliticalGraveyard.com, a database of US political history from the 1700s to the present; a pioneer in making historical data available online; based in Ann Arbor, Michigan

“This statement is already true and will become more so. The ways that gamification enters our lives will be subtle, growing, and positive.” —Tracy Rolling, product user experience evangelist for Nokia, based in Berlin, Germany

“Considering gamification in this broad framework, it will by 2020 be a more powerful force as a means to incentivize users to participate in services, to measure outcomes, and to help build social networks.” —Robert Renaud, vice president for library and information services and CIO at Dickinson College; member, EDUCAUSE Advanced Core Technologies Initiative Design Group; based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

“We’re already starting to see the move towards gamification. So much new knowledge has come from tossing out different interfaces and interactions, modifying them as new versions are released, and a real sense of creativity in games (as opposed to more staid business applications). There is a lot we can learn from these implementations and results (and certainly, plenty of what has not worked). We also now have plenty of strong examples of games that are ‘social’ (rather than simply aggressive). That said, we are well-positioned to now dive into furthering these moves.” —Liza Potts, assistant professor of digital humanities, Michigan State University; a leader of ACM’s SIGDOC; formerly worked as a user-interface program manager for Microsoft in the early 2000s building early web apps for them; based in East Lansing, Michigan

“Gamification has already taken hold in some parts of daily life, but it would defeat the purpose of its novelty if it began to totally pervade it. I think games will remain present in many spheres, but adoption of it will not be wholesale.” —Kevin Gotkin, PhD student at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

“The focus of our intentions must go beyond the tech. The networking of societies is a major evolutionary social transformation, as were agriculture and industrialized manufacturing. As long as we see this as a technical matter, we will not get this right. Games, game theory—we’ve got game and gamification as pieces of the puzzle.” —Richard Lowenberg, director, broadband planner 1st-Mile Institute; network activist since early 1970s; prepared State of New Mexico’s “Integrated Strategic Broadband Initiative”; integrates rural community planning with network initiatives globally; based in Santa Fe, New Mexico

“While I personally can be motivated by game-like structures, I don’t find in general that it is a consistent motivator for all, or even many, people.” —Peter Pinch, director of technology for WGBH, a public media company – including television, radio, and online programming – based in Boston, Massachusetts

“We are expecting too many things to come about too soon. It is only eight years or so left for 2020 to arrive. Need we not give evolution-speed a chance to be stable?” —G.C. Gupta, professor of cognition and psychology at the University of Delhi; based in Delhi, India

“Seems to me like the alternative would likely be a venture off into a cul-de-sac but then I’m getting to be an ‘old man.’” —Jim Hokom, Web manager, Crossroads Urban Center, a non-profit organization; based in Salt Lake City, Utah

“Gamification will proceed and envelop many aspects of our daily lives. Like today, some will be beneficial and become accepted, while others will be short-lived fads and fade away. I don’t see this development changing greatly in any significant way from what it is today.” —Jesse Drew, associate professor of technocultural studies, at the University of California-Davis; based in Davis, California

“Games will continue to have impacts and motivate novel applications. They may be at least as important in research and in decision-support—they will provide accessible forms of modeling and simulation of new or potential situations. But the way the scenario is worded suggests a risk of faddism; games are likely to go only so far.” —Marjory S. Blumenthal, associate provost at Georgetown University; adjunct staff officer at RAND Corporation; previously director of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies; based in Washington, DC

“Gamification may not attain a level of implementation as users will grow tired of mechanized surveys and worthless rewards. Even if the social networks implement gamification in manner that makes the rewards appear valuable to the users, gamification in a wide variety of activities will cause behavioral fatigue.” —Sivasubramanian Muthusamy, president of the Internet Society-India Chennai; founder and CEO of InternetStudio, a Web development and IT services company; based in Erode, Tamilnadu, India

“Animals learn through play. Play is learning. That humans have attempted to do otherwise hasn’t really proven very successful. Of course gamification will be essential in all learning environments, both professional and personal, for individual betterment as well as for community and social change and growth.” —P.F. Anderson, emerging technologies librarian, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Michigan

“This one will catch on. The closer games are tied into the actual learning event is the first difficulty with moving quickly to this as a means to learning. However, by 2020 the events we need to be proficient in our jobs will be tied into the game. Example, in the Army we will use games, and the avatar in the game can only shoot as well as the soldier actually shot with their individual weapon in real life. The ability to run fast depends on the actual physical fitness test making the game close to the actual world. This would also be an incentive for the soldier to shoot better and become physically stronger.” —Keith Davis, team lead for the S6 Community of Purpose – working on a knowledge management initiative for the Signal Center of Excellence – RLM Communications – Military Communications Expert Organization, US Army; based in Grovetown, Georgia

“Gamification already permeates plenty of non-digital systems; after a period of overkill, it will be recognized as a persistent human communication pattern and will lose its gimmicky edge.” —Jessica Clark, media strategist, for the Association of Independents in Radio; senior fellow, Center for Social Media, American University; media policy fellow, New America Foundation; based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“It is hard to know what to make of this question. There is always a role in some human activities for collaboration and competition, as well as fun. At one level, the current fad for gamification seeks to increase engagement in software/tasks where the online/computing experience is far weaker and more rigid than its non-online human experiences. However, that is a rallying call to designers to enrich current experience. If past experiences with other media and social change are any guide, it seems unlikely that there will be dramatic increases in gaming models into environments where they do not currently exist socially, professionally, or societally.” —Duane Degler, principal consultant, Design for Context; designer of large-scale search facilities and interactive applications for clients such as the National Archives, the Social Security Administration, and Verisign; based in Washington, DC

“Gamification is here to stay—mainly because there is an economic model for its success. If done correctly, gamification can be used to help folks. Think about the dieter who receives bonus points for fulfilling a challenge. For the dieter, the reward is a well body and the sense of accomplishment. For a health insurer, for instance, it’s a member whose dieting helps both the person and their overall bottom line.” —Lilyn H. Hester, media relations, PR, and social media for Capstrat Inc., a strategic communications firm in Raleigh, North Carolina; based in Cedar Grove, North Carolina

“Gamification will be a seamless function of our daily life—in other words, we won’t notice it as such. Perhaps the SAT/GRE and other tests will be changed from a paper-based tool to an online resource. To help doctors with diagnosing illness, users will be able to answer a series of questions about symptoms online. This will be mashed up with their digital medical records so doctors can be more effectively in their treatments.” —Laura Lee Dooley, online engagement architect and strategist for the World Resources Institute, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC

“If Apple software counts as gamification, then I view it as a ‘cleaning up’ of decades of poor user interface technology that slowed adoption of life-enhancing products and services for a wide population. So, yes, gamification will increase, and it should, if it means better healthcare technology, more personal media consumption, or even a superior drive-in dinner. Actual entertainment-themed videogames will be the domain of people who are less intellectually stimulated or stimulating.” —Edmund Carey, vice president for sales/channel partnerships at Undertone, an advertising network; adjunct instructor of new media at Fordham University Graduate School; based in New York City

“The impact on learning and training will drive broad adoption. The popularity of gaming today—and its broad adoption—will dictate that professional training adopt similar approaches.” —J. Clarke Price, president and CEO of the Ohio Society of CPAs; based in Dublin, Ohio

“We have seen the use of games in libraries explode in the last few years. The American Library Association sponsors National Gaming Day @ Your Library each November—now the fourth year of the event. Librarians report young users who have come to the library to play games come back to use other free resources, such as homework-help programs.” —Cathleen Bourdon, associate executive director, American Library Association; based in Chicago, Illinois

“As evidenced by newbies on Facebook with Farmville (80 million users) games are how many of us learn to collaborate and use technologies. However, as we mature toward meaningful applications the game will be how to make an exponential impact on real-world problems in collaboration with others. Serious games such as basic survival and making a real difference in the lives of others suffering desperate realities will become the measure of one’s purpose in life, and value to the world. Self-actualization methodologies will replace much of the silly social fluff as people mature in their thinking about their responsibility to use well the power at their fingertips.” —Frank Odasz, president Lone Eagle Consulting, a company specializing in Internet training for rural, remote, and indigenous learners; speaker on rural 21st century workforce readiness, rural e-commerce and telework strategies, and online learning for all; based near Dillon, Montana

“Given the almost pervasive role that games play in the lives of most individuals under 30 today, ‘gamification’ is almost certainly to play a much larger and pervasive role in business and government models of engaging people.” —David A.H. Brown, executive director, Brown Governance Inc., a consulting business based in Toronto, Canada

“Many industries are well suited for ‘gamification’ but most are not. One of the biggest opportunities for ‘gamification’ is education, but it is also one of the most entrenched institutions with agents slow to change (e.g., state and federal policy, districts, teachers, parents, etc.).” —Tim Olson, vice president for digital media and education at KQED, a public media company – including television, radio, and online programming – based in San Francisco, California

“It’s better to think of these as old principles that have limits, which is why they aren’t everywhere.” —Seth Finkelstein, professional programmer and consultant; 2001 winner of a Pioneer of the Electronic Frontier Award from Electronic Frontier Foundation for groundbreaking work in analyzing content-blocking software; based in Cambridge, Massachusetts

“I find it hard to believe that ‘gamification’ will retain its novelty for another decade.” —Mark Callahan, artistic director for Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE) at The University of Georgia; based in Athens, Georgia

“You had me at ‘feedback loops.’ Connected devices can help us better understand our own activity and adapt or change to reach desired goals. That may be getting a kid to brush his teeth every night, or coaxing an adult to take a medication every day. That’s data insurance companies would love to have, and privacy will continue to be an issue (although this assumes a set of values about privacy that young people don’t necessarily have).” —Nathan Swartzendruber, technology education at SWON Libraries Consortium; based in Cincinnati, OH. USA

“Humans love competition and a ‘deal.’ The ease with which technology can make everything into a game will only enhance out natural instincts to win. Whether it is found in ‘beating’ the system by collecting frequent flyer points without spending extra money, or having your idea ‘retweeted’ more than a friend, gamification is a big trend that will stay, even if we don’t realize what it is.” —Sarah Vital, reference and instruction librarian at Saint Mary’s College of California; based in the San Francisco Bay area, California

“Gamification is great, like Big Data, but it has its limits. It will be useful for many things, but not all things. I would guess age would also affect adoption.” —Cynthia Meyers, associate professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Bronx, New York

“While there are millions of subscribers to multiplayer online games (MMOGs such as Star Wars: The Old Republic) and other forms of online, interactive games, I am not convinced that there will be significant advances by 2020 to have a pervasive impact on human communications and connections.” —Jack Spain, principal at Spain Business Advisors; based in Cary, North Carolina

“In the emerging ‘attention economy,’ applications and activities that can attract and hold people’s interest will be the most effective tools in society and business. Therefore, to the extent that ‘gamification’ can give people at least the illusion of a ‘stake’ in an activity, and can combine entertainment value with information and economic value, it will become an increasingly important medium for organizing and harnessing human interactions online. Also, the introduction of games in ‘invisible’ means (such as those developed by researchers like Luis von Ahn) will make gamification a relatively unnoticed but pervasive influence on how we interact with online resources.” —Jeffrey Alexander, senior science and technology policy analyst, Center for Science, Technology & Economic Development, SRI International; member, governing council, DC chapter of the Internet Society; based in Arlington, Virginia

“This is exactly where the future of social media is going. Geolocation social networking sites like Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt have already implemented game mechanics with their check-in services. Incentivized use of these services is encouraging more users to use social media daily.” —David Kimball, student at Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington

“‘Gamification’ represents the most exciting idea for driving desired behaviors I’ve seen in my thirty-year career as a professional communicator. This is already happening—see Jane McGonigal’s work for examples.” —Susan Price, CEO and chief Web strategist at Firecat Studio LLC; TEDxSanAntonio organizer; Austin FreeNet cofounder; Knowbility board member; based in San Antonio, Texas

“Gamification will continue to grow as a tool in training environments and to gauge understanding of any information. It yields more accurate response and the resistance to providing feedback is alleviated.” —Jean Westcott, co-author of “Digitally Daunted: The Consumer’s Guide to Taking Control of the Technology in Your Life”; based in Washington, DC

“It’s already happening. I did a major surgery last week on my Nintendo DS! Seriously, I would love to see this type of virtual simulation expand beyond the military and drivers’ ed! I anticipate a greater adoption of these products if we adopt the ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em attitude’ and put this technology to good use.” —Jeniece Lusk, assistant research director with a PhD in applied sociology at an Atlanta, Georgia, information technology company

“I don’t believe companies will be willing to put the budget dollars in this area just yet. Instead, budget dollars will be allocated towards big data and apps. I see this occurring farther into the future.” —Katrina Griffin, e-marketing strategist for Medseek; based in Peoria, Illinois

“No one can accurately predict how gamification will impact other aspects of communications. It would be akin to predicting how gambling would impact peoples’ intelligent use of their money in the future. I don’t believe it will ever be an important segment of the communications scene in the future.” —Stan Stark, consultant at Heuroes Consulting; based in Houston, Texas

“Most decisions are made, alas, by what Michael Buckland (UC Berkeley) called ease of access. It is simply easier these days to collect, access, and massage data to address problems by using what used to be called simulation. In medicine, business, political science and politics, economics, and trade issues we now have tools with rules, data, and formulas for remarkably precise simulations. And of course, the practical application of gamification can be traced back to Franco-Prussian war in 1870-71, and has been an active tool of the military ever since. Of course, I reveal some prejudice in this matter since my father, Alfred Hartmann Hausrath, was chief of the Military Gaming Division of the Research Analysis Corporation and the author of Venture Simulation in War, Business, and Politics.” —Don Hausrath, retired from the US Information Agency; previously worked abroad installing information centers, providing information about the US for policy makers in foreign governments, media, and related groups; based in Tucson, Arizona

“We will see more gamification because it’s fun and it sells. It doesn’t mean better education, or decision making—probably the opposite (simplification, fun vs. depth and real analysis or commitment).” —Miles Fidelman, principal and founder of Protocol Technologies Group, LLC; president and founder of the Center for Civic Networking; based in Newton, Massachusetts

“While the technology will be widely used, it will not be intrinsic to common daily functions due to how quickly it irritates the consumer. Opt-in activities such as contesting, surveys, and even assisted search may offer the ability to control how much gamification is presented to the user.” —Rob Scott, chief technology officer and intelligence liaison at Nokia; based in Sunnyvale, California

“This scenario has already happened for the education of American armed forces. Early experiments in using gaming scenarios to improve individual adherence to continuous medical treatment and protocols also show promise. Reward and recognition programs, as well as training, in corporate environments are also beginning to take advantage of ‘gamification’ architectures. With the enormous popularity of online, simple games because of the social interaction and personal satisfaction they create, it is only a matter of time before more serious games attract wider audiences and increasing market share.” —Morley Winograd, co-author of “Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation is Remaking America”; senior fellow, USC’s Annenberg Center for Communication Leadership and Policy; based in Arcadia, California

“The discovery and use of behaviorists’ psychological models created a fascinating insight and some new training methods but did not revolutionize the ways humans live, despite predictions, insistence, and experimental communities meant to do just that. The Internet and gamification seem fairly similar to the concept of behaviorist psychological theory and thus I see them being an important and interesting part of human society but not anything that will fundamentally alter the way we live and work.” —Dana Levin, student specializing in emergency medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine; based in Philadelphia and New York

“For me ‘gamification’ is little more than a fad. There may be areas where virtual simulation can add an extra dimension to enhance a human experience in otherwise impossible ways, and this may indeed be linked to ‘gamification’ concepts, but games and gaming have been part of the bigger human experience for far too long to expect some sort of (relatively speaking) immediate and radical change.” —Rich Osborne, senior IT innovator at the University of Exeter, based in Exeter, UK

“Watch children with their hand-held games; there’s the answer. In a world of nearly infinite informational variety, gamification will serve as the virtual carnival barker. It can also serve as a powerful learning device. There will be good and bad implementations, of course.” —Tom Franke, chief information officer for the University System of New Hampshire; based in Durham, New Hampshire

“All industries are looking for ways to get and keep people engaged. In general, gamification will be a method used to engage individuals.” —Veronica Longenecker, assistant vice president of information technologies, Millersville University, based in Millersville, Pennsylvania

“I find the nine-year timeframe a bit problematic. On the one hand, ‘gamification’ is another example to adapting our modern transactions to take advantage of fundamental human attributes. We like to play. We have always liked to play. We like to play all of the time, in everything we do. Look at the Pike’s Place Fish Market in Seattle Washington—a whole bunch of people trying to have fun at their jobs. So, yes, we are going to be finding ways to make more games out of what we do. Hopefully, we will figure out how to make learning more of a game as well. Maybe we can get people to follow education the way they follow football and baseball. Okay, maybe that is a bit much. But we are putting a lot of money into professional sports, and they are reaching people our educational institutions cannot reach. It isn’t like these people can’t learn—look at what they know about their favorite sport, and their favorite team and their favorite players. We, as educators, need to get in on that action.” —Nikki Reynolds, director of instructional technology services, Hamilton College; based in Clinton, New York

“The recognition of games as learning, teaching, and indoctrination tools is already in place and pretty obvious. When the military began using free videogames as a way of working with real and potential recruits, it became clear that this has a lot of real-world applications. I only see the use of this kind of approach expanding over the rest of the decade and beyond. It’s the obvious tool of the computer-mediated communications age.” —J. Meryl Krieger, adjunct lecturer in sociology at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis, Department of Sociology; based in Bloomington, Indiana

“I expect a mild tendency in this direction, but I have no clear sense that this will be so.” —Ken Friedman, dean of the faculty of design at Swinburne University of Technology; based in Melbourne, Australia

“Each person has a unique and different way of interacting and learning for different subjects and different environments. For some people, subject and environment gamification will enhance the user experience. But overall, gamification will be a marginal activity.” —Bill St. Arnaud, consultant at SURFnet, the national education and research network building The Netherlands’ next-generation Internet; research officer at CANARIE, working on Canada’s next-generation Internet; longtime Internet Society leader; based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

>> Click here to return to the 2012 Future of the Internet survey homepage
>> Click here to read anonymous responses to this question