10. Chapter 10: Leveling Up

"Live and learn. Live to learn."

— Chinese saying

10.1 Gurus

There are a number of gamification and game design experts who regularly contribute to the community via blog posts, videos, slides, interviews and tweets. We recommend you subscribe to them to continue your ongoing education and to be inspired. Here is our collection, in no particular order:

  • Gabe Zichermann
  • Amy Jo Kim
  • Sebastian Deterding
  • Byron Reeves
  • Marigo Raftapolous
  • Kris Duggan
  • Rajat Paharia
  • Kevin Werbach
  • Jane McGonigal
  • Jesse Schell
  • Jon Radoff
  • Dan Pink
  • Mihaly Csikzentmihaly
  • Andrzej Marczewski
  • Tyler Altrup
  • Roman Rackwitz
  • Toby Beresford
  • Bart Hufen
  • Mike Martoccia

To get the latest list of active gamification experts, follow the Gamification Guru Leaderboard, meticulously maintained by Toby Beresford: http://www.leaderboarded.com/gurus

10.2 Books

The following is a selection of books on gamification, game design, learning and education, and motivation and behavior science.

10.2.1 Gamification

Mario Herger, Enterprise Gamification — Exploiting people by letting them have fun; CreateSpace, 2013

The bible of gamification at work for the serious gamification-designer, with over 450 pages, 200 enterprise gamification examples, and much more.

Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham: Gamification by Design; O'Reilly, 2011

A perfect practitioner guide for getting started with gamification.

Jane McGonigal: Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World; The Penguin Press, 2011

If you are new to gamification and want to get inspired, this is the book to start with. After reading it, you want to know more about the power of games in a real world context.

Michael Hugos: Enterprise Games — Using Game Mechanics to Build a Better Business; O'Reilly, 2012

Michael Hugos wrote the first comprehensible, and fact-based book on gamification in the corporate world.

Bryon Reeves and J. Leighton Read: Total Engagement: Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the Way People Work and Businesses Compete; Harvard Business Press, 2009

In this book, the authors discussed games in enterprises, before the term gamification was coined. They explain why games work in corporations, and offer some great examples.

Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter: For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business; Wharton Digital Press, 2012

Professors Kevin Werbach (of Coursera-fame) and Dan Hunter give an introduction to the use of gamification in work processes.

10.2.2 Game Design

Jesse Schell: The Art of Game Design; Morgan Kaufmann, 2008

One of the best books ever! Funny, self-deprecating, but very knowledgeable and fantastically written. This and the Deck of Lenses is a must for every game and gamification designer.

Jon Radoff: Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games; Wiley, 2011

Jon Radoff offers a deep analysis of what makes games fun; the book is relevant for gamification.

10.2.3 Learning & Education

Karl M. Kapp: The Gamification of Learning and Instruction; Pfeiffer, 2012

If you are in the training and education space, this book is a must read. It shows how education and training in both schools/universities and corporations will change, and why.

Lee Sheldon: The Multiplayer Classroom — Designing Courseworks as a Game; Course Technology, 2012

Great example of how game designer Lee Sheldon, teaching video game design, uses game mechanics and game design to gamify the classroom experience. It is a work in progress, so we expect to read more follow-ups on this. The book also contains a number of experiences from other teachers applying similar approaches to their classrooms. Also great results and facts quoted.

10.2.4 Motivation & Behavioral Science

Daniel Pink: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us; Riverhead Books, 2009

Dan Pink brings a number of examples that contradict conventional wisdom. For example that monetary rewards for creative tasks may decrease rather than increase employee engagement. Autonomy, mastery and purpose are much better motivators for innovation.

Charles Duhigg: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business; Random House, 2012

An interesting introduction to how habits are formed and how they can be changed. Perfect for gamification designers, who want to change the habits of their users.

10.3 Gamification Websites

Beside books, a number of websites and blogs publish a wealth of insights on gamification. Some are operated by gamification experts, some by organizations and the gamification industry. Here is a collection of gamification websites:

10.4 Gamification Communities

Professional communities offer a place for gamification practitioners to connect with one another. Here are a few examples:

10.5 Gamification Conferences

There are a number of conferences and events dedicated to gamification and more conferences are adding gamification to their agenda.

The Gamification Community maintains a full list of gamification related events:


Here are a few highlights:

10.5.1 North America

10.5.2 Europe, Middle East, Africa (EMEA)

10.5.3 Asia, Pacific, Japan (APJ)

Our best wishes to you in your journey towards gamification mastery.

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