The Whole World Will Soon Be One Big Game

Investors are becoming addicted to non-game startups that leverage game mechanics, VentureBeat writes:

The notion of engaging consumers using game thinking and game mechanics has transformed both startup pitches and later-stage company strategies. Investors have taken notice and are ramping up their funding in what they perceive as a major, multi-billion-dollar market opportunity.

“Gamification,” or adding points, badges and other illusory incentives to reward behavior, is becoming a de riguer tool for startups. Foursquare has New Yorkers scrambling to claim “mayorships,” which mean even less today than when the concept was introduced—though they still apparently provide enough incentive to get users to disclose their locations to advertisers.

This morning, The Observer wrote about Fitango, a new website built around meeting goals, which awards badges for completion. The social butterfly of New York’s startup scene, Hashable, awards points for networking and invites users to parties based on their ranking on the site’s leaderboards.

The gaming component of the app is so sticky that this morning Hashable felt necessary to tweet: “Hashable is not about the Game, it’s about your life. It’s supposed to be a fun way to keep track of things. The game is a kicker!”

Oh, but life IS a game, Hashable!

ajeffries [at] | @adrjeffries

The Whole World Will Soon Be One Big Game