Chapter 1. The Popularity of Gamification in the Mobile and Social Era

Bohyun Kim


Chapter 1 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 51, no. 2), “Understanding Gamification,” discusses how the combination of the three new elements—(1) the rapid adoption of the smartphone, (2) the tremendous growth of the mobile web, and (3) the increased use of social media—has made it possible to apply gaming elements to real-world activities in an unprecedentedly seamless, ubiquitous, and social manner. Applying gaming elements to real-world activities is not necessarily a new idea. But these three elements completely changed where and how games are played and how game dynamics can be applied. It is the new mobile and social era that has enabled games to become portable and pervasive in everyday activities beyond an imaginary game world confined to a computer or a video game console. As we spend more and more time online, the boundary between our online and real life will increasingly blur. Gamification is an early harbinger of this broader trend.

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