This book starts showing us why people plays and what purpose they want to get, so we need to identify what kind of users our application will have: Socializers, Explorers, Achievers or Killers? So, how can we develop web applications in a manner our end users can enjoy it while working with it, even if it is not a game?
This book is an introductory path for understanding the mechanics of how people gets motivated with playing a game again and again and extending those concepts to more varied fields like health, knowledge and customer support. Those core concepts are points, levels, leader boards, loyalty, rewards, badges, social experiences and game mechanics versus game dynamics. Chapter five is very valuable because it covers twelve game mechanics that we can adapt for our web application user experience like collecting, delight, gifting, leading and fame.
The book finishes showing us a programming project which applies many of the aforementioned gammification concepts for a forums web site.
This book is very good to start designing web applications with games metaphors. A drawback I found is: How to gammify an application intended for the internal enterprise staff? This question is not clearly answered or inferred.
Book Web Site: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920014614.do
Note 1 : By the time of writing this review the web site recommended by the authors http://GamificationU.com is not longer available. I think the new site is http://www.gamification.co/.
Note 2 : This book was reviewed as a part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program (http://www.oreilly.com/reviews/).