Gamification — the application of online game design techniques in non-game settings — has been quickly gaining the attention of leaders in business, education, policy and even terrorist communities. But gamification also has plenty of critics, and the debate over its future could become an epic battle in the same vein of many online game favorites. This special report includes coverage of a recent Wharton conference titled, “For the Win: Serious Gamification,” in addition to interviews with conference participants who discuss the use of gamification in business, government and other arenas.

Rewards, Motivation, Competition: How Businesses Can Benefit from the Rise of Gamification
Gamification may be a new term to most people, but for many members of the business community, it means a new way to create value for their companies, customers and employees, among others. What exactly is gamification, what is it not, and how will it change the way we do business in the next few years? Knowledge at Wharton discussed these issues with professor Kevin Werbach; Rajat Paharia, founder of Bunchball, a tech company that enables businesses to implement gamification, and Daniel Debow, co-founder of Rypple, a social performance management company. Werbach and colleague Dan Hunter recently organized a two-day conference on gamification titled, “For the Win: Serious Gamification.”

Can Gamification Advance to the Next Level?
Online games have entered the mainstream, helped by platforms such as smartphones, tablets and Facebook. As game techniques infiltrate walks of life outside of the traditional online gaming universe, however, some are condemning its application in these new spheres. At a recent Wharton conference titled, “For the Win: Serious Gamification,” academics, game designers, business executives and policymakers gathered to discuss the opportunities and challenges of applying online gaming techniques in sectors such as marketing, the workplace, education and health care.

Paying Only for Success: Gamification in Government and Public Policy
In a government bureaucracy, any innovation can take years to come to fruition. But that can change, says Tom Kalil, deputy director for policy for the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. Kalil recently participated in a two-day conference at Wharton titled, “For the Win: Serious Gamification,” which looked at the application of online gaming techniques in business, education, government and other scenarios. Before the conference, Kalil spoke with Kevin Werbach, a professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, about why gamification has become a hot topic at the White House.