Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Games meet real life

By Hayley Tsukayama

As all good geeks know, "Tron: Legacy" comes out Friday. A sequel to 1982 cult hit "Tron," "Tron: Legacy" revisits a world where virtual reality is the only reality and you game for your life.

While I'm not expecting my own lightcycle quite yet, nearly 30 years after Steven Lisberger's vision hit theaters, we're edging toward a world where where work, play, reality and virtual reality are fusing together into something new. It even has a name, gamification, meaning using game frameworks and mechanics for real-life, often boring tasks.

Earlier this month, the game company Zynga, of Farmville fame, announced a rewards program through CitiBank on Wednesday that lets players use their credit card points to purchase capital in the Zynga universe. It's the second such partnership Zynga has going, as they signed on with American Express for something similar late last month.

There are many who may wonder why anyone would ever spend something with real-world value on fake items, but these companies say it's a win-win situation. As VentureBeat pointed out in its article on the subject, people are often left with rewards points they don't use, and this is a way to promote both products.

Top thinkers will gather next month in San Francisco for the Gamification Summit . Agenda items include talks about both profit and nonprofit applications, and it will be interesting to see how they wrestle with these issues.

What do you all think?

By Hayley Tsukayama  | December 17, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Games  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Yahoo cuts Delicious, My Blog Log, AltaVista
Next: Users mourn Yahoo's Delicious bookmark service in advance (update: perhaps unnecessarily)


Gamification seems to be a keyword and trend that is gaining a lot of momentum. There's already many articles that describe how industries and applications can benefit from adding game mechanics to them. We created a wiki at to collaboratively compile information to better understand the phenomena.

Posted by: jrbedard | December 17, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company