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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  
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Comments

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 http://gamification.org to collaboratively compile information to better understand the phenomena.

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

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