Big News: The Book is Out!

Our very own, Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter, have released their book, For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business.


An overview:

Take your business to the next level—for the win

Millions flock to their computers, consoles, mobile phones, tablets, and social networks each day to play World of Warcraft, Farmville, Scrabble, and countless other games, generating billions in sales each year. The careful and skillful construction of these games is built on decades of research into human motivation and psychology: A well-designed game goes right to the motivational heart of the human psyche.

In For the Win, authors Kevin Werbach and Dan Hunter argue persuasively that gamemakers need not be the only ones benefiting from game design. Werbach and Hunter are lawyers and World of Warcraft players who created the world’s first course on gamification at the Wharton School. In their book, they reveal how game thinking—addressing problems like a game designer—can motivate employees and customers and create engaging experiences that can transform your business.

And Some Reviews:

“Like gamification, this book is a fusion of human nature and good design. Far and away the best book on the subject, with the most examples and the best intellectual grasp of the topics.”

—Bing Gordon, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; former Chief Creative Officer, Electronic Arts


“If you want to understand one of the most important trends in business today, go out and buy For the Win. Werbach and Hunter reveal the secrets to powering up your organization through game thinking. Read this book. It’s a game changer.”

—Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group; Co-author of Do More Faster


For the Win hits a home run in illustrating the business value of gamification for both small and large companies across the globe.”

—Kris Duggan, CEO, Badgeville


To all our gamified readers, get yourself a copy. You won’t regret it.



For our second panel of the day, Nicole Lazzaro (XODesign), Scott Rigby (Immersyve), and Michael Wu (Lithium) spoke about what psychology and management can teach us about the gamification of work.

The panel focused on three main ideas. Nicole Lazzaro spoke about “the four keys to fun”: creating novelty, providing challenge, offering friendship and bringing about meaningful change. Each of these corresponds to a different type of fun: “easy fun”, “hard fun”, “people fun”, and “serious fun”. The design opportunity within each type of fun is for interactions within the game to create powerful emotions for the players – social bonding, for example, in the context of team and other bonding games. The key is how game designers take actions to create engagement in each context.

Michael Wu talked about various theories of factors underlying human behavior, including Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the Fogg behavior model, which says that behavior is caused by the confluence of motivation, ability, and a particular trigger. What keeps people coming back to a game is flow – it’s some of intrinsic reward and the ability for players to discover what they like.

Finally, Scott Rigby spoke about the psychology of motivation. He identified a “Copernican turn” which has resulted in people, not organizations, being at the center of interactions and events. In this understanding, designing a successful game is about satisfying the individual’s psychological needs, such as autonomy – it’s about focusing on the experience of the player rather than any specific game mechanics.