Gamification Books: The Ultimate List

Gamification Books: The Ultimate List

Gamification Books

It is our hope that you can use this list for your own study of the realm of gamification. If there are any books that we have not mentioned here, please let us know in the comments. We want to expand our realm of knowledge and learn gamification as much as you do!

 

Gamification Explained:

 

Gamification: A Simple Introduction & a Bit More by Andrzej Marczewski

Gamification Books
A short eBook that is great for the person who is just getting into the idea of learning gamification. If you are willing to learn and want just a brief overview with simple applications of the idea, then this eBook is worth a glance.
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Gamification and Game Mechanics Made Simple (Kindle Edition) by Patrick Chapman
Gamification Books
Are you trying to learn how to take game mechanics and embed them into your business practices, therapy sessions, or classroom? Are you trying to get a better grasp on the ideas brought forward by gamification? Then you need to take a look at this book. It will help you understand the world of gamification a bit better and teach you how to use it effectively for whatever you need it for.
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Business Gamification For Dummies by Kris Duggan and Kate Shoup

Gamification Books
Gamification can be very complicated if you don’t understand it. If you need some help understanding the basics, then this is exactly the book you’ve been looking for. No matter what sort of business you are involved in, you can utilize the techniques shared in this gamification book.
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Gamification Theories:
Gamification by Design by Gabe Zichermann
Gamification Books

Implementing game mechanics into reality can be complicated if you don’t fully understand it. Zichermann explores the possibilities that gamification opens up and offers a logical process to follow in order to help web developers learn and enjoy growth and engagement on their sites.

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A Theory of Fun by Raph Koster

Gamification Books

This innovative book focuses on game design, which is integral to understanding gamification. It teaches game designers how to take their games and improve them so that they give the players the most enjoyment. Game design focuses on fun, entertainment, engagement, and bringing people back again and again.

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
Gamification Books

Choices are a part of our everyday life, and some people don’t know how to make good decisions. Even though it does not overtly mention gamification, it explains a process called “choice architecture” that utilizes many of the game mechanics that gamification study explores.

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Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do by B.J. Fogg
Gamification Books

Fogg explores how computers can be used to persuade us to do a number of different tasks, just by utilizing their capabilities to go further into the mind and change the way we think in subtle ways. This is a great read for those who are looking to see a practical application of the art of gamification.

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Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life by Len Fisher
Gamification Books
Fisher explores cooperation in nature and how it applies to the world of game theory and gamification. He shares stories of social experiments that he performed that dealt with cooperation and the revealing outcomes of those experiments in this book.More details here
Game Frame: Using Games as a Strategy for Success by Aaron Dignan
Gamification Books
Games can change the behavior of anyone involved. Everything that we own and use nowadays pushes us to play the game. Dignan uses this book to explore those mechanics in today’s world and teaches people to apply them to a number of different settings.More details here

Psychology & Sociology:

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Gamification Books
Even though this book does not specifically discuss gamification itself, it digs into the psychological theories surrounding it. In it, Csikszentmihalyi explores a state of mind called “flow,” where people experience ultimate enjoyment and creativity. This theory is one of the building blocks of gamification; so it makes this book a must-read for anyone interested in gamification.
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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

Gamification Books

This is yet another book that explores the psychological basis of gamification; Pink explores what drives people, the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and why intrinsic motivation spurs creativity. He explores how businesses and education systems fail at motivation and how it can be fixed. 
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Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation by Edward L. Deci and Richard Flaste
Gamification Books
This doesn’t sound like a gamification book on the surface, but when you dig in; you realize that it is very deeply related. Self-motivation is a big part of why people play games, and we need to understand how self-motivation works before we can start to bring it into the workplace.
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Games People Play by Eric Berne
Gamification Books

Games have always been a part of society, and this book, written in the 60’s, is one of the books that spurred the modern exploration of gamification. Berne explored the gaming mechanics that already existed in our society back then and we can use it to see how those same mechanics apply in today’s world.

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Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility by James P. Carse
Gamification Books
This book, originally published in the late 1980’s, talks about how games are a part of everyday life. Finite games are the contexts we experience daily; infinite games are the bigger picture. This book explores gamification on a macro level, which makes it an engaging read.
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Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughn
Gamification Books
This book explores play and how play is the core of all of our basic activities. This book is unique because it takes research from several areas of study, including biology, neuroscience, psychology, and sociology, and uses all of them to create a narrative that discusses how important play is in our world.
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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Gamification Books
Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics Daniel Kahneman explains that since all decisions involve uncertainty about the future the human brain you use to make decisions has evolved an automatic and unconscious system for judging how to proceed when a potential for loss arises. When offered a chance to accept or reject a gamble, most people refuse to make take a bet unless the possible payoff is around double the potential loss.
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Gamification in Society, Education & Healthcare:

 

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal
Gamification Books
This is one of the best modern gamification books for this generation. McGonigal explores how we can use the power of games in order to fix the reality that we currently live in; from social problems to worldwide issues. If you are someone that believes games can change the world, this is the book to read.
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The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game by Lee Sheldon

Gamification Books
This gamification book focuses on the classroom and how you can make any structured learning experience into a fun, interactive game. You want to get your students excited about learning again? Then this book has what you need to succeed.
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Digital Game-Based Learning by Marc Prensky
Gamification Books

This book was written to assist teachers who were working with people who had difficulty learning. Instead of using the same old methods, it gives examples of how to overcome challenges by using games. The premise is that anything and everything can be taught effectively through this method.

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Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson
Gamification Books
The digital age is upon us, and many classrooms have plugged into the world, but there is still a lot that can be done. This gamification book helps to visualize what could happen in the world of American education if we pushed technology and, specifically, gamification, to its utmost limits.
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“Don’t Bother Me Mom–I’m Learning!” by Marc Prensky
Gamification Books
This book was written to help encourage video game play in children, because the right video and computer games can help them to learn. Today’s digital games make you learn much more than they used to, and this book also guides parents and teachers to talk to their students about what they are learning from games.
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Game Change by Craig Atkinson, Malcolm Devoy

The book explores how “gamification” can be harnessed and applied as a business model for the future. An estimated one billion people spend at least one hour every day playing computer and video games. Businesses need to consider that 7 billion hours by 1 billion gamers is what’s up for grabs in the “Engagement Economy”. It’s argued that if businesses can harness even a fraction of the sort of engagement witnessed in gaming, the payback will be significant.
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Game Design:

 

Community Building on the Web by Amy Jo Kim
Gamification Books

This innovative book focuses on game design, which is integral to understanding gamification. It teaches game designers how to take their games and improve them so that they give the players the most enjoyment. Game design focuses on fun, entertainment, engagement, and bringing people back again and again.

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The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games: How the Most Valuable Content Will be Created in the Age Beyond Gutenberg to Google by Clark Aldrich
Gamification Books

Aldrich appeals to game designers in this book, by offering ideas about how to look at the world differently and present it through virtual simulations. It explores hundreds of game terms in every realm, from practice-ware, to educational simulations, to social impact games, and how they can be used in today’s world.

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Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience by Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone
Gamification Books

Choices are a part of our everyday life, and some people don’t know how to make good decisions. Even though it does not overtly mention gamification, it explains a process called “choice architecture” that utilizes many of the game mechanics that gamification theory explores.

More details here

Creating Games: Mechanics, Content, and Technology by Morgan McGuire, Odest Chadwicke Jenkins
Gamification Books
This book discusses the mechanics of game design, all of which are important in the world of gamification. It helps to explore how people can work together to develop games as well.
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Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber
Gamification Books
If you are looking to get into game design or you are looking to utilize game mechanics in your business or another area of your life, you may get a lot out of learning about game design and how to fight the challenges that occur.
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Building Social Web Applications: Establishing Community at the Heart of Your Site by Gavin Bell
Gamification Books
Part of the success of building successful social websites is by making community that stays. Part of the way that you can do this is by using gamification to keep people coming back to your website. This book tells you how to start that process.

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The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses by Jesse Schell

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses shows that the same basic principles of psychology that work for board games, card games and athletic games also are the keys to making top-quality videogames.

Good game design happens when you view your game from many different perspectives, or lenses. This book gives the reader one hundred of these lenses one hundred sets of insightful questions to ask yourself that will help make your game better. These lenses are gathered from fields as diverse as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, writing, puzzle design, and anthropology.

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The Play at Work: How Games Inspire Breakthrough Thinking by Adam L. Penenberg
Gamification Books
Penenberg talks about successful game design, and if we apply those same techniques in other areas of our lives (goal achievement and innovation, primarily), we can succeed in ways we never imagined. Instead of working to play, we need to play at work instead.
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Gamification in Business & Marketing:

Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business by David Edery, Ethan Mollick

Gamification Books
A short eBook that is great for the person who is just getting into the idea of gamification. If you are willing to learn and want just a brief overview with simple applications of the idea, then this eBook is worth a glance.
More details here
Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games by Jon Radoff
Gamification Books
Games are the core of everyday functions that we go through, and social games can be utilized to encourage creativity and productivity. Radoff has written what is considered to be the integral must-have for any business that is utilizing the web as part of its social media plan.
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Changing the Game by David Edery and Ethan Mollick

Gamification Books

Changing the Game explores how organizations are using video games for every end of marketing and employment retention. If you are looking to employ gamification as a business technique or explore how it should be used, this book is for you to check out.

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Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges, and Contests by Gabe Zichermann, Joselin Linder
Gamification Books
Innovation is running the internet marketplace, and it keeps growing because companies are utilizing game mechanics in their marketing techniques. Zichermann has used those techniques in his own business, and he presents those methods in this book.

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Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Dave Gray
Gamification Books

Do you want to be in an environment that encourages creativity and innovation? Gamestorming can do this for your business. It includes a number of game ideas that can help your business go from ordinary to extraordinary; all because of gamification.

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Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever by John C. Beck
Gamification Books

Video games aren’t just for kids anymore, and those who grew up in the “gamer generation” are going to use the game mechanics they’ve played with for years in the world of business. This book explores how gamification is going to change the business world as we know it.

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Gamification at Work: Designing Engaging Business Software by Janaki Mythily Kumar and Mario Herger
Gamification Books

Gamification is being used in business, and it is estimated that almost half of all businesses across the world will use it in their business models. This book explores why gamification is important to business and how, if used correctly, it can transform the workplace.

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The Gamification Revolution: How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics to Crush the Competition by Gabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder
Gamification Books

Leaders are taking mechanics and other techniques from game design and applying it to their businesses – and it’s working. Zichermann and Linder explain how using gamification can catch the attention of potential clients and customers and keep them for the long haul.

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For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business by Kevin Werbach
Gamification Books
For the Win is currently one of the most popular gamification books for businesses to use. Games take years to build and a number of individuals with different talents have helped develop those games. A well-designed game goes right to psychology, and For the Win helps people to understand that psychology and use it to their advantage.More details here
Totally Awesome Training Activity Guide Book: How to Put Gamification to Work for You by Monica Cornetti
Gamification Books
Are you ready to get your business to work? Gamification can help you push your business to the limit with over 50 practical activities that you can use for every aspect of business growth and training.More details here
Loyalty 3.0: How to Revolutionize Customer and Employee Engagement with Big Data and Gamification by Rajat Paharia
Gamification Books
In this gamification book the author shares ways to create a system that focuses primarily on human motivation and digital technology in order to develop engagement between everyone involved with your business, even the customers and employees. Loyalty 3.0 focuses on gamification techniques that can keep people hooked for the long term.More details here
Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover

 

Hooked is a guide to building habit-forming technology, written for product managers, designers, marketers, and startup founders to provide practical insights to create habits that stick, actionable steps for building products people love and can’t put down and behavioral techniques used by Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other habit-forming products.
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