Does social networking already function like a game?
Twitter is a massively multiplayer online game in which you choose an interesting avatar and then role play a persona loosely based on your own - attempting to accrue followers by repeatedly pressing lettered buttons to form interesting sentences.
It could be viewed as a game; as it's about small achievements adding up to bigger ones.
''Gameification'' means applying the mechanics of videogames to real life. Now often this boils down to incentivising people to perform the same action over and over again. Each time Mario head-butts a block, he gets a coin; when he gets one hundred coins he gets an extra life.
Celebrities goad one another by enquiring about how many followers the other has on Twitter, adding substance to their self-worth bank account. And yet this isn't too dissimilar to when we were kids and enquired with our mates about how many 'points' you got or what their high scores on a certain game was.
By supplying a constant stream of fun-sized rewards, social networking has by accident ''gameified'' whole aspects of our lives. Every second another little gold coin (or follower) for you to collect; more followers, more retweets, compelling you to interact over and over again.
These are basically games we don't even realise we're playing.
Charlie Brooker ~ How Video Games Changed the World