Kai Huotari and Juho Hamari have just co-authored a new paper, presented at the MindTrek 2012 conference, that provides a new definition for gamification from a service marketing perspective.
They define gamification as “a process of enhancing a service with affordances for gameful experiences in order to support user’s overall value creation“.
They argue that the previous definition by Deterding et al. (2011) highlights that “only non-games can be gamified” which has issues due to service desingers having difficulties identifying exactly what a non-game context is because “the existence of a game is dependent on the subjective perception of the player/user”. Where past definitions are based on the use of game elements, this new definition emphasises the goal of gamification rather than the methods and it’s relation to previous service marketing research.
The definition has already spurred some interesting discussion on the Gamification Research Network mailing list, both praise and criticism.
You can read more the new definition and access the paper from here: http://jhamari.tumblr.com/post/33158604130/gamification