I have a bunch of stray notes and quotes from the various panels of Day 1 of the Gamification Summit. In most cases, I’m not sure who said what. But the messages stuck with me, so I wanted to round up a few of the most important points I heard during the day.

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One representative of a shopping company using game mechanics noted no one on the staff was really an expert on gaming. They were using badges, levels and points. But they launched without figuring out what the “elder game” was. That is, the core experience that would sustain players over the long haul. “That motivation is what will make a game durable.” What I heard over and over is that game design should start with thinking about the core experience, rather than looking at the tools and levers you can use.

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On good gamification design: “If the first word that comes out of their mouths is, ‘Oh, this is a game,’ then we haven’t done our job well.” Gamifying a site should be subtle, with users/players not necessarily knowing that they are entering a game.

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“How do you optimize the user expectation?”

“You have to have some kind of community within your brand. You can use these techniques to turbo charge that community.”

“If you’re a content company today, you have to add community if you want to compete in the global marketplace. Gamification can be the social glue that brings this all together.”

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