A Conversation With Author Brian Burke, Gartner Inc.

Today we celebrate the launch of GAMIFY: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things by Garter analyst and research VP Brian Burke.

Brian BurkeToday we celebrate the launch of GAMIFY: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things by Garter analyst and research VP Brian Burke. In the book, Brian shows that gamification can be used to motivate people to change behaviors, develop skills, and drive innovation. Below, he shares some of his research and inspiration for the book — congratulations, Brian!

What inspired you to write GAMIFY?

I believe gamification can have a huge impact on business and society, but what I was hearing and reading on the topic was often misguided. There’s a lot of confusion out there! The reason I wrote GAMIFY was to help people to focus on the opportunities for gamification, to understand its limitations, and hopefully to shift the conversation to within the realm of the possible.

What was your favorite part of the writing and publishing process?

My favorite part was getting insights from lots of people with different perspectives, and piecing them together to get to the essence of what’s really going on. As a researcher, my job is to understand technologies and trends and make them simpler, not more complex. My goal with GAMIFY was to demystify gamification, and to help organizations use it successfully.

Who do hope reads your book? What do you want them to get from it?

The exciting part is that the opportunity space is wide open. It could be a teacher in Hyderabad figuring out a way to teach kids more effectively, or an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley looking for a new way to add value to the product offer, or an unemployed youth in Barcelona trying to find a way forward through Spain’s chronic employment problem. What I hope they get from GAMIFY is a roadmap for engaging and motivating a crowd to make things better – to make a difference.

Gamify Who was your #1 influencer for your work?

It I had to pick one person it would be Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children. He really understands the power of gamification to engage and motivate people using a digital model rather than a face-to-face model. His app, We 365, does just that. It is a gamified solution designed to digitally engage youth and motivate them to take action for social change. It extends the energy of We Day and packages it into a gamified solution to inspire youth every day. That is really the essence of what gamification is about.

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading, “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. This book has great insights into the impacts of what the authors call the “second machine age”, or as Gartner calls it, the “Digital Industrial Economy”. Going beyond understanding the technology advances, the authors examine the social and economic impacts of the coming technological revolution, and they make recommendations about how government and society must respond to these disruptions.

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