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I just got Foursquared:

Foursquare, one of the newer social networking sites, is unique because it is built around the concept of sharing your location with friends. The basic idea is that users ‘check in’ to their favorite locations both in real life and foursquare. It also appeals to human curiosity to see where other people check in, get their reviews and advice on places one would want to visit. Moreover users get badges for check-ins. There are even custom badges for certain specific events. And, I would definitely check in as many times as I possibly can to get the ‘Mayor’ badge.
Very few people know that the creator of foursquare had actually made a sort of predecessor app called Dodgeball which also used the concept of check in without the badges or rewards. Sure, I would still get to see my friends checking in, but if none of my friends checked in anywhere, there would be no motivation for me to do the same. The concept of badges and rewards actually made the necessary difference for users to keep coming back to the improved app. Gamification today is about turning what we have to do into something that we want to do. For marketers everywhere, it’s about turning consumer actions into habits. For consumers, it is about taking very real tasks and breaking them down into games.
The reason why marketers are using gamification to engage customers is that is serves as a means of intrinsic reinforcement. Every time a goal is accomplished, a small amount of dopamine is released from the brain resulting in pleasure. Over time, this changes their brain structure and chemical makeup, making them smarter, more confident and able to take on larger challenges than before called the Winner Effect. The users keep going back to experience that same rush. Another reason is that gaming also serves as a primary source of entertainment for the millennial generation.
Extra Coffee!!…...

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