As a proponent of using playing and games for learning & development (my old job with PIXELearning) and for affecting positive social impact (with my current businesss, SoshiGames) the rapidly trending concepts around ‘gamification’ (of real life) are exciting, interesting and intriguing but, in equal measure, concerning and annoying.
In the space of a single day I came across three excellent critiques of the gamification movement that, for me, kill the myths, articulate the value and clearly differentiate the real and assumed links to game design.
 Article by Hide & Seek entitled “Can’t play. Won’t play” – read it here
 Blog post by Beb Sawyer entitled “Issues of Gamification Design: Part 1″ – read it here
 Stunning presentation (both in terms of styel and substance) by Sebastian Deterding – embedded below or on Slideshare:
My summary: “Gamification” isn’t bad…it just isn’t a good word for what people are trying to do as it implies that rewards, badges and levels are the primary motivator in games when in fact it is the ability play thing you want to play, to have fun, to be interested and to be challenged at just the right level in a system that allow syou to fail as well as to achieve/win.