Happy Monday! With the holidays around the corner, we know it’s hard to keep up with the news. In case you missed some, here is this week’s gamification news you might enjoy.

Gamification: more than fun and games, it’s about engagement Gigaom 12/8/2011 Gabe Zichermann, gamification expert looks to dispel rumors that gamification is just turning everything into Angry Birds. Zichermann says that, “gamification, or the use of key game concepts to engage users and solve problems, can be a powerful way to create happiness and innovation and spur on results and education among its workforce”.

The Gamification of Holiday Shopping MBA Online 12/16/2011 How do you make holiday shopping more enjoyable? Gamify it. Smart phone technology means that retailers have even more ways to engage shoppers in and out of the store. Retailers are now encouraging users to check-in, shop at certain times and scan QR codes to reap in store rewards. Shopkick, one of the best examples of this, allows users to earn ‘kicks’ for going into participating stores in return for real world rewards.

Gamification for smart alecs Technology Spectator 12/16/2011 Gamification is often described as adding game mechanics to nongame applications, but Craig Roth thinks of gamification as something more subtle: a high quality user experience. With expertise in game design and corporate IT, Roth notes the differences between designing when users are paying to play and when they are not. A high quality experience is necessary in order to keep users playing and coming back for more on their own.

Deloitte Picks top 10 tech trends for 2012 ZDNet 12/16/2011 Deloitte has released its top ten tech trends for 2012 and unsurprisingly gamification is listed. Most trends listed relate to social, cloud and mobile services. All of these were popular in 2011, but Deloitte predicts that we will see even deeper integration than in previous years.

Why Did We Look the Other Way on Competition, Gamification? Forbes 12/14/2011 Despite the ever growing use of the internet, loyalty scores of individual websites remain statistically very low. One solution for this is gamification, which has seen a steady rise in popularity since 2007. We were pleased to provide the infographic that was used in this piece demonstrating the history and popularity of gamification.