Happy Monday! There were quite a few conferences last week that highlighted gamification and motivation. If you lost track of the news or recaps, be sure to catch up below.

Gamification: What Motivates Users to Play in Non-Game Contexts Business2Community 5/4/2012 We have talked about intrinsic motivation on mygamification.com before as one of the key concepts to understand in gamification. A new study done by Queensland University of Technology delves deeper into the ‘self-determination theory’ a theory that claims autonomy, competence and relatedness are necessary for intrinsic motivation (and internal satisfaction). This is a great read for anyone interested in the psychology of motivation.

Gamification’s not just about silly badges, it can make you healthier and smarter The Next Web 5/2/2012 At The Next Web conference last week, gamification expert Gabe Zicherman gave a great talk about the power of gamification to make self-improvement. While he discusses the success and possibilities available with gamification, he also makes the point that gamification is “not just about crappy badges.”

Onboarding is the most crucial element in gamification Vator News 5/4/2012 The Vator Spark conference also took place last week, bringing together some of the top minds in gamification including our CEO Keith Smith. Keith talked about monetizing gamification and the importance of onboarding new users in that process. On new members, Keith said, “Be able to communicate your service and benefits quickly so you don’t lose new members.”

The Death of Gamification Business2Community 5/4/2012 While the title might be a bit negative for what we normally post, we couldn’t ignore this article on gamification. Andrzej Marczewski has done quite a few positive pieces on gamification and this one is really no different. He cautions against over complicating gamification and making what should be a quick and fast way to influence behavior a complex system that drives users away. “What you have to keep in mind is what best suits the needs of the users, clients, task or whatever. If all that is needed is a badge or two, then use them.” We totally agree! Gamification can often be very simple and publishers should really look at what they seek to achieve and how to do so simply.

Bike Challenge and Endomondo empower cyclists with data SF Gate  5/2/2012 Measurement of health success is a trend that has been on the rise for quite some time. With heart rate monitors, running log apps and other various tools, users can easily keep track of nearly all levels of fitness and health usually with a bit of gamification as well. But all this data can become overwhelming and meaningless if it is not delivered in a way that everyday users can understand. Endomondo, a Swedish mobile app uses GPS to track various physical activities and provide real time feedback in a meaningful (re: how many cheeseburgers you have burned) way.  The app also has numerous ‘challenges’ nationally and locally for users to participate in and share with their friends when completed. Measurement and motivation combined in one app? Awesome.