Does console have a future?

While recent headlines such as “Game sales crash!” and “Games retail collapses!” don’t paint a rosy picture, I believe the report of the death of console games is an exaggeration. Yet an uncertain future faces those console games companies that choose not to evolve rapidly.

Bay Area companies get another nonstop flight to Capitol Hill

San Francisco is going from zero non-stop flights to Washington National Airport to two non-stops this summer. Virgin America announced today that it will start its service to the airport just a few miles from Capitol Hill on August 14.  United started service on the route two weeks ago. Flights from San Francisco to Washington National had been illegal for more than 40 years. Virgin America got a much coveted exemption to the airport’s perimeter rule.

Can this app cure depression?

It may be time to sack your therapist. The researchers conducting the world’s first clinical study on the use of smartphone apps to treat depression have given VentureBeat a preview of the results. 73.5 percent of depressed participants who used an application called Viary, were no longer considered to be depressed by the end of the study.

Badgeville’s Kris Duggan: Six frameworks can gamify employee and customer engagement (interview)

Brands have embraced “gamification,” or using game-like behavior in non-game applications, as a way to engage their audiences. That is why gamification vendor Badgeville has more than 165 customers and is announcing today that it has raised $25 million in a new round of funding. Kris Duggan, chief executive of Badgeville, says gamification will let brands engage and retain their audiences. It also enables companies to inspire employees to collaborate or compete. Badgeville has a “behavior platform” to enable companies to measure and influence behavior by using game techniques. You can give salespeople rewards for hitting targets. Companies can embed the platform in web, mobile, social, and enterprise applications. Duggan’s team focuses on six “frameworks,” or templates that enable companies to improve behavior. Those include core gamification programs for web sites; programs for rewarding community experts; competitive pyramids; gentle guides for completing tasks such as tutorials; incentives for collaboration; and challenges to create competition with company departments. We caught up with Duggan for an interview on gamification. Here is an edited transcript.