Are you being played? How tech companies use gamification

When you visit LinkedIn, one of the most ominous features encouraging profile completion is the progress bar telling you that your profile has a long way to go before you’re complete. This very basic example of “gamification” has helped LinkedIn efficiently grow its global user base with relevant, accurate and high-value data.

GamesBeat Weekly Roundup

If you follow VentureBeat but don’t regularly check our GamesBeat site, here’s a list of the best games stories we ran over the last seven days that you may have missed.

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.

BigDoor raises $5M for gamification platform

BigDoor, a white label gamification platform maker, has raised $5 million in new funding from the Foundry Group. The platform allows non-game online publishers to “gamify” their web sites by adding game mechanics that improve user interaction and engagement.

GamesBeat Weekly Roundup

Here are some of the stories that ran on GamesBeat this week. We’re running more articles exclusively in the GamesBeat section of VentureBeat, particularly when they’re mainly of interest to our game readers. The broader-interest posts will continue to run on VentureBeat as well. Please visit the GamesBeat section to catch up on the latest game news. We’re ramping up our game coverage, so you’ll find a larger amount of deeper news at GamesBeat.

Badgeville powers gamified reality TV show Escape Routes

Gamification, the use of game-like rewards in non-game applications, is moving into reality TV. Badgeville will provide gamified achievements to the multiplatform reality TV series Ford Escape Routes, where six teams of two people compete in a road trip competition from city to city.

Badgeville adds social fabric analysis to its gamification suite

Gamification company Badgeville has made a big splash in the past year by helping web sites better engage visitors through game-like features such as leaderboards and badges. Now it is taking a step further and adding behavioral analysis to help its clients better understand their users.

Venture capitalist Tim Chang describes the white-hot landscape of game investments

The emerging landscape of games is attracting a lot of money, thanks in part to excitement about Zynga’s upcoming initial public offering and some recent acquisitions such as Electronic Arts’ $750 million purchase of PopCap Games. Tim Chang, a partner at Norwest Venture Partners, has kept his finger on the pulse of the game market for years and spoke about the opportunities in games at the recent Casual Connect game conference in Seattle.