I’ve just been to a CPX meeting hosted by Deloitte at their Bourke Street office – the presentation was given by Dr Stefan Walz, leader of the GEEL (Gaming and Emerging Entertainment Laboratory) at both RMIT and Stuttgart Universities. The theme he explored was that of ‘getting off the network’ – in short, how we might address our increasing addiction to being online.

Now, this may sound odd coming from someone who clearly spends much of his career looking into opportunities for ‘gamefying’ business and life processes – but as Dr Walz pointed out, that only goes to show that the majority of folk these days see games as only existing ‘online’. Once upon a time, and not that long ago, no games where online – online didn’t exist as a concept, nor as a technology.

I’m not telling you this because I long to re-instate board-games – or because I’m entirely against electronic games (I’m not entirely against them). I’m telling you this because, for me at least, the penny has finally dropped! I have finally realised that ‘gamification’ is a technique that can be used to influence human behaviour (online, or IRL – In Real Life) in exactly the same way that ‘economics’ (or should that be ‘economification’?) is used to influence human behaviour. Hence the study of how games influence – and can be tailored to deliver specific behavioural outcomes – should perhaps be known as ‘Gamenomics’.

Of course, Gamenomics might then also have a role in sales? After all, Economics are critical in selling (or at least those who sell purely on price, would have us believe) – so perhaps the next ‘great leap forward’ in selling is to figure out how to engage our customers in some form of ‘game’ that they might enjoy, and which rewards them for winning (i.e. buying from us). Clearly the ‘reward’ cannot be financial (that would be economics – or possibly corruption!) but should be psychological – it should appeal to their inner being (their inner child, their competitive streak, their need for validation, etc…) in much the same way as World of Warcraft does ( the ‘crack cocaine of gaming’).

There. Think on that.