Re: Gamification's Failure
Gamification is a topic that I see oft-discussed, but rarely implemented. Maybe that's just anecdotal (someone must be using it for there to be so much talk), but nevertheless I'm glad to see someone be open and honest about the overall lack of returns on this trend. People assume that a lot of the flack 'gamification' gets is from older folks talking bad about 'these confounded younguns', and maybe that is true, but the opposite is also true. Like commenter David, I'm a pretty entrenched gamer myself, and I've been skeptical of this idea from the beginning. There are the obvious problems (work =/= game no matter what you attach to it), and the more subtle ones - and I'm glad to see you tackle both.
As for getting it right... well, like I said, I'm a little skeptical of it being a good idea to begin with. For those that are absolutely determined to make it work, though, there are a few tips that come to mind. Chiefly, make it unobtrusive - if it takes me too long to go and log a task or claim my 'reward', then I'm not going to bother. I'd rather get ten tasks done and not log them then get six done and log them. Other than that, your tip about variety hits home. There are lots of different kinds of games, and social games like farmville are actually LEAST popular among hardcore gamers - it requires a little more thought.