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The core assumption of gamification is that any purpose-directed activity can become a game. Outside of debates about whether some things ought or ought not to be made into games is the recognition that game-play has a way of capturing our attention and keeping us motivated towards an outcome. A good case in point occurred a couple of weeks ago when medical researchers announced that¬† a problem they had been working on for about a decade was solved in three weeks by gamers. If enzyme identification can be made fun and compelling enough for people to take it up in their spare time for no pay, it seems that anything truly can become a game. You may recall this exchange between Bart Simpson and his school principal: Principle Skinner: Oh, licking envelopes can be fun! All you have to do is make a game of it. Bart: What kind of…

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