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Microsoft: Hey Business, Got Game?

If this one slipped by you, it slipped by me as well. But apparently a lot of people are thinking hard about using game-like achievements in a corporate setting as rewards for employees and partners. One name for the concept is "gamification."

Microsoft is among the hard thinkers. On March 27, the company updated a "Visual Studio Achievements Extension," which brings Xbox-like achievements to developers. (It had been released as a beta in January.) Developers can unlock 32 achievement badges with funky names like "Close To The Metal," "Stubby" or "Interrupting Cow" that display on their Channel 9 profiles.

Why does this matter to Microsoft partners, especially those not immersed in the Visual Studio subculture? Larry Louisiana connected the dots this week in a blog post for Magenic, a Microsoft National Systems Integrator partner based in Minneapolis.

In the post, "Windows 8 Gamification Approach," Louisiana writes:

"What makes this interesting to me is the leveraging of the Microsoft LIVE account, so that achievements can be tracked and shared as claims in a claims-based authorization/authentication approach."

He continues:

"Claims-based authentication will allow you to pass your achievements around your organization and/or partners if you so choose, and across devices like smartphones, tablets, Xboxes and PCs. Displaying them, deciding the metrics, and defining the goals are obviously up to you and your organization, but the easiest way to go about it is to build from an architectural pattern that facilitates these changes internally."

Lots more nitty gritty in the Magenic post. Plus, Larry left an Easter Egg at the end as a reward for reading the post -- your very own gamification badge.

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 05, 2012


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