Review: Adam Penenberg - Play at Work

Damn. Books are going fast this month! As I’ve overachieved already – five books this month, CHECK – I decided to go for some books that might not be so high on my priority list. One of them was Play at Work: How Games Inspire Breakthrough Thinking.

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I have always been a fan of gamification. Games have been a large part of my life. I like all sorts of games, as long as they’re fun. So what better work is there where you can also play games? With that in mind, I started reading this book. Here are my thoughts on it.

What I expected from this book was to get some tips in doing gamification at my own job. However, that’s not what I got out of it. The book covers lots of stories about gamification and studies behind it. What works and what doesn’t? They explain this by providing success stories. Most of these stories are overly detailed. That makes some parts of this book a real struggle to get through.

While the outcome was not exactly what I had hoped for, I did get an idea about gamification. If it works out, you’ll be the first to read it! A good thing about the book is that it’s fun. There’s some jokes in there and it’s about games. So naturally, it’s fun! However, I expected more from it and most of the time it was too detailed. And then there was this ending note on the sim argument… That’s far fetched. But in a fictional world that could make sense, I guess!

I rate this book stars. If you’re looking for examples on how certain companies interpreted gamification, this book can provide you stories and cases. However, don’t read this book expecting to learn a lot of gamification design. It doesn’t really help you learn that.

Have you read Play at Work? What are your thoughts on this book? Leave a comment and let me know!