You want to have a textbook to install Gamification for your own services, programs or company? Motivated by all the hype about how Gamification is the solution to get an almost lifelong customer engagement and many returning sales? You want to copy the success of Zynga, Nike+ and Groupon (note the absence of Foursquare in this list as I think it's rather a bad example of Gamification)? You want to find the secret recipe in just one easy to read book?
Why not buy and read the newest book from the "foremost expert on the subject of Gamification"? Well the title of this book by Gabe Zicherman sounds like the perfect solution for your motivations above, right? Well, I have bad news for you, there is no easy shortcut to understanding and implementing successful principles of Gamification for you! Nor is this book gonna help you in achieving all that is promised on the outside of the book. Ever heard of "No pain no gain?". That's right, as I will tell you here right away that you have to do it the hard way, buy and read a minimum dozen of books (some reading list provided later) and even then it's not guaranteed you've found the secret recipe.
So safe your 14.10 US$ (strange that Amazon is already cutting the price on a newly book almost in half, unless it's not a bestseller, right?) and invest that and some more dollars into various other books with more insights, more practicable tips, more take-aways than this book. Save yourself from the pain to read through some cheap advertising of the services of Badgeville.com as there are many other companies that offer the same service as them - at least two others start also with a B in their company name (hint). Save yourself from being mislead on some of the important topics of motivation (intrinsic vs extrinsic), psychology and game design as the author didn't manage to either explain them correctly or, as Sebastian Deterding hints in his review, shows a dangerous piece of pseudo-knowledge!
Go to a local bookstore where you have the chance of unwrapping this book and read randomly inside to see if the claims are right, make yourself your own picture of the quality of this book (the look inside of Amazon can't give show you all)
Still find my review not convincing enough to give only one star? Want to get more in-depth details about why this book is only worth one star? Then go on to read Sebastian Deterdings full review, an excellent, very long post about why Gabe Zicherman's new book deserves just one star eg it just uses copy & paste from other people's (read: Amy Jo Kim) public available presentations without even giving proper reference, not even mentioning of devoting a full chapter of advertising one Gamification companies services [...] in chapter 7 of his book:
For those that find the review of Gabe Zicherman's new book to long, jump to end to read Sebastian Deterdings conclusion and to read the copy&paste proof of "Chapter 2: Player Motivation" and Chapter 7
Sadly, like many other reviewers said too, the concept of Gamification is really intriguing and can be a difference maker in your marketing efforts, but isn't that easy to be achieved. Ignoring intrinsic motivation and just focusing on extrinsic motivation is giving you a short, hyped-up experience where your program is going to die much quicker than it was hyped-up in the beginning. I for one haven't fully mastered Gamification as indeed just reading one or two books from the self-claimed "foremost expert on Gamification" isn't providing you a shortcut to understand Gamification fully, it requires ready and understanding a variety of different books from Motivation (Daniel Pink eg Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us) to Game Design (Jesse Schell The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses, Raph Koster A Theory of Fun for Game Design, Jane McGonigal eg Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World) to Psychology (Johnmarshall Reeve eg Understanding Motivation and Emotion) as well as reading through the various excellent and free available online presentations (like Amy Jo Kim, Sebastian Deterding, Michael Wu eg)