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Amy DuVernet, Alberto Asquer and Inna Krachkovskaya

Among the digital transformations that impact the present state of the economy and society, gamification, or the application of game mechanics in non-game contexts, represents a promising approach that capitalizes on opportunities arising from the widespread availability of digital information and technology. While this technique has received a considerable amount of interest and enthusiasm, empirical work has produced mixed results with regard to its effectiveness in directing and influencing behavior. This chapter aims to critically assess gamification in the context of academic research on digital transformations. In summarizing the literature on gamification, we differentiate the concept from other similar approaches and provide an explanation of the mechanisms through which gamification exerts influence over behaviors. We also review some critical arguments against current types of gamification, outline a research program aimed to clarify several unresolved questions about gamification, and discuss ways in which gamification can play a transformative role in the evolving digital environment.