I’m a big Angry Birds fan. The first time I saw Mr. D playing it I said, “What the heck is that?” After I spent a few weeks making fun of him, I discovered I was hooked.

It’s a fantastic brain break for me. But that’s what it is – a brain break…after work and instead of watching TV or reading.

So when Angry Birds came to Google Chrome, I was a bit mystified. Why would I want that distraction where I work? I opted not to install it.

Now it’s available on Google+, along with 15 other games.

I don’t get it.

Sure, I believe gamification is the next big thing. And I understand a good reason to come back to a site is for games. I also understand that games on Facebook is a real money maker.

But I’m thinking gamification is going to be big for business, not in the actual game sense of the word, but in the competition sense of the word.

Imagine, if you will, you give points to visitors. Let’s say it’s points like Livefyre gives you when you comment. Now let’s say you can exchange those points for something such as, say, a free webinar or a free online class or a free eBook. That keeps you coming back, right? We like free stuff.

Now imagine your local bakery (can you smell the bread baking every morning?) gives you a free baguette with the purchase of one, if you buy by 7 a.m. They’re creating a game out of getting you to come into their store every morning. At least they would for me. And even better if it’s cibatta instead of a baguette.

These ideas are both really basic gaming dynamics, but that’s what I mean when I say gamification is the next big thing.

Not Angry Birds and other games on the social networks. Maybe I’m getting old, but being able to play games everywhere (computer, tablet, phone) seems like a big distraction and a complete waste of time.

You tell me. What’s the point?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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