Google gamifies the news - Gadgets and Tech - Life and Style - The Independent

Google gamifies the news

Google is converting the act of reading the news into an addictive game with the addition of Google News badges.

The online gamification trend has been used in everything from encouraging people to save the world to reducing the number of people speeding on the roads or to enhance successful online learning programs, and now Google is using a virtual "rewards system" to build its own news-reading empire.

"Starting today, in the U.S. edition of Google News, you can see how voracious a news reader you are by earning Google News badges as you read articles about your favorite topics. The more you read, the higher level badge you'll receive, starting with Bronze, then moving up the ladder to Silver, Gold, Platinum and finally, Ultimate,” said Google in a July 14 post on its official Google News blog.

The badges are private by default, said Google, but users are encouraged to share their news reading prowess and badges with their online friends.

Earlier in July, gaming company Zynga launched a gamified privacy policy via a game called PrivacyVille. In the game, Zynga rewards its users for learning about its (usually skipped-over) privacy practices.  

Google is testing this first release of Google News badges to see how people use and share the virtual rewards. The company will eventually enhance its Google News gaming features and is rumored to be rolling out badges and virtual awards to its additional online products.

http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/shareable-google-news-badges-for-your.html

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