Top 10 Gamification Gurus

What better way to eat our own dog food than to calculate a leaderboard for gamification gurus. You know all those people who stand up at conferences and tell you what gamification is (and isn’t).

This month I used  PeerIndex to calculate a top ten list, based on their scores and my own list of gamification gurus (about 20 in all so far). Drumroll please. The top ten as it stands today is:


User PeerIndex Aut. Act. Aud. Twitter
1. Gabe Zichermann Gabe Zichermann 53 49 47 64 @gzicherm
2. Keith Smith Keith Smith 50 48 70 50 @chiefdoorman
3. Ian Bogost Ian Bogost 49 44 47 67 @ibogost
4. Jane McGonigal Jane McGonigal 49 41 38 78 @avantgame
5. Michael Wu Ph.D. Michael Wu Ph.D. 48 45 47 56 @mich8elwu
6. JP Rangaswami JP Rangaswami 47 41 45 67 @jobsworth
7. Amy Jo Kim Amy Jo Kim 46 40 44 66 @amyjokim
8. Sebastian Deterding Sebastian Deterding 46 44 43 55 @dingstweets
9. Paulina Bozek Paulina Bozek 44 43 46 46 @paulinabees
10. Kes Sampanthar Kes Sampanthar 32 28 42 42 @kessampanthar

Gabe at the top? Is this a fair reflection of “guru-ness”?

Well, it’s hard to say. As a relative newcomer to the gamification industry (since June this year) from personal experience I know that Gabe was one of the first people I tuned into, and even popped over to New York for his gamification summit.  Others will of course have a different experience.

What is a guru anyway?

Good question. Definitely needs a definition, anyone?

Is this really gamification of work?

Yes of course it is. It might be slightly in the pointsification category but most people would recognise this as a leaderboard of some sort. That’s a game mechanic and thought leadership isn’t a game for those who play it. The rewards for being at the top are lucrative consulting contracts, book deals and fully paid speaker trips to exotic locations. (Ha! As if. – Ed)

I would call this list a gamification of your PeerIndex scores. Whoever is a gamification speaker and has a high PeerIndex gets to the top of the ratings.

Will the list change?

Well, knowing the recent politics its interesting to see Gabe Zichermann at the top of the list while Sebastian Deterding  comes in at number 8.  If Sebastian moves up in the rankings next month, and Gabe moves down, then perhaps we’ll get a glimpse of the political fall out from that spat. Who is to say?

Who’s missing?

If I don’t get too much political fall out of my own from this post I’ll add people  to the list, and do it again next month – tell me in the comments below or via twitter @tobyberesford.

Gamification of gamification gurus, yay what fun… ;o)



Toby Beresford

Toby is founder and CEO of Rise the success tracking network to track, publish and share success. He was the 2013 chair of - the International Gamification Confederation and organises the UK Gamifiers meetup. As a gamification leader, he speaks at conferences and hosts workshops. Follow him on twitter @tobyberesford and Subscribe to this blog at Gamification Of Work blog feed

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