Top 20 Gamification Gurus

Last month’s top ten has now become top twenty!

Ten was just too few when there are so many interesting gamification people around.

I’ve used Klout as the reputation engine for the Gamification Gurus as most of them are signed up to it.

For anyone just getting started in Gamification this list intends to show those people with a point of view worth considering.

So, here is the top twenty Gamification Guru’s for November…

  1. Jane McGonigal – @avantgame
  2. Gabe Zichermann – @gzicherm
  3. Ian Bogost – @ibogost
  4. Raf Keustermans – @raf_keustermans
  5. Buster Benson – @busterbenson
  6. Tom Chatfield – @TomChatfield
  7. Nicholas Lovell – @nicholaslovell
  8. Kris Duggan – @kduggan
  9. Jesse Schell – @jesseschell
  10. Michael Wu – @mich8elwu
  11. Kam Star – @playgen
  12. Keith Smith – @ChiefDoorman
  13. Sebastian Deterding – @dingstweets
  14. Amy Kim – @amyjokim
  15. Paulina Bozek – @PaulinaBees
  16. Life is a game – @welivetoplay
  17. Kevin Werbach – @kwerb
  18. Jon Radoff – @jradoff
  19. Ben Kirman – @benki
  20. Rajat Paharia – @rajatrocks

If you’d like to follow this list on twitter – it’s at Top 20 Gamification Gurus twitter list.

Rajat Raharia of Bunchball (@RajatRocks), commenting on the previous list, said, it needs to be meaningful to have value. Absolutely, the question is what input signals do we need to make this  list meaningful? Is the list itself meaningful? Does anyone really want to be in the top 20 gurus of gamification?

Also to be exciting, I think the algorithms that generate the list themselves need more work –  is a Klout or PeerIndex score alone enough?

This month I’ve added one more signal to the score – topic expertise. To be on the list you need to have a Klout ranking in a gamification related topic such as games, game development or user experience.

While in theory, this narrows the list to those with proven subject excellence, there are some omissions.  This approach cuts out,  some clever people who have recently shown an interest in gamification (the bright sparks at Cap Gemini for example, sorry @Guy1067 and @buchanla).  It also means we may make mistakes and remove gamification experts simply because their Klout topics don’t include games.

What I’m looking for for the next iteration of the list though is a better, less gameable algorithm that more accurately reflects ‘guru-ness’. I was wondering if we could get an input of those speaking on gamification in the last month (perhaps the  folks at lanyrd  can help, if anyone knows Simon Willison can they ask him?) or can we make use of those tweeting and retwteeting about gamification (maybe the guys at datasift?)

Endaf Kerfoot suggested that we model the way academics build a reputation and track the number of citations of an individual. In the social web I guess this is factoring in the number of comments on their blog(s) and trackback links from other bloggers.

Top 20 Gamification Gurus ranked according to Klout score and filtered based on what Klout believes are your topics of influence. I’ve also added  some people from my list of key Gamification influentials for e.g. regular conference speakers, authors and people in the business of gamification.  (If you’re in gamification and think you should be at least on the long list then just comment below or ping me)

Congratulations to Jane McGonigal (of “Reality is Broken” fame) who pips last month’s winner Gabe Zichermann to the top spot.

Well done to everyone else who made it onto the top 20 list – (I trust you haven’t been ‘gaming’ klout!) Especially to the new entrants in the top 10, Raf Keustermanns, Tom Chatfield and Nicholas Lovell. Welcome to the gamification of gamification experts….

Follow the full list of Gamification Gurus via Twitter – see the unfiltered ranked list of Gamification Gurus on Klout

As ever comments and suggestions welcomed. ‘Till next month….

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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  • Dear Toby,
    using Klout as a ref point for Top Gamification Gurus is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.
    I suggest to add foursquare CEO and Co-Founder, Dennis Crowley t @dens to your list. Foursquare’s contribution to the acceptance of Gamification/ Gameful Design by the public and the industry leaders is enormous.


    Hanan Gazit, PhD
    Chief Ninja @ juloot interactive
    Start Play your Life

  • Kam

    I’m going to try and game it…


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