This article discusses gamification – the use of game elements in non-game contexts. Popular in marketing and education in 2011-2012, gamification is seen either as a way of making routine-based tasks entertaining by introducing game elements, or as a system of behaviourism and exploitation. We argue that both understandings are reductionist and lack the power to explain why human beings are motivated by certain textual structures and not by others. By showing how it is used in other situations, we argue that gamification is not new, but must be understood in a broader cultural and aesthetic perspective sensitive to the user’s personal experience with a text.

Keywords: gamification, spillisering, procedural rhetorics, aesthetics, playfulness