Using game theories in areas not otherwise associated with games is often referred to as gamification. This term, however, has gotten a rather negative air recently, because people tend to use it for the wrong purposes. A common issue with gamification is that it is used in marketing with no other goal than to sell products. I don’t think gamification should be used this way — in the long run, it does nothing good for the company trying to sell. Instead, gamification should be used to improve the experience of buying and using a product.
In this long article, Peter Steen Høgenhaug explores how and when to use gamification to improve the user experience of websites and apps, and also when not to use it.