Motivate With Game Mechanics

Yep, I got it done.  Last night I voted and I even got a Foursquare badge!  I can't say anyone I voted for did or did not get into office.  That wasn't the point.  I just wanted to exercise my right to vote... and get that damn badge! All day I noticed people were checking in and getting an "I Voted 2010" badge.  Though a Foursquare badge won't lower or raise my taxes, I found the idea of awarding the general public for voting a compelling idea.  How many geeks out there were more motivated by that badge than voting someone into office?  Well, the check-ins totaled 50,416.  I can't speak for motivations. It got me thinking, if you want to encourage your team (or the general public) to do something, do you just employ game mechanics (specifically victory condition mechanics) like in Foursquare?  Is it that simple?

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