Can you gamify everything?
Well, yes. A game is a structure; in itself it holds no content. Therefore any content may be added and enjoy the great benefits in motivation and teaching power that a game can give us. Any knowledge or skill can be practiced and improved via gaming. The possibilities seem endless.
Should you gamify everything??
No, probably not. First of all there is a target audience for a gaming structure; those with mediocre interest in the topic and average motivation to obtain the knowledge or the skill embedded in the game. Those whom are really interested in the thing you’ve gamified will be annoyed by the veil of fun you’ve layered over the morsels of the interest they are seeking. Rightly so. Then there are those who are absolutely uninterested or averse to whatever you’ve poured into the gaming milk. They will be annoyed by what you are forcing down their throats and this is in the way of experiencing a good game. At any sign of annoyance all gaming ends. Even if the game is not physically ended (confidence is high) than still the ‘fun factor’ has failed and all psychological processes that you wanted to tap into through gaming are not upright and paying attention.
When you’ve determined that your target audience might actually be lured into your game WILLINGLY the second struggle awaits. How to gamify your topic or skill?? Simply adding a score and a start button does not a game make (just like relabeling your Sales department does not Marketing make but let’s not get into that). From what, preferably unexpected and immersed, perspective can you approach what is to be gamified? No farfetched connections, no blocks of knowledge interrupting game play, no unavoidable narrative that adds nothing to the storyline but a true Game Experience. Here there are no prepared answers or structures. This is up to creative minds that can find appealing approaches to whatever. Emphatic minds that understand all aspects of their content and find surprising ways to connect to it that, once shown, are absolutely logical. Most of all: minds that understand their player audience.
If gamification wants to succeed it needs be directed at the appropriate audience and concern itself equally with what it wants to achieve as the Experience through which it aims to do so.