The University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, Canada’s new collaborative campus for digital media technology and commercialization, is attracting international talent to its exclusive Gamification 2013 conference in Stratford, Ontario.

The conference will be the world’s first to truly bridge academic research and business opportunity in the arena of gamification – using game design elements in non-game contexts, in areas such as healthcare, education, financial services, entertainment and retail.

The conference will feature a blend of academic research and experimental applications with industry and not-for-profit examples, commercialization support and best practices.

Recently announced keynote speakers include renowned American author and social game designer Amy Jo Kim, whose design credits include Netflix, Rock Band, eBay, Yahoo! and Ultima Online, as well as Dallas-based designer and consultant Stephen P. Anderson, who wrote the book “Seductive Interaction Design: Creating Playful, Fun and Effective User Experiences.”

“Games are ubiquitous, mutating fast, and becoming embedded in many aspects of everyday life,” said Amy Jo Kim. “The Gamification 2013 conference will allow us to plug entire industries into potentially transformational new opportunities in social gaming and design.”

According to IT research firm Gartner, Inc., more than 50 per cent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes by 2015. By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon.

“Gamification has proven to be a profitable high-growth opportunity with an amazing array of social and business applications,” said Dr. Lennart Nacke, Research Director of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology GAMER Lab and Conference Co-chair. “We have seen so many business conferences about gamification in the past, but we have an entirely unique opportunity here to fuse academic knowledge with industry applications all in the same location.”

The Gamification 2013 conference will be held at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus on October 2-4, in co-operation with the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

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