Articles Posted in Gamification

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Pillsbury attorney, James Gatto, is presenting a session at the Social Gambling & Gaming Summit titled, “Gamblification! Interaction between Social Games and Online Gambling.”

Pillsbury is sponsoring the Social Gambling & Gaming Summit, a two-day conference focused on the intersection of casino-style social games, mobile gaming, virtual goods, and the bridge between mainstream and social gambling and gaming. This event unites established industry leaders and developers in free-to-play mobile games and social casino games to discuss the future of real-money gaming, cross-platform integration, game design, and player conversion.

For more information and to register, please visit the event page.

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Gamification has become pervasive in many every day activities, including health and wellness programs. For companies involved in these activities, you should make sure you are aware of the final Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) regulations on wellness programs. These come into effect in 2014.

Gamification refers to the use of game mechanics for non-game purposes. It is often used to provide incentives for people to take certain actions. The mecahnics often include a combination of things such as rewards, status, levels, exclusive content or other incentives to shape user behavior. Airline frequent flyer programs are a great example – to gain repeat business and customer loyalty, airlines provide points (redeemable for flights and other things), status (priority boarding), premier or executive levels, exclusive content and offers, etc.

Many health and wellness programs use similar mechanics to incent users to engage in healthy activities and/or refrain from unhealthy ones.

Gamification in general can create a host of legal issues of which companies should be aware. The recently finalized ACA regulations, summarized in Pillsbury’s recent Client Alert entltled “Final Wellness Regulations Create New Program Categories and Complications,” identify some specific to wellness programs.

If you have any questions on this or other gamification issues, our Social Media and Games Team has extensive experience in this space.

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[Jim Gatto](, founder and leader of [Pillsbury’s Social Media & Games team](, recently spoke at the [Gsummit ]( in San Francisco. This event – the largest to date – brought together top experts in engaging design. In 2013 Gamification will continue its meteoric ascent, becoming a key executive strategy for the enterprise, human resources, loyalty and marketing. Over the next year in the gamification space, we’ll see many more acquistions, thousands of new certified gamifers, hundreds of new startups, and even more dramatic innovations across all industries.

At the event, Jim covered some of the key legal issues relating to the use of Gamification. Gsummit interviewed Jim to capture some of these key topics. Check it out below:

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James Gatto will be speaking on the topic of legal issues related to gamification during the gsummitX – Gamification in DC event on June 5, 2013 between 6:00pm and 9:00pm.

gsummitX – Gamification in DC is a meetup for anyone involved in and/or interested in the topic of gamification, engagement and/or loyalty. The community is invited to come together to hear a speaker from the gamification space, 1-2 demos from companies using gamification in their business model and to participate in a unique workshop-like game called “Play for a Cause” which is a brainstorming session to help solve a challenge for a non-profit.

James Gatto, Leader, Social Media, Entertainment & Technology, Pillsbury
Gabe Zichermaan, Expert, Author, Speaker & Writer on the subject of Gamification and Engagement Mechanics


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MP900449113.JPGA weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.


Walmart Hopes ‘Gamification’ Can Engage Employees and Turn Things Around
In a move that echoes what other major employers are doing, the nation’s largest retailer is working with a Boston-based marketing and consulting organization to improve more of its internal processes by lending them a digital-gaming aspect. In turn, greater “employee engagement” is supposed to lead to improving the experiences of Walmart customers.

Nintendo Wants Review of Patent Claim Ruling in Wii IP Row
Nintendo Co. Ltd. argued Wednesday that the U.S. International Trade Commission’s chief administrative law judge had not properly considered its arguments to invalidate a patent claim by an interactive game company accusing Nintendo’s Wii products of infringing three patents.

Atari Seeks OK For Plan to Sell Off Assets Piece By Piece
The U.S. branch of French holding firm Atari SA on Wednesday asked a New York bankruptcy judge to greenlight its plan to sell off its assets piece by piece, after it failed to garner acceptable offers from potential stalking horse buyers to bid on the game maker’s entire business.

When Rights of Publicity Trump 1st Amendment
In a recent 62 page decision by the Third Circuit obviously intended to give guidance in an unclear area of the law, the rights of publicity of a college athlete in a video game trumped the First Amendment arguments of the video game manufacturer.

Online Gambling Bets on Return to U.S.
Until a year ago, the U.S. Justice Department considered online gambling illegal, but PokerStars, arguing against that interpretation of the law, kept taking bets until the government filed a civil action against it. Now, the legal landscape has taken a surprising shift, and states like Nevada and New Jersey have passed laws allowing some forms of online gambling. PokerStars, which reached a $731 million settlement with the government but admitted no wrongdoing, wants back in.

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Pillsbury attorney, Sean F. Kane will be a featured panelist at the upcoming Video Game Bar Association’s inaugural Game Business & Legal Affairs conference. The conference will provide an in-depth analysis of the prevalent and pertinent legal and business issues within the video game industry. Founded in 2011 as an international membership organization, its mission is to provide a forum to promote the interaction of licensed attorneys whose primary practice is within the video games/interactive media industry, for lawyers are in-house counsel at game companies, and lawyers in private practice who represent game-industry clients. Mr. Kane will be serving as a panelist during the “Adventures in Finance” session which will take place on Tuesday, May 21st at 9:00am PT.

Register now: Gamification Summit Register

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Pillsbury is teaming up with Covert & Co. to host an exclusive VIP reception during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) on March 27, 2013 at the W Hotel in San Francisco.  This will be the highest quality private event at GDC, attended by 200 leaders in the game/media sector.  The event will include an exciting “fireside chat” with CEOs of the hottest game companies:  Naoki Aoyagi (CEO of GREE), Ilkka Paananen (CEO of Supercell) and Torsten Reil (CEO of Natural Motion).

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Covert & Co. is a next-generation investment bank providing premium M&A and financing services to media and tech companies globally.  My team and I have a track record that includes landmark M&A transactions such as Aeria Games/Gamepot, Club Penguin/Disney, SRS Labs/DTS, Hearst-UGO/News Corp-IGN, Grouper/Sony, MusicMatch/Yahoo!, MySpace/News Corp., NevenVision/Google, and DailyCandy/Comcast; as well as equity financings for Wildtangent, Realtime Worlds, Meebo, Move Networks and LegalZoom.

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Google Ventures is a radically different kind of venture-capital fund. The Google Ventures hands-on teams work with portfolio companies full-time on design, recruiting, marketing, and engineering. Google Ventures also offers Startup Lab, a dedicated facility and educational program where companies can meet, learn, work, and share. Google Ventures invests hundreds of millions of dollars each year in entrepreneurs with a healthy disregard for the impossible.


Pillsbury is a full-service law firm with a keen industry focus on technology. Based in the world’s major financial, technology and energy centers, Pillsbury counsels clients on global regulatory, litigation and corporate matters. Pillsbury works in multidisciplinary teams that allow them to anticipate trends and bring a 360-degree perspective to complex business and legal issues–helping clients to take greater advantage of new opportunities and better mitigate risk. This collaborative work style helps produce the results clients seek.


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VGBA.pngSean F. Kane will be a featured panelist at the upcoming Video Game Bar Association’s inaugural Game Business & Legal Affairs conference. The conference will provide an in-depth analysis of the prevalent and pertinent legal and business issues within the video game industry.

Sean will be serving as a panelist during the “Adventures in Finance” session which will take place on Tuesday, May 21st at 9:00am.  Working capital drives development, and this panel looks at the finance landscape, including new trends and legal details for crowdfunding, raising venture capital, structure of exits, and where tax credits for development and research can be maximized across an organization.

The panel will include the following:


Steve Goldstein, Chair, Interactive Entertainment and Video Games Practice at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles



Justin Bailey, VP of Business Development at Double Fine Productions

Sean F. Kane, Attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Mark Stevens, Partner at Fenwick & West

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Thank you to everyone who joined us in both New York and Washington, DC for our Social Media Week events – Game On!

Special thank you to all of our panelists: Randy Leibowitz, Mike Scafidi, Tim Ettus, Lou Kerner, Peter Corbett, Jim Gatto, Sean Kane, Lauren Lynch Flick and Tina Kearns (many featured in the picture and video below). 

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As promised, we recorded our DC program Social Media Promotions, Contests and Sweepstakes and Social Media Audits. Check it out!

(Part 1) Emerging Legal Issues in Social Media: Social Media Contests, Sweepstakes, and Promotions please click here

(Part 2) Social Media Audits please click here

If you would like any additional information about these topics or the events, please contact the Social Media, Entertainment & Technology team.

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MP900449113.JPG  A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.



USPTO Dives Into Software Patent Debate With New Group
Amid a growing chorus of criticism that software patents are too vague and can hinder innovation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday announced plans to create a new group to work with the software community to improve patent quality.

The Hidden Risks Behind Facebook’s Login Tools: Part 1
Recently, a federal judge reportedly indicated tentative approval of Facebook’s offer to settle a class action claim arising from its use of individuals’ names and likenesses in connection with Sponsored Stories, a service it rolled out in January of 2012.

Ex-Zynga Software Engineer Sues Over Unpaid OT
Zynga Inc. was hit with a proposed class action Monday in California federal court by a former software engineer at the social media gaming firm accusing it of failing to give engineers proper overtime pay by misclassifying them as exempt from such wages.

Google Declares War on the Password
Want an easier way to log into your Gmail account? How about a quick tap on your computer with the ring on your finger?

Investment In Social Gaming Drops By $1 Billion In 2012
As recently as 2011, the expectation was that the social gaming industry was the future of big money in video games. Companies like Zynga were valued in the billions. In 2013, not so much. Investment in social game companies dropped by $1 billion in 2012.