ABSTRACT: Even at the apex of its hype cycle in the 2010s, game studies scholars and designers derided gamification. This article first explores why gamification inspired such vitriol. It finds the incursion of non-game corporations and entities into the field was a threat to those who fought so ardently to legitimize the profession and promote a more playful or ludic 21st century. The article then delves deeper into the literature of play to redefine what occurs when a player engages with a gamified app, such as the social media application Foursquare. It rescripts their activity as ‘punctuated play’, or when the competition, conflict, glory, and other aspects of traditional play pierce a moment but do not necessarily define it.

KEY WORDS: Foursquare, game design, game studies, gamification, ludology.

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