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What Do You Have to Say about "Trophy Inflation" and "Gamification"?

(Photo: Third Eye a.k.a. TreeNetra)

An interesting e-mail from a reader/listener named Andrei Herasimchuk about what he calls “gamification”: 

It’s a word and term that drives me nuts these days. I design software, and have done so for two decades now. Everyone is trying to add gamification features to their products these days in the tech industry. Think badges, achievements, and things normally found in a game like World of Warcraft. People in this industry lately seem to believe that these sorts of things drive engagement in their products. From everything I’ve seen, and from influences of your work, I’d assume what people really want to do is find ways to design incentives into products. Incentives versus Gamification? What works better?

Andrei (and I) would love to hear what you have to say on this question. I have a few superficial thoughts:

What say you?