Back in July, Shane Snow posted an article on Mashable titled HOW TO: Use Game Mechanics to Power Your Business.

Common game elements like points, badges, leaderboards, and levels are proven (and increasingly popular) ways to engage customers and encourage profit-driving consumer behavior. Foursquare is a great example of why these work.

At the time, I thought it was an interesting idea, tweeted about it, and forgot it. Yesterday, I saw a video that drove the point home even more powerfully:

Now, "Tatoogle AdSense" may be a little too far out there to ever happen -- how would you "click" an ad on someone's arm?

Oh yeah, QR codes. It'll probably happen.

The point is, if you can turn interacting with your business into a game or competition, you have a chance to grab your share of the well over 70 million man hours a week that are spent goofing off online. (70 million is for Farmville alone!)

Of course, you can't just tack a point system onto your existing website and expect the world to willingly join your new customer-zombie cult. The game has to be engaging. And, as Shane points out in his article, you need to start with the end in mind and figure out how to channel game activity into things you want your customers doing.

Check out the article and video above to get your creative juices flowing. Then think about how you could apply gaming to your business. I have only one request: when you figure it out, channel your customers' 70 million hours a week toward something productive. Please.