Gamification is Pointless (Get It?) Pt. 1
In an upcoming series of posts, we’re going to take a hard look at the trend of Gamification, smack it on the backside a little bit, and identify how our position has changed over the past couple years. We think that now more than ever there’s meaning to this Applied Gaming thing, so we’re going to call out the major differences from Gamification one at a let-there-be-no-mistake time.
As we draw our breath, rocket surgeon Umair Haque gives us some background with his whip-smart post in the Harvard Business Review. Read the whole thing, but from the article:
“Of course, there are at least four big problems with gamification. The first is, as game designer Margaret Robinson has incisively pointed out, most gamification is just “pointsification.” In my terms, there’s no real market mechanism (in her terms, “hard, meaningful choices”) at the heart of said game, just the accumulation of bits. The second problem is that too much gamification is about zero sum games: often, for me to win, you’ve got to lose. For example, many “gamified” sites simply offer a fixed number of badges, trophies, or other trinkets, to the first N participants that, for example, visit six different pages. That’s because, third, many games are relying on — or worse, trying to create — artificial scarcity …”
Kindasortamaybeyes. We’ll take a look at what we think Gamification does right, what it needs to improve, and what we think Applied Gaming (already) does better. [+10 points for drawing a line in the sand.]