Why does Gamification Fail?

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Andrzej Marczewski

Andrzej Marczewski

Gamification Consultant with Motivait. I love to write about it, talk about it and bore people to death with it! If you really want to get to know me, check out the About page.

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19 Responses

  1. Avatar Jone Aliri Lazcano says:

    Very interesting post!!

    The point in my case is “why is it not working? Possibly because you are trying to gamify someone who just isn’t interested” I want to apply gamification in a course, and I’m afraid some of my students will not be interested… anyway I will try to engage them someway.

  2. Avatar yudashkai says:

    Haha, why would you give Mr Bogost a link for his stunt-driven post? 🙂

  3. Avatar Nicole I. Rivers says:

    This has been a great read! We happen to write a blog about Gamification too that might be of interest to your readers as well. It’s right here. 🙂

  4. Thoughtful post on a problem that many people oversimplify. I had never heard of the British term “Sticking Plaster,” but it was fun to see that you use the metaphor to describe the same phenomenon as the US practice of “putting a Band-Aid on the problem.”

  5. Avatar Nils Davis says:

    Great article, and those of us trying to gamify enterprise apps have to consider all of these. But I’d also say that, given the Pareto Principle, part of the reason 80% of gamification efforts fail is that 80% of everything fails. Think of how many *actual* games fail to be fun or successful or engaging! It’s darn hard to make a fun experience, whether it’s a gamification effort or just a game.

    And I really agree with your final point about the user – I think the users of our enterprise apps need to have intrinsic motivation to use them, *before* gamification, if the apps are going to be successful. Gamification can make the experience better or more engaging or easier or less error prone or more creative, but we really shouldn’t expect it to do much for motivation, for all the familiar reasons.

  6. Avatar Victor Manrique says:

    Content is king! Also in games! ; )

    Totally agree about the bad games are just bad games, that´s probably one of the most important insights, wrong value proposition, not that much gamification can do

    Can´t wait for your GWC talk! 😀

  7. Avatar yudashkai says:

    Great post. Thanks for the share! Learning a lot from you 😉

  8. Avatar Suso Martínez says:

    I agree with your point “Bad game, bad game”, but how can someone become a (good) game designer? And do you think it could happen the other way around? Maybe it is also possible to start learning about gamification, become a “gamification designer” and from there lead towards game design.

    Sometimes it looks easier to design a simple gamified system than to design a real game. But maybe it is actually more difficult as you have to use the same elements and mechanics but in a non-familiar context. I would like to know your opinion about it.

    • Oo, tough. They are very different things – generally. Putting bits of games together doesn’t make a game. Like having all the bits of a car in a room, it isn’t a car.

      I think you can definitely be both, but not sure it is all that easy to go from gamification designer to game designer. It certainly can go the other way though!

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