Don’t be afraid to say no to Gamification

Here is something that many who know me or know of me would be surprised to hear. Gamification is not always the answer!

There, I said it.

Often gamification is just a concept people have heard of and know may be of use. In these cases they will ask if it can be used as a solution for an issue they have. The trouble is that it is very easy to fall into the trap of just saying yes. As a gamifier, we really want to use gamification to solve business problems. We know the power that games and game elements can have and want to demonstrate this whenever we can.

Sadly, that is where a problem lies. Gamification just isn’t always the first answer. I would say about half of the time that I have been asked about it, the problem has needed much simpler and more important fixes than applying gamification.

It really is okay to say no to gamification if it is not going to actually solve the problem. One of the stigmas we have in gamification is that its application is often so shallow that it does nothing to cure long term or ingrained issues with systems. As gamifiers, we are problem solvers.

Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution – even if it isn’t gamification!

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