A New Year for Gamification

As we usher in a New Year, I wanted to make a few New Year wishes for gamification in 2018.

  1. The industry finally matures and stops acting like a petulant teenager!
    • 2017 saw a lot of advances in gamification, but the industry still has a way to go. Misogyny, pettiness, immature attitudes towards research and evidence are just some of the problems we still face.
    • And don’t get me started on the concept of 1-week courses producing gurus and specialists!
  2. We stop using words like “addictive” and “addicting” (goes for the games industry as well)
    • We do not want to create addictive products. Engaging, yes. Compelling, yes, but not addictive. Addiction is very bad, yet I keep hearing people talk about creating “Addictive products” or “Addictive experiences” and seeing it in product descriptions and platform description. Again, addiction is bad, we don’t want it! If you can’t make a product that is engaging without relying on behaviour loops that create addiction, you need to get out of the industry.
  3. We need to embrace research and sharing of real data.
    • We all talk a good talk, but I see so little data that is relevant. Research is good, failure is not embarrassing if you can show how you have learned from it.
  4. We need to present ourselves in a way that is professional and not rely on leaderboards to show off our prowess…
  5. We need to also finally abolish the myth that gamification is nothing more than tracking and feedback.
    • Let’s start seeing more enjoyable game elements getting used. I can’t tell you how tired I am of seeing “Oh, it’s just another way to track us” or “it is just skinner stuff isn’t it?”.
    • This involves us not just using bad examples of gamification at events (leaderboards, point collecting etc) whilst telling people that those are not what gamification is. How we use gamification among ourselves is very important!

What are your wishes for 2018? Let’s make it the best year ever for gamification!

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Also published on Medium.

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