Is Gamification a benign form of manipulation and does it matter?

1242969 93675797 Is Gamification a benign form of manipulation and does it matter

Let me expand on this.

A discussion started on twitter when I mentioned in passing to a couple of gamification people, that really gamification is often a benign form of manipulation. It became an interesting chat, fast. I suppose I expected that! However, when you look at the definition of manipulation in the Oxford English Dictionary you get these two definitions

  1. handle or control (a tool, mechanism, information, etc.) in a skilful manner
  2. control or influence (a person or situation) cleverly or unscrupulously

Of course, we take notice of the second normally – focusing on the more negative connotations, but it is the first that I am interested in. As gamification people, we understand behaviour and how to use game mechanics and the like to influence this behaviour. We use this information to set up systems that promote certain actions. Sometimes this is for the benefit of the end user, other times it may be for the interest of the company (or brand or whatever). Either way, it is done in a way that is meant to engage the end user (god forbid let them have a little fun as well). Read More ...

Gamification Resources that I Like

Gamification and stuff Gamification Resources that I Like

Here is a list of resources I go back to time and time again.

There are many more and if you want to be included, please leave a comment!!

Blogs and Websites

Badgeville Blog Bunchball Blog Enterprise Gamification – Run by Mario Herger from SAP Gamification.org – Brilliant Wiki, now owned by Badgeville Gamified Enterprise – A blog from the people behind Badgville, but more enterprise focused gamifier.com

Gamify For The Win Read More ...

When is gamification not gamification?

1389645 14492518 When is gamification not gamification

A few different conversations this last week have triggered a little built of thinking. This usually leads to me brain dumping a blog – and this is no exception. Don’t expect to find any answers here!

The first questions was – should you tell people that they are using a gamified system?

Straight off the bat, I replied, no. However, when asked why, I was a little stuck. My brain knew it was the wrong thing to do, but I struggled to vocalise it initially. There are a number of issues that trouble me about telling people they are using a gamified system. The first is people’s perceptions of gamification. Very often their best view is that it is some kind of benign manipulation. At worst, they feel it is a deliberate, cynical and underhanded form of manipulation. Read More ...

Simple Gamification Framework

Andrzejs Gamification Framework Simple Gamification Framework

Well, this week was going to be some thoughts around a conversation with Ian Bogost. However, that will have to wait until I have more time to actually formulate a decent set of arguments 🙂

In the mean time, I wanted to put out the little “framework” I proposed in the presentation so many of you lovely people have viewed (over 500 on slideshare at last count – so massive thanks!!)

Basically this is a take on many other peoples attempts at defining a simple framework (I read about Kevin Werbach’s D6 framework the day after my presentation for example). It has no clever abbreviations or acronyms (WWW HATTAR seems daft) Read More ...

Plea to the Games Industry to Embrace Gamification and Get Involved

Mario chart Plea to the Games Industry to Embrace Gamification and Get Involved

With Eurogamer already fading into the deepest recesses of my mind, there is one thing that has stood out. Just how much the games industry dislikes gamification.

The general feeling was that everyone doing gamification is getting it wrong. They do not understand games and therefore think that it is fine to just add the most shallow and un-engaging elements of games to a task and say it is gamified.

They didn’t like that we as gamifiers were watering down the depth of real games. Having just watched the first video of section 11 of the great Coursera.org gamification course, Kevin Werbach talks about this exact issue. Read More ...