One of the more common questions I get about gamification is “what is the difference between games and gamification”. I have spent lots of time writing about that exact issue, the Game Thinking pieces are my most concrete thoughts about the topic. However, just recently I was playing North vs South on the iPhone and was struck by a blindingly obvious part of games that seems to be missing from most if not all gamification.
Gamification is, in general, becoming much better implemented. The use of narrative, onboarding, intrinsic motivation, well thought out rewards and more. That said strategy does seem to be missing. What do I mean by strategy? Well, the need to plan and consider your actions to create the most desired or best possible outcome. On the surface, it doesn’t seem that gamification offers much opportunity to plan or consider what the consequences of certain actions might be. You just do what the system asks of you and get rewarded!