Am I Evil? Gamification Brought Into Perspective By My 11 Year Old!

Evil 1531913558 Am I Evil Gamification Brought Into Perspective By My 11 Year Old

I had an interesting chat with my eldest daughter recently. As with many chats with her, I was left thinking about the choices in my life… yeah, she’s reached that age!

  • O: I really want this shark in my game. It is only 500 crystals!!
  • Me: And how much do 500 crystals cost?
  • O: Well, I’ve got £10 in my purse and I would pay you back as soon as I can?
  • Me: So it’s more than £10?
  • O: It’s £20, but…
  • Me: £20!?!??! Of real actual money for a f@#king shark graphic in an iPhone game!??!?!?!??!
  • O: Yes, But, it is a special deal that I can only get today, normally it would cost £60
  • Me: (Words I am too polite to use her)
  • O: Yes, But…
  • Me: No. Absolutely not, no way, no how.
  • O: (Almost in tears) But I will never have this chance again, it is only today and the shark is new and it is a special deal just for me and and and and…
  • Me: Sweetheart, it isn’t. The developers are just trying to get money from you. They are using psychological tricks to make you come to me and tell me what a great deal it is. They are making you feel special and like you are being offered a once in a lifetime, exclusive offer.
  • O: (Crying) Oh.
  • Me: These are the sorts of things that gamification often uses to encourage people to do things.
  • O: (Shouting) Well, you’re just as bad as them then aren’t you!?
  • Me: (Spluttering slightly) Yes, but I am usually trying to encourage peole to do important things, like complete important safety training or learn things that will help them at work.
  • O: Yeah, tell yourself that (Storms off). 

This really hit me hard. It got me thinking, “am I as bad as them?” Does what I do equate to greedy devs trying to screw every last penny out of parents, players and children?

For example, one F2P game she had involved making milkshakes. To complete level 1, you needed an orange straw. However, the orange straw only came in straw pack 1 that cost £1. Level 2 required a blue straw. However, the blue straw only can in straw pack 2. You can see where this is going. It was an expensive lesson for me as a parent on how low game devs will go. The worst was on one of the Talking Tom games though. Here, at the point they wanted you to pay, they showed a graphic of a child handing the phone to their parent and asking them to pay!! Read More ...

Ethics in Gamification

I was recently asked to write an article on the ethics of gamification for the ACM’s student publication XRDS. Here it is! It should  download a PDF. I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂

The ethics of gamification

Andrzej Marczewski XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, 2017

frames are not supported If the ethics of gamification are of interest to you, why not sign up to the Open Gamification Code of Ethics?

Pokemon Go: The Good, The Bad and Some Lessons

Writing about Pokemon Go is almost as popular as actually playing it, so I thought I would join in the trend.

TL:TR It’s great fun but needs to have some careful consideration around safety concerns

In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, let me just set the scene. Pokemon Go is a game based on the popular Pokemon franchise. It sees players using their mobile phones to hunt down and capture Pokemon in the real world. Using Augmented Reality (AR), Pokemon pop up all over the real world for players to capture and train. Once caught, they can be leveled up, evolved, battled with at Pokemon Gyms and more. Read More ...

Revisiting the Gamification Code of Ethics

You may remember in 2013 I tried to establish a code of ethics for gamification. It got a little traction, but ultimately didn’t get much backing.

After GWC this year, I realised that I really needed to try again, as ethics has become even more important to people as gamification has grown. To that end, I have created the Open Gamification Code of Ethics. This is based on my original code, but I am inviting people to contribute to the development of the code as well. I want it to represent to community as much as possible. Read More ...

Intrinsic Motivation RAMP, Ethics, a game and an interview!

Lots happening this week, the biggest being the fact that I will be presenting at SocialNow.org this week.  As such, it has been mostly prep for that in the last couple of days, so no time for a proper blog I’m afraid.  However, I still have some bits for you.

The first.  I started writing a little game called the Green Button.  It is short and very alpha, but I would love you to have a go and let me know what you think! https://gamified.uk/green-button/index.htm

Next, I have decided to publish my personal code of ethics and offer you all the opportunity to sign up for it (and get a badge for your site 😉 ). No cost, no catch, no qualifications needed. https://gamified.uk/gamification-code-of-ethics/  Read More ...