I’ve been busy making videos of late, here are the last few. Some tutorials, a few rants and a bit of fun 🙂
On my quest to remind people of all the cool stuff that they are not yet using from games in their gamification, I have come across something very important and something that I had not noticed until a recent project.
Gamification very, very rarely includes consequences…
Allow me to explain.
We say that games allow for experimentation and failure – this is true. In gamification we are seeing more of this. However, in games there are consequences. You lose a life, drop all your possessions, lose health etc. Eventually, you even hit “Game Over” and have to start again.
Separating Games from Play and using it
All of this research into play and talking about play has been for a reason. I wanted to try and open up the idea of making more play-like experiences rather than more game-like experiences. I was trying to introduce some of the basics that separate games and play. For this there are three important differences between play and games that we need to keep in mind.
- Games have prelusory goals – ie, goals that you must achieve that have been set by the system.
- Games have rules that define how you have to achieve the prelusory goals (Lusory Means).
- They also have rules that create challenges to achieve the goals. Rather than going from A to B in a straight line, you have to overcome obstacles and solve puzzles going A to Z to E to B and back again! (Constitutive Rules)
In play, the goals are often less defined or not consciously apparent. Whilst there may be rules that dictate how play progresses (social rules, physical rules and so on), there are not that are there to deliberately challenge you or make things harder.
I have promised in the past not to write about the dangers of extrinsic rewards anymore. However, can’t stand reading about gamification being a failure anymore, when the articles proclaiming this almost always start with “gamification is about awarding points, or physical rewards to people for doing dull tasks”.
No quoting from Dan Pink or Deci and Ryan this time, just facts based on experience.
If you offer a reward, especially a material reward that has value to people, you are setting yourself up for failure. Every time I have seen a ‘gamified’ campaign that offers someone like an iPad as a prize for participation, it has had problems. The worst culprit is when the prize is offered for nothing more than activity (so no actual creativity needed).