Gamification: Why Badges can be Bad – Really Bad

487145 79884958 Gamification Why Badges can be Bad 8211 Really Bad

Last week I got to go to the Digital Shoreditch Play event. It was a wonderful day, listening to games developers, designers, experts and Gamification gurus all with amazing tales to tell from the coal face of the industry.

The audience there were of similar calibre , most being experts in their respective fields. It was talking to a few of these people that really got me thinking. You see, within certain circles, Gamification is almost a swear word. After a little digging I discovered what the real issue was. You see I thought it was some kind of clique that was in place. “Games are ours, business can’t have them”. But actually it was more than that. It was born of a deeper understanding of the psychology of what is know as “extrinsic rewards for intrinsic motivation”. Their objection was not to the use of gamification, but to the generalized poorly conceived usage that is being used and promoted by many. Read More ...

Gamification: Rules Rule, but Shouldn’t Rule Everything.

Rules rule Gamification Rules Rule but Shouldn 8217 t Rule Everything

Everything has rules. Life works because of rules. Rules have many names and forms. Laws of physics, algebra, logic, frameworks, instructions and more. Without rules you have chaos. That said, some scientists think even chaos has rules.

In games, rules are vital. However free and open a game may seem, there will be a deep set rules that cannot be broken. Be it the size of the map or the way physics work in the game. Minecraft is a good example. Seemingly you can do anything. However, you have to follow rules and instructions to gain that freedom. You have to mine and craft and create – all within the rules of the world around you. Read More ...

Don’t Love Games? Step Away From the Gamification

New dice Don 8217 t Love Games Step Away From the Gamification

Games. I love them. Board games, card games, video games and anything else you can put the word games after. I play them, I write about them, I think about them, I dream about them and from time to time I even try my hand at making them ( So what does this have to do with such a business orientated subject as Gamification. One needs to be a savy expert to be able to speak on such highbrow topics – not a games loving lout?

Well Mr suit, that’s where I think you are dead wrong. Jesse Schell in his excellent “The Art of Games Design: A Book of Lenses” asks a simple question. “Do I love my Project”. He goes on to state “If the creators of a game do not love it, the game will surely fail”. So I ask you. If you do not love games, dream about them and want to play them all day every day – how can you talk about gamification with any conviction, let alone make decisions about it’s implementation or design? As horrible as the name may be, gamification contains a key word. Gam(e). Whether you like it or not, implementing gamification is implementing at least some elements that come from games. Read More ...

Gamification: Why Aren’t Badges Enough?

Gamification Gamification Why Aren 8217 t Badges Enough

Recently I wrote a piece about the fact there was more to gamification than just trophies, but I never really explained why. A few people have asked, so I thought I would have a go at explaining.

Just Because You Build It, Doesn’t Mean They Will Come

The first reason is simple, but one that I never really thought of until I started using them on my site. For trophies and the like to actually start to work – you need the people you wish to keep engaged to actually be registered with you. When you are in a company and are using it on an intranet, that is simple, as they all have to be registered to use it. However, when you are trying to use it on your website or blog, it is not quite the same. Very few people will register just for the chance to earn badges on your site! So here it goes back to the same old thing, content. If the content is good and there is some reason to join (comments, ability to add reviews, competitions etc.) then you can use badges to help to keep people engaged. On Yet Another Review Site I use them to encourage a little competitions between the editors and the reviewers. Experience points, badges and public monthly leader boards are all used to help encourage them to do more on the site. Read More ...

Gamification: You May Already Be Using It!

Gamification Gamification You May Already Be Using It

Right, so back to gamification.

I thought I would take a quick look at a couple of gamification techniques you may already be using on your website or blog, but not realise that’s what it is!

Exploration and Engagement

First up, that little box that slides out of the corner of the page and says “RECOMMENDED FOR YOU”. On WordPress there is a great plugin called “The Slide” by SimpleReach. It is there to try and keep you on the site a bit longer – to increase your engagement – and is actually very good at doing it. It shows you another story on the site that is related in some way to the one you have just been reading thus, encouraging you to look a bit deeper into the site. In gamification terms, it would be called Exploration. You are giving the reader a simple signpost to help them explore the site and discover new content. You are influencing their behaviour. On this blog I noticed that rather than people just staying on the one page, they averaged three pages per visit. Read More ...