Is Gamification Manipulation

Hypnosis 1562936623 Is Gamification Manipulation

Is gamification a form of manipulation?

This is a question that comes up over and over again in my world.

There is often a concern that gamification is just used to force or trick people into doing things that they would not otherwise want to do. It as is if people have the view that it is like one of those old Saturday night magic shows, where the hypnotist get people to pretend they were chickens.

They view gamification as nothing more than a Skinner Box, operant conditioning for a new generation. People rewarded for actions that serve only the “powers that be” with no regard for the needs of the user. Read More ...

Put up or Shut up and stop moaning about gamification.

Spiral hypnosis Put up or Shut up and stop moaning about gamification

So, for my final post of the week (as I seem to have subconsciously challenged myself to blog all week), I want to throw a curve ball out there. If I am honest it is a brain dump and a rant. So strap in and enjoy the ride.

I have talked about gamification being a benign form of manipulation in the past.  I don’t think anyone within gamification who has any sense will disagree, gamification is manipulative. It is manipulative in the same way as marketing, or parenting. It is manipulative in the same way that society manipulates you on a day to day basis to go to work every day. Our society has been built on the idea that we should all be doing something. For some that is moving paper around. For others it is making the moving of paper more efficient.  For very few people is it anything truly meaningful. If we are honest, very few jobs are meaningful. We are not all doctors or nurses or fire-fighters or teachers etc. We work to pay tax, to buy food and because that is what we are told to do. Read More ...

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 ...