Gamification: When Badges are Better than Badgers

The Ninja Badger Gamification When Badges are Better than Badgers

Many years ago, I made a typo in a tweet when I mentioned badgers instead of badges. I even turned it into a blog, “Adding badgers would be more gamification than badges.”

It was a slightly idealistic view of badges, where I was almost saying “don’t use badges as they are bad”. I was young and impressionable! However, it was the first time I mentioned my philosophy on badges and rewards in general

“Rewards should recognise achievement, not be the achievement”

This is as true now as it was then, but it is not the only viewpoint and it is not 100% accurate. Badges get a bad reputation in and around the gamification industry, often seen as a lazy way to try and inject some activity into a system. This is true of far too many implementations, so I wanted to look at a few ways in which badges are better than badgers and what we can learn from that. To be honest, I could have called this article “50 Shades of Badges” as there is no black and white at all when you start to dig into their benefits and their pitfalls! Read More ...

Using familiarity and Nostalgia to Boost Gamification and On-Boarding

Retro game 1469615315 Using familiarity and Nostalgia to Boost Gamification and On Boarding

If there is one thing that Pokemon Go has shown me, it’s that nostalgia is a powerful tool in onboarding. The main reason I played it to start with? I used to love Pokemon – just like everyone else I knew. I was around 16 or 17 when it first appeared on the Gameboy in the UK and I immediately fell in love with it. This is a familiar story for a couple of generations as the game has managed to reinvent itself (or at least add more Pokemons) every couple of years since then!

When I heard about Pokemon go, it was not the clever use of augmented reality that attracted me, it was the chance to be Ash and go and “Catch ‘em all” that got me. Once I played it, it felt familiar. The Pokemon matched to those found in my first encounters with the game. Pikachu was there, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Pidgey etc. I felt comfortable, as if I was in the cartoon I used to watch back in the day. Read More ...