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 ...

What’s the difference between Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Rewards

Red pill blue pill1 What 8217 s the difference between Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Rewards

A very common question in gamification is “What is the difference between Intrinsic and Extrinsic” when talking about rewards and motivation. Well..

  • Intrinsic motivation: Personal/internal needs and reasons acting.
    • Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are examples of this.
    • You don’t play video games for the reward, you play because you enjoy them
    • You read for pleasure, not monetary reward.
    • You spend time with your family because you want to.
    • Learn because you want to improve and be better.
    • Read More ...

  • Schools, Rewards and FFS

    Prize 1490968987 Schools Rewards and FFS

    Chatting to my daughter today and she was telling me about the latest incentive/bribe scheme the school was running to get kids using RM Easimaths – a gamified maths app. The app, by the way, is brilliant.

    The set up was this. Most hours on the app gets a prize…

    So, anyone know where this is going?

    I’ve written about his in the past 

    The first thing that happened was a couple fo kids got caught out logging in to the app and just leaving it running for hours and hours. The rules, such as they were, did not prevent this as they were looking at a quantitative analysis – the number of hours, rather than qualitative for example, number of questions done per hour of use. Anyway, they put a stop to that, to an extent, but still were only really measuring time, but with a few sense checks in there. Score one for lack of understanding. Read More ...

    Focused Feedback and Attainable, Maintainable Goals

    Focused feedback and goals Focused Feedback and Attainable Maintainable Goals

    Don’t Mention Gamification

    I was challenged recently to talk about gamification without mentioning games or gamification! The reason is that many people have not got time to dive too deep into the meanings and on its own, gamification as a word is confusing, to say the least. So, I took to YouTube and had a go!

    My thoughts revolved around two core concepts; Focused Feedback and Attainable, Maintainable Goals.

    Focused Feedback

    Feedback is essential for engagement in anything we do, whether it is related to our job, social life or hobbies. Without feedback, we don’t know where we, how we are doing or where we are going. Not having feedback is like driving without seeing the road or a map! Read More ...

    Diminishing Effect of Rewards

    Scales 1487607673 Diminishing Effect of Rewards

    One of the things you discover when you have kids is just how much you must bribe them to achieve anything. This is especially galling when, like me, you understand the behavioural impacts of using rewards to modify behaviour etc.

    One of the things this has shown me is the existence of an effect I’m calling here “the diminishing effects of rewards”.

    Basically repeated use of rewards leads to the rewards becoming less and less effective until they become expected payments rather than rewards. This is not quite the same as Over Justification effect as the reward does not become more important than the activity, it just becomes an expected part of the activity and without it, the activity is no longer considered acceptable. Read More ...