Strategy: A missing component in Gamification

Chess 1488370945 Strategy A missing component in Gamification

One of the more common questions I get about gamification is “what is the difference between games and gamification”. I have spent lots of time writing about that exact issue, the Game Thinking pieces are my most concrete thoughts about the topic. However, just recently I was playing North vs South on the iPhone and was struck by a blindingly obvious part of games that seems to be missing from most if not all gamification.


Gamification is, in general, becoming much better implemented. The use of narrative, onboarding, intrinsic motivation, well thought out rewards and more. That said strategy does seem to be missing. What do I mean by strategy? Well, the need to plan and consider your actions to create the most desired or best possible outcome. On the surface, it doesn’t seem that gamification offers much opportunity to plan or consider what the consequences of certain actions might be. You just do what the system asks of you and get rewarded! Read More ...

Gamification as a Strategy

The world loves a good aaS. Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Cloud as a Service. Everything these days seems to be “as a Service”. That means, of course, that Gamification platform providers have started to speak about Gamification as a Service. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, though I do find some juvenile amusement at the acronym of GaaS. For me, it just smacks of making it easy for people to implement gamification really badly!

Hear me out. I have nothing against being able to use gamification in a simple way. You will see Gamification as a Service on this site in the form of Captain Up. I have not implemented it brilliantly, it is there for those who want to see it and can be ignored by those who don’t. It actually goes against some of my core messages about designing gamification in from the start. However, there is something to be said for being able to just paste a line of javascript into a page and have gamification up and running straight away. If nothing else, it gives people the opportunity to get involved. Read More ...

Gamification is sh1t. Let’s make it better.

I thought that might get your attention. Excuse the contrived use of the 1 in shit there as well, firewalls can be so jumpy about certain words.

Now back to my point.

Gamification, in far too many cases right now,  is indeed shit. I am not saying gamification itself is bad, just a lot of the uses and applications of gamification that we are seeing out there falls into that particularly odorous category.

It’s as if gamification has become the duct tape of user design. “The user experience is a bit off, what should we do? Add gamification”. “The system is not great, people get stuck and don’t like using it, what should we do? Add gamification – points and badges will fix it!”. “We need to improve efficiency in the department. How can we do that? A leaderboard you say? Let’s do it!” Read More ...

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