Defining gamification – what do people really think?

Gamification mario chart Defining gamification 8211 what do people really think

As many of you know, I recently took exception to a particular definition of gamification that was doing the rounds. However, the positive effect was to make me think about what it really means and also started to make me wonder what other people think of it.  So, I asked them – I did a little research…

The results were interesting. I gathered 30 different definitions, some from industry experts and others from people with an interest.  They are all listed at the end, but I thought I would share a few thoughts from them. Read More ...

Why am I interested in Gamification?

1389645 14492518 Why am I interested in Gamification

This is a question many ask me – including myself!

The answer is complicated I suppose, but worth mentioning here.

Many feel that gamification is nothing more than an invention of consultants hell bent on making money from corporations who want to control their employees. In some instances this may even be true!

The fact is, I got involved because of a love of games that goes back over thirty years. I have always loved games, playing them , creating them and learning from them. One of my earliest memories of gaming was my father creating me a maths games. It was very simple, on an early Spectrum. All it did was ask you maths questions and you had to answer. It would congratulate you and I seem to remember there was some graphic representation of your success. Read More ...

Gamification Design vs Game Design

Olivias card game Gamification Design vs Game Design

Yesterday I posted a tweet that got a few nice retweets.

It is no secret that I would love to get the games industry to become more involved in gamification and have spoken to many people in the industry about it. Ian Bogost refereed to my original plea as a “gentle form of terrorism” saying that  it was like me saying to the games industry 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 ...

What if they don’t want to play?

Engage Luc Picard 1024x682 1 What if they don 8217 t want to play

One of the questions I get asked all the time is,

“What if people just don’t want to play your game? How do you engage them?”.

The answer comes in two parts, both as important as each other. One you may not like, but you have to accept it!

The first is, make sure you have designed the system properly.  If you have just added some badges and a leaderboard, then you are going to engage a very small number of people for any length of time. Consider looking at the User Types and design more to support them. People often say that people don’t engage with gamification because gamification is bad. The truth is that many gamification designers are bad – and so they create bad gamification. This is true of any industry and especially new technology, just think how wrong most companies got social media at the beginning!
Read More ...