Gamification isn’t new bullshit

August 9th, 2011
[ Software Development ]

I have to admit I’ve talked about applying gaming mechanics to applications during design stages. I can’t say it felt right but I’ll certainly think twice about it again. I’m not suggesting I won’t gamify some apps but I won’t use the term lightly having read Gamification is bullshit.

It does, however, raise some larger questions. While on the surface gamification appears to be enterprise software apps pilfering from software games, I have to say I’m not sure the software gaming space can claim ownership over anything but the term gamification. Maybe I’m missing the point but isn’t our education system an example of gamifying learning? Isn’t our demerit points for bad driving gamifying the rules of the road? Heck, where does capitalism and Canadian Tire money fit into all this?

I’m biased in that I don’t hold much love for rewards, carrots and sticks. If you’re interested, I listed some of my favourite reads on these subjects in the post Rewards Yet Again. One of my favourites is Punished By Rewards by Alfie Kohn.

I agree that gamification tends to be bullshit, however, we were gamifying long before pong came out.

  • Curt Bushko

    I agree with you. We, as humans, have been using gaming techniques to make things interesting for a very long time. Once business sees that quite a bit of money things could take off. Watch this entertaining video from a presentation at DICE 2010. It is a little dramatic and scary but I could definitely see things going this way.

    http://www.g4tv.com/videos/44277/dice-2010-design-outside-the-box-presentation/