• 26May



    Partial memories of some terms have been flipping over my head for a long time, especially less than a year. This is nearly the time when I learnt the basics of gamification and started to see that there are paths to go rather than points, badges and leaderboards (PBLs). Of course, for creating a study process that will go for some years, I have chased the information that’ll help me define the term “gamification” from many perspectives. Now, I come to a Conclusion that this doesn’t help much. I have some reasons to think so:

    1) Gamification is an emerging and evolving concept.
    2) Chasing the terms prevents concentrating on practices.
    3) Concentrating on practices makes some approaches theorically useless. Using “useless” might be harsh, let’s define it as “less important”.

    I believe the numerous articles I’ve read about gamification’s not being a PBLs come out of this. Ok then, what expects us once we look from the outer side of the frame? We find fun there. We are urged to see motivated people, which drives us to the experience rather than editable templates. And experience can be identified only if you can compare it with other experiences. We can change details, even make changes such that the experience comes closer to perfection. And a perfect experience, with some alternatives to choose and instant feedback for the chosen alternatives with different outcomes makes that experience to be a “simulation”!

    Well, this is just driven-logic. But what I see in successful gamification models is that they serve you some tools with which you have fun. Also, they make the player live an experience and the experience itself is the key that is perceived to be fun.

    “Now, not again I’ll make a comparison with PBLs and simulated experiences, I’d rather move on and make a simulation. what I’ll do is that, I’ll Specify some objectives daily, weekly and monthly. Then, I will give points to these objectives and specify a limit for the lowest amount of points I need to collect everyday. Eventually, I’ll turn my daily life routine into World of Warcraft style Sims game. Ready?”

    Well, I actually tried this two years ago. This brought a new approach that made me to pay more attention to my daily routines, but…

    1) Writing down these routines and trying to do them felt like designing my daily life as a job rather than a game.

    2) Earning useless points did no effect on me. No, don’t say ” Give yourself presents when you take a high point.” Personal development stuff, anyone? Nonsense.

    3) It might have positive little effects, but that did not feel like having fun or playing a game.

    So, the experience failed. In some boring tasks like Searching manually among Excel cells and deleting specific kind of information, I can have fun because I do the “seek and destroy” task just like I have beers Playing Warcraft II. The feeling I get when using sychronised mouse and keyboard might be enough to perceive it as fun. So, this should be the objective as you invent and form games. I’ll tell more about the little gamified group meetings, this’ll probably be more supportive.

2 Responses

  • hey, thanks for sharing your experiences with us. The problem, looking at your experiment, was that you started with the end, or as to say with the last 2% of what Gamification is.
    Istead of gamifying particular activities, you created a reward system by adding points to finished tasks. The point is: if there is a dull activity and you add points to it, it is still a dull activity, right? You didn’t change the activity itself. Instead of designing for engagement you thought about how to bribe yourself into doing it. But: if you gamify in a good way you won’t need rewards anymore.

    Activities, to be experienced as more enjoyable need particular conditions that help our consciousness to be able to progress into the direction of the mental state called ‘Flow’. We don’t need to achieve it actually (even if it amazing if we do) but we need to go at least in this direction. How to do this complex – hey, we are talking about the human mind – but there are some common denominators you need to consider in order to establish working conditions for that. If you go to my slideshare (www.slideshare.net/rackwitz) you will find e.g. one slide called “5 Pillars of Gamification”. This give you the first insights. Feel free to get in touch if you have more questions 🙂

    • Dear Roman,

      Thank you a lot for your contribution. Your reasoning is so solid and rich that I don’t even want to write several sentences all of which means ”I agree.” that I’d most likely respond to such a comment.

      Instead, I’d be very pleased if you’d follow the blog trilogy because your evaluation will be very useful for experiences that I seem to do things right because people had fun. I’m writing this before I examine your presentation, believing that it’ll be a resource that I will add to the significant ones about gamification and refer to when I write the final evaluation blog of the trilogy.

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