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Gamification is a misnomer

Gamification is a misnomer
« on: January 14, 2011, 01:55:00 pm »

I just realized that we invented gamification when we had a passing fancy for the concept of achievements. Our theory was that one could turn everything into a game by simply adding achievements. This was an important issue for us, as we were constantly being told that our games were not games. And we thought that they would be more successful (and cause less anger) if they were in some way more game-like. Not willing to sacrifice our content to the actual structure of games, we figured it might be a good idea to add achievements.

Anyway, gamification sounds like a similar idea. By adding achievements to real world activity, you turn it into a game (with all the advantages of motivation and fun). Except that it's not true that this activity becomes a game simply by adding achievements.

Gamification has nothing to do with game design. In fact, (game) design could probably make some of the more boring tasks that humans need to do more interesting. Not by giving you points for each and every little thing you do, but by redesigning the activity so that it is more interesting or amusing to do. And when you would do that, the activity itself would become enjoyable and you wouldn't need to earn points or achievements. That would be real gamification.

This being said, I personally think that there is nothing wrong with doing boring tasks once in a while. It builds character. And is important as ritual.

And if you find yourself doing too many boring things, you should probably change your life style, instead of consoling yourself with fake rewards.

In a way, all jobs are already "gamified". The reward we get is our salary.
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