Saturday, August 18, 2012


In response to The Engagement Economy: How gamification is reshaping businesses

Gamification is the application of game mechanics to non-game situations. The hip business wonks have stolen the term 'gamification' and applied it to the practice of co-opting the most shameful and worthless aspects of gaming throughout history and using them to extract cash from their flock of 'users'.

this is a hover

Gamification in its current state is the biggest pile of garbage in tech in the past 10 years. People play games because they are intrinsically fun, not to collect meaningless badges or points. Sure, games can have some drudge work (though I argue that's simply poor design) in order to enrich the gaming experience through advancing the narrative, teaching game skills, unlocking new areas, etc. Gamification as it's used here and by abominations like Zynga is nothing more than a dirty trick to capitalize on and exploit some people's obsessive need to collect - a personality defect. 'Gamified' tasks rank right up there in fun with washing the dishes or sorting laundry. Only with those tasks you have a reward that is tangible. In fact, any task worth doing already has its own reward that is much more compelling than any e-badge will ever be. Zynga has never made anything even resembling an actual game.

See: Cow Clicker