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Gamification Is Bullshit

Stashed in: @rands, Gamification!, Scatology, games, Sticking it to The Man!

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"gamification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway."

Whenever I hear that gamification is going to revolutionize education, healthcare, or the world of work I think to myself... gee, if something is so boring and tedious that you have to motivate people with virtual points and rewards to do it... maybe you're doing that thing wrong in the first place.

Personally I don't need to be treated like a lab rat, rewarded with pellets every time I perform my trained task, to read books or ride my bike or do my job -- because those things are intrinsically awesome! True greatness makes a mockery of petty motivation.

Rands in Repose says:

When someone raises their hand in that design meeting and suggests gamification, you have my permission to stand up, walk over, and poke them in the eye. But just one eye. While it’s likely they are merely parroting a buzzword they heard from someone else, it’s not pure buzz. Games like Portal have something to teach anyone interested in the motivation surrounding learning.

Great design makes learning frictionless. The brilliance of the iPhone and iPad is how little time you spend learning. Designers’ livelihood is based on how quickly and cleverly they can introduce to and teach a user how a particular tool works in a particular universe. In one universe, you sport a handheld Portal gun that cleverly allows you to interrupt physics. In a slightly different universe, you have this tool called a cloning stamp that empowers you to sample and copy any part of a photo.

Don’t think of gamification as anything other than clever strategies to motivate someone to learn so they can have fun being productive.

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