Toward gamification?

Conference “Toward gamification ? Game mechanics outside game” (March the 3rd 2011) Summary Part 1

Nicolas Nova (Lift Lab) : Introduction
Josselin Perrus (eCRM consultant) : Bagdes as social indicators
Philippe Gargov (geographer consultant) : Game and city

“Gamification is the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications, particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications” (Wikipedia), or to encourage desired behaviors (for instance to perform chores that people don’t usually like).

Eg : Chore Wars (ARG) suggests real cleaning-tasks as quests, the players are from the same house or workplace, and each completed chore gives experience points.

3 points to think for a gamification :
– identify behaviors to encourage
– choose a system of measurement
– apply game mechanics

Game uses intrinsic rewards (= do, participate, which make the fun) and extrinsic rewards (= points, grades, which directly reward a result of an action).
It’s a common preconceived notion to think that game’s interest is only built on points (extrinsic reward, limited) while gamer’s interest and pleasure come from the work itself (intrinsic reward, renewable).

Extrinsic rewards have a limited efficiency, because we build up a tolerance for them (collect badges and badges doesn’t necessarily make sense).
There is no perfect formula, promise points and reward each action with a badge doesn’t make an application interesting.
Now gamification is often a control over user, in contrast to user-centric versions.

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