A popular article over at softwareadvice.com takes another pass at the application of game mechanics to other tasks… aka Gamification. Author Vincent Beerman posts a few great quotes:
Like the Industrial Revolution, early attempts at gamifying the enterprise have been slow, clunky, simplistic and sometimes downright counterproductive.
Learning a game, […], incorporates intrinsic human motivators and delivers extrinsic and social rewards in appropriate combination.
Two Statements that I wholeheartedly believe in:
1. Trying to make things more enjoyable by making them into games isn’t a sin. When this processes is not done well, it is ineffective, and thus paints a bad future for those ambitious or passionate enough to try.
Many ‘Gamifiers’ simply draw correlation between the act of playing games and fun. Then, they follow up using logic that “un-fun” processes are not enjoyable, because they are not games. Thus, they deduce that these processes will become fun if they are made into games. This is flawed logic because not all ‘games’ are fun.
2. Real Gamification isn’t points and badges. Margaret at Hide&Seek has this to say:
Points and badges have no closer a relationship to games than they do to websites and fitness apps and loyalty cards. They’re great tools for communicating progress and acknowledging effort, but neither points nor badges in any way constitute a game.
If the act itself isn’t any fun, adding points to it might help a smidgen for those of us with the urge to top a leader board; but for most it doesn’t help.
Here is an example that I do like: http://theoleg.com/ .
Click “My World” to be thrust into a beautiful environment filled with subtle animations and hidden clues. Each clue is a fact about the designer, everything ranging from his favorite actor, to travel habits. The designer, Oleg Kostyuk could have listed each fact openly, but instead chooses to hide them among the environment. This does two things well: A) encourages you to explore the ‘artworld’ he has created thus exposing you to more of his work in a more meaningful way. B) Builds a two way street for the delivery of information. The information is not fed to the user, it is given when they seek it.