Stephen Totilo of Gizmodo isn’t completely sure how he feels about gamification, but he certainly hates cheaters. In his recent post called “You’re All Liars“, Totilo writes about how he became a frequent user of the check-in apps Foursquare and MyTown, the issues that arose as the apps changed to combat cheaters, how he himself was tempted to “game” the systems and what it says about the psychology behind the apps.
Fundamentally, anytime there is something of value to be had in a system or market, users will try to extract that value by any means necessary. Gaming a system can occur for many different reasons (including users’ needing to feel challenged), but it’s always going to happen. That’s why good gamified experiences must have great user and systemic protections.