From an inside look at gamification’s roots at StackOverflow to the future backlash of “badge fatigue” gamification has run the gauntlet this week. Be sure to check out the other stories including a word from Ian Bogost’s co-founder, Gerard Lafond, and gamification in education, environmental sustainability, and the exciting world of life insurance.
The Gamification, Jeff Atwood, Codinghorror.com
StackOverflow is often cited as an early example of gamification. By incorporating voting, achievements, and karma, StackOverflow set out to create a community that supported lasting artifacts on programming and software development. Jeff Atwood, a co-founder of StackExchange, looks back at the motivations behind the new take on online communities, “How do you encourage groups to do what’s best for the world rather than their own specific, selfish needs? When I looked at this problem, I felt I knew the answer. But there wasn’t a word for it in 2008. Now there is: Gamification.”
The Gamification Backlash, Michael Wu, Lithium Lithosphere
We’ve seen a lot of criticism of gamification, and some people are fighting the name, but we haven’t quite seen fatigue set in. “At some point, consumers must get tired of gamification. They will probably get into a state of point/badge fatigue and start to resent any type of gamified activity. This is known as the gamification backlash.” Michael Wu talks about two strategies for overcoming this backlash: 1) use gamification to support initial interest in what will become deeply intrinsic value, and 2) use gamification to support analytics that reveal the intrinsic motivation of the players and support their individual pursuit. In both of these cases, gamification serves as a short term support for long term motivation.
Why Education Needs to Get Its Game On, Gerard LaFond, Mashable
In true “good-cop, bad-cop” form, Gerard LaFond, co-founder of Persuasive Games with Ian Bogost, writes about the need to bring gamification to education, “If we apply this strategy [of gamification] to education, I believe we can realize an equally positive impact on society as a whole.” Gerard cites Ananth Pai’s presentation at our Gamification Summit this year, and believes that gamification can support true progress in learning through game mechanics and the freedom to fail.
Simple Energy: How Gamification Might Just Save the World, Matt Smith, Ecomagination.com
Simple Energy is a start-up out of Colorado that sets out to “change how utilities engage customers”. In most of history, energy bills brought a sense of duty if not dread, and never inspired much fun. But Yoav Lurie sees an opportunity that just may end up saving the world, “People will want to appear more socially conscious, more environmentally aware than their friends, and our platform gives them the opportunity to do it in an online setting.”
AXA Looks to Gamification, iPad to Excite Consumers About Life Insurance, Nathan Golia, Insurance&Technology
If you didn’t catch the demo at our Gamification Summit in New York, AXA Equitable has created a game that attempts to illustrate the need for life insurance and planning for the future. The article goes over the development of the application, “It started as an interactive storybook for kids. We wanted to leverage the technology in order to teach people what the benefits of that product specifically are.”