Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Don't play games with me

Don't play games with me is a presentation recently given by Sebastian Deterding on the subject of gamification. While it makes use of some philosophy and psychological theories about why we play and what games are, it is very accessible. The presentation makes good points, some of which aren't only applicable to gamification, but make you think about MMORPGs as well. Recommended reading!
gamification = Snake Oil 2.0

Actually it's funny how the geeks are missing the obvious. Game (primarily sport) ideas have already invaded real life.

"Come on team we need to make our latest Sales Goal so we can Achieve premier status."

"Play by the rules and don't get us a penalty shot."

If SWTOR becomes a cultural phenomenon... well then maybe future employees will talk about "leveling up" during performance reviews...

Until videogames get past the 18-35 male demographic none of this nonsense will go mainstream. But maybe in tech oriented companies (where males 18-35 rule) leveling up manangement could possibly work... hmmm
Definitely a good read. The first part on the rules of the game put me off a little bit since they seemed quite common sense, but the latter parts of the presentation were great.

Personally, I kinda think the gamification of WoW had a bit to deal with it losing it's luster. Stuff like badges and achievements certainly made the game easier and more enjoyable, but tipped the game too much over into the "game" side of things at the sacrifice of "play".

Tobold, you had a problem with playing Rift, mainly because you suggested that the appeal of the game was only that it was something new, and when that newness was gone, you'd be left with nothing but another WoW, and its elitist jerks. But maybe it was this shift towards the gamification of WoW that set the tone of the players towards elitism (i.e. focusing much more on game rather than play) and dissuaded you from playing any more? Had WoW continued in the vein of Vanilla and BC, do you think WoW would've been for the better?
@AngryGamer, I agree that to some degree "gamification" is really just a new term for the same old (eg "employee of the month").

But, there is a bit more to gamification. For example, simple things like smart phone calorie counters can really help motivate people to cut calories. I can vouch that Nike+ really does motivate me to run more. The gamification is about providing competition, challenges, and bragging rights in a method very similar to games.

I got pretty bored of the link about halfway through and stopped viewing it. The author's ideas about how any gamification needed to be sandboxy sounded like total garbage to me.
Richard Bartle had a nice presentation on gamification earlier this year too.

– Used to mean “turning something not a game into a game”
– Now seems to mean “turning a game into something not a game”

His view is that gamification nowadays is making everything evolve around achievements and no longer about game play. I think he is on to something.
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