The purpose of gamification – O’Reilly Radar

by Scott Smith

There is massive difference between helping someone *feel* or *appear* awesome and helping them actually *be* more awesome.

And in real games and sports and any activity one does for work but can also do WITH PASSION, this matters. What you call *gamification* is what we consider a potentially useful toolkit (especially feedback, crucial for any Improvement) in service of a greater goal… And that greater goal involves real challenges and real skill/knowledge to meet the ever increasing challenge. To apply the mechanics typically used as a form of meaningful feedback for improvement (and yes, sometimes motivation… When done carefully), while removing the heart/soul/core of the user experience… That is the sad part.

Your example of rewarding someone for BUYING books, vs. what is actually potentially beautiful and deeply engaging about reading/using books. That is sad. If you had suggested some form of gamification as a band-aid or bridge to bootstrap people into an experience or behavior, and then quickly shift them to what is truly potentially motivating for its own sake (like getting people to try snowboarding the first few times… The beer may be what gets them there, but the feeling of flying through fresh powder is what sustains it, but only if we quit making it Just About The Beer and frickin teach them to fly).

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