Will Gamification go full circle?

Posted on November 17, 2011


“The next decade is all about Gamification.” So says Seth Priebatsch and Jesse Schell at two conferences last year.

Having only recently viewed these two videos, the shock of the implications attached are still washing over me.

Scariest of all is the prospect that we will have no choice whether to participate or not. If these predictions are correct, or even close to being, then the likely scenario is that for a while the benefits of participating will vastly outweigh the detractions.

Humans will start behaving as companies want us to, or at the very least companies will acquire more data than ever before about our behavior and adapt accordingly.

Does this mean that free-will will be challenged? If so, I believe that gamification as it is perceived to be now will thankfully have a limited shelf life.

The structure of gamification relies totally on something being fun, either in the act of itself or in the competitive spirit it creates.

In the form predicted by Jesse Schell, games have become a laborious task which we are forced to fulfill. Is Game=Points not similar to the Work=Money principle which defines our lives now?

Escapism does still exist in all the current games we play. Breaking the boundaries into real life adds a competitive element which increases the fun.

Much like inviting friends round to play a game of Monopoly – it’s not a lot of fun on your own!

So, where will be the tipping point when gamification becomes so monotonous and over-bearing that we escape into Real Life, or jobs, just to escape from it for a time?

Posted in: The Odd Box