Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Gamification" as a motivator


Russell Hoffman from NY (thanks Russell!) sent this web link to the AP Psych listserv. This article describes an apparently successful program in Sweden that encourages drivers to slow down. A traffic camera takes picture of speeders AND folks driving at or under the speed limit, and these pictures enter the safe drivers into a lottery for prizes. The article introduces a word that's new to me: "Gamification: the process of using game thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems"

The traffic "gamification" example described above seems benign and pro-social (to me), but it reminds me of a video that disturbed me. Jesse Schell's TED talk describing a future in which many of our behaviors could be "gamified" in the style of Facebook "Farmville" style games. I'm not sure why it disturbed me so much. I'd love to hear your reaction in the comments field if you have time and feel moved to write.

posted by Rob McEntarffer

4 comments:

Chuck Schallhorn said...

I understand your trepidation Rob. The key for me is intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation. Whatever happened to old-fashioned self-discipline. Why do we need to make a game out of it? Why can we not behave properly because it's the right thing to do, not because there may be some potential reward down the road (or even immediately). That's my concern--externalization rather than internalization of motivation.

Mr. Donner said...

I was going to comment, but there is no incentive for me to do so...

Steve said...

Great point Mr. Donner! Sounds like the THSP gang should create a way to catching people in the act of commenting and reward them to increase that behavior. A thousand huzzahs are on their way to you, Mr. D!

Rob Mc said...

Achievement Badges! We need some kind of cool achievement badges people get for commenting! The badges could display on a "profile" somehow . . . :)