I’ve got a confession to make.
When I first heard the expression ‘Gamification’ years ago I thought its potential application to every day tasks and life was sheer genius. I also thought it was an acceptable use of a ‘….tion’, unlike for example ‘IDEATION’. Really ?
I mean why not. Why not make the dullest, menial, least interesting task a little bit more enjoyable by bringing in the relevant transferrable aspect of a game. In doing so encourage, simplify or change behaviour through its gamification.
Today I feel quite differently as the approach can be seen in more than a few deployments. In fact it’s the quantity and the depth of gamification’s application that has changed my mind.
Individually each one might be a smart upgrade but collectively it makes me concerned. The rollout will continue
It’s a subjective view , but the extent of its application - services, products, education, media, utility, transport, communication – will over time start to eat away at what and how we view ‘life’ to be.
Life is not a game. Nor is it a rehearsal.- To start to breed and nurture the perception that it might be – for me at least – is a very very dangerous thing. Life is not a game. It should be enjoyed of course, we should try to get better at living it but we can’t just drop another £1 coin in there and go again without consequence. Equally as a further generalization – games are designed to appeal to children or young adults. Life for them in the future, and right now perhaps for us older generations and perhaps more accurately for those of us with children - is far from a game. Life is important, it and its challenges should be respected. Perhaps we wish it could be played, restarted again and again until we win.
Treat every aspect of it as such, conditioned by the weight of changes to both domestic and professional environments as well as the bits in between - of course we will start to think differently. Monkeys do when researchers intervene and attempt to unlock or analyse intelligence, behavourial change or encourage the adption of more ‘humanlike activities’.
All of this is an assumption on my part, but I think it’s a reasonable one to make.
I am also not suggesting there is a gamification agenda centrally held.
It’s the fact that changes to our lives and lifestyles are being driven by technology on the whole. In the apps, software, devices or websites the brutal simplification to game like interface might make sense. Combine the two and the extent of technological ‘innovation’ -it’s heading towards ultimate saturation – the moving parts of our lives collectively settling into the framework of a game.
I don’t think that can be a good thing longterm. I don’t know how one might address it if were a commonly held view and in time proof emerged of a significant negative impact.
Maybe there is in different guises ?
In the link to violent behaviour and its association with computer games. I’m pretty sure there is in terms of the internet, for example the accessibility of porn and how that impacts on sexual beliefs, attitudes and behaviours.
I’ll google both later.
So, isn’t it about time we started taking technological advance and its deployment by the scruff of the neck, take the lead rather than it lead us.
First world problem now. Potential for GAME OVER later. Discuss.
Ps: Ironically it appears that the most popular games, those with the deepest engagement tackle the full breadth of life scenarios in a virtual world.