Cool dismantling of a lazy book about gamification

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by zem, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. zem

    zem Super Moderator Staff Member

    This book review is long but well-worth the read. I learned at least two things:
    1. Someone is actually examining the topic of "gamification" with a lot of critical thought
    2. Being published by O'Reilly no longer means anything

    It seems like the book itself is so fragile that it hardly needs this much analysis, but I'm glad it was done anyway. The fact that it's a book review also makes it more fun to read, at least if you like it when lazy thinking is picked apart.
  2. AlbeyAmakiir

    AlbeyAmakiir Active Member

    Went and read the responses and so on, too.

    Seems the book wasn't "lazy" as much as "designed to sell stuff". Useful for one guy in short term. Terribly harmful to the concept in the long term. Those two will never see eye-to-eye. I am completely on the side of the reviewer (well, in as much as I can be, never having heard of gamification before now).
  3. rozencrantz

    rozencrantz Active Member

    I haven't read the whole thing. I like it so far, and I really want the stuff about challenge to be true, but how well is this backed up? Most of what I've seen in popular games has been more behavioral/reward-based, at least recently.

    I don't have anything solid, and I'd like to see something solid about the social aspect of this. My general impression has been that people who attempt to master challenges for fun are less common than people who want to relax and push buttons. Farmville, after all. Like, I generally hang out with challenge-seekers, but I don't get the impression that we're the norm.

    But it's all anecdotal, so I could be wrong: I really hope I'm wrong. Please tell me I'm wrong?
  4. TheRealBobMan

    TheRealBobMan Member

    "Gamification" seems like it could refer to just about any case of adding mechanics in games to things that aren't games. Putting math problems in an interface where you push buttons gets called an "educational game" even if it's just doing math problems without making it fun somehow, or if the "fun" part comes from having little characters on screen and sticking a time limit on it.

    What seems to be the message of the book based on the review makes me sad for what games could become in the future. I'm worried they wont be actual games anymore. Just Skinner's boxes with a cartoony interface and a slot to insert tokens... and you need a lot of tokens.

    I need to finish reading the review actually. I saw this last night while I was in class.

Share This Page