Gamification of real life

I've been a fan of Gamification for a decade, especially in education. As the link there says, "create similar experiences to those experienced when playing games in order to motivate and engage users".

This would be the opposite of many peoples' experiences. School often kills the natural curiosity, motivation and creativity of students. Surveys I've seen all say over half of workers aren't thrilled about their job, and too many hate it.

What do you think? Would leveling up and getting better gear for your avatar help motivation?
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Personally, I think gamification can work to a certain extent though you'll need to combine it with other tools to help you remain productive, so as to hold back the inevitable point where you start seeing diminishing returns with your tools, gamification included.

The main reason to gamify school and work is to stave off procrastination and I feel as if motivational speakers get the idea of procrastination wrong. I get that some of us procrastinate out of a fear of failure, but I think most of us procrastinate because work is inherently boring and we'd much rather be at home playing video games with whatever system our employment money can afford us.

I think the tools for gamification need to evolve past the point it's currently in right now or else we will all be slaves to a very real dragon. And that dragon's name is Procrastination. Hell, its most obedient slaves were once its strongest enemies.

I guess to properly answer your question: Gamification is nice but what we really need to deal with a lack of motivation is the return of medieval bardism. After all, it was with their ways with words that allow military leaders to inspire lesser men into tearing down castle walls, is it not? I doubt we'd have this conversation if the greatest bards and songstresses from several hundred years ago were still alive to this day
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Apologies its a very long post!

I certainly think that there is something to making learning fun or more interactive. At the very least, it allows people to learn by doing via repetition as opposed to learning vast amounts of text with little or no context to real world implementation.

Context is the key here. If you're studying history there's very little you can do. yeah you can ask them to play a total war game but i question the limited amount of learning from it. At most it will keep them motivated and have a basic awareness of events. Assuming they remember anything apart from "fun". In IT however i think its very viable. How about learning to code? learn some basic coding via a game (learning by doing) would be quite valuable especially in the work place. of course, i don't have any coding experience so i do question how useful it really will be. But the potential is there and some games sort of already of does this, Else Heart.Break() does this, but as a game? really boring and complicated if you're not into coding at all.

So ok, lets flip this around. What if we use video game logic with real life instead? ok admittedly, its more about good UI and simplicity, but what if we could implement a gaming UI for complicated processes instead of this massive screen of buttons?

A personal story here, i've been studying AWS Cloud Practitioners exam, and i've been trying to get my head around various concepts using video game logic where possible (along with your typical acroynms, patterns and good old fashioned reptition, etc). For example a diagram with various Autoscaler (and autoscaling groups), a load balancer, various EC2 instances the concepts are easy enough, but i've tried to wrap my head around with various info using gaming logic. In this case, a tower defence game:

Autoscaler - A macro Build queue when things get busy.
Autoscaler Group - details of which units (EC2 instances) to build
load balancer - reroute traffic when things get busy to less busy units like some environmental block of sorts.

Speaking of RTS, when i was learning the various AWS support packages (free, developer, business, enterprise) i found learning infomation in its original form incredibly dry so to keep me motivated and to wrap my head around the boring material, i pretended it was some sort of RTS research upgrade table.

of course, there is a limit to how far this can go, but if it helps great. Certainly could make learning more fun and useful if i have simulations to practice on. Which is kinda difficult and annoying when it all costs money...
Whatever avatar style your school or workplace or community uses. Don't worry about it tho, just a throwaway phrase to represent getting rewards visible to your peers.

Sorry. I'd just read that metaverse article on PCG, and had that stuck in my head when I was reading this thread.

I think certain types of gamification in school and work could really be fun. From my own experience of trying to implement these types of things at work, though, there seems to always be a group of folks who just don't care and don't want to participate. Years ago I was managing a call center and came up with this point/reward system that, when someone had accumulated enough points, gave them either a small bonus (one day's pay) or a paid day off, and there was a lot less enthusiasm than I had anticipated. Maybe there should have been more intermediate rewards. This was in the 90's, so no one had avatars of any type. People did use the program, though, so maybe it had more of an impact than I thought, but I distinctly remember thinking that it hadn't had much of an impact on morale.


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School already is somewhat gamified. At least here in the USA, we get letter grades for how well we did. They could just tell you if you passed or no. Well then, if you're doing OK, why bother to work harder? There wouldn't be a reason. Might as well start slacking off.

But in this system, you can get an "A" instead of a "C". What's the difference between the two? Well, in later years it might make a difference to what college you go to... or not, depending on the college. Other than that? It's just a prestige thing, really.
more intermediate rewards
I think that's key, that people see daily or weekly progress and rewards, rather than longer-term. In gaming you're regularly earning advancement—a collectible grabbed, an outpost captured, an enhanced piece of gear. It wouldn't work nearly as well if you had to play 10 hours before seeing some acknowledgement of your effort.

there seems to always be a group of folks who just don't care and don't want to participate
That's a law of nature—human nature :)

School already is somewhat gamified
Yes, it's the same in other school systems I'm aware of. Work too, with a regular wage, maybe kudos from the boss, and occasional raises and promotion.

But as I understand gamification, it's much more frequent. You're getting the feedback as you work or play, every minute or every hour. It's built into the tasks or events you're doing, rather than being something separate awarded by an externality like a teacher, boss or larger organization.


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That's... a lot of feedback! I can imagine that working for something that's really rote work. Maybe you could do it for some things that computers could easily measure - like checking how well you're staying in lane for a truck driver. That'd be a heck of a lot of pop quizzes for students, though! How would you do this for email processors... no, wait, what's the nice name for them? Managers! Yeah! How would you do this for a manager?
I can imagine that working for something that's really rote work
Agreed, and that's probably where it'd be of most use too—ie where motivation is most needed.

How would you do this for a manager?
Erm… An accumulation of hir team's performance? Sort of like how the end of turn in Civ converts all your individual actions into new EoT metrics relative to the other players.

But yeah, less relevant for managers I would think, on the assumption their job is already more interesting. Rote work should see the most benefit.
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Generally I'm not a fan of rat race and gamification reminds me of this thing. Yes, there are positives. This kind of approach can highly motivate students and workers, but it may also lead to over motivation and isolation if someone can't keep up to the whole competition. It's often characteristic for corporate companies where there's a lot of pressure for results. The effect can be devastating for private life. Burn-out and general health problems are only some of the possible outcomes.

Of course not all corporations apply this approach and gamification is not an evil in its own, but a lot depends on the particular individual. If someone wants to participate in this model of work, he should have the possibility to do so, but let's not forget about those who just don't want to or can't be involved in a never ending competition.
Gamification should make the activity itself more fun, instead of giving (meaningless) rewards for something that isn't fun to begin with. I think there's a lot of ways we could integrate play into our education.

I don't really see how to integrate it into work though. I think genuine appreciation for the work someone has done means a lot more than any kind of gamification reward you could give. And cutting work hours so people have more time to play in whatever way they enjoy probably works a lot better than trying to gamify the work in a way that works for everyone.