Re: Gamification in KM - real experiences #gamification

Stephen Bounds

Hi Matt,

On 10/05/2013 12:34 PM, Matt Moore wrote:
"I kind of disagree. I think an important use case for gamification is
where the value accrues to the organisation, not the individual. In
fact, isn't this kind of the point? To encourage things which aren't
naturally being done to get done?"

Not really sure what you're disagreeing with here. I didn't say that
that use cases shouldn't benefit the organisation (that's kind of
obvious). My point is that you should first check to see if your system
is actually giving users value before you put a gamification layer on
top of it. If it's not then you should give that some thought first.
What I meant was that there may not be "work-related value" to the people directly involved in the gamification. For example, let's say we gamify the capture of profile information of age, gender and ethnicity. There's no noticeable "work-related value" to the participating users, but it serves a purpose for HR, who need it for their organisation profile reports.

"I would also be cautious about prizes and acknowledgements. What you're
doing is designing a game with extrinsic rewards, which are harder to
sustain than intrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards the same problem as
pay increases or "expected" bonuses: they rapidly become just part of
the status quo. If we must gamify, then as far as possible the
activities should be intrinsically rewarding."

Disagree. There seems to be a current orthodoxy that instrinsic = good
and extrinsic = bad. In fact it's sometimes hard to peel the two apart.
Have I become an expert in a domain because I find it intrinsically
pleasing or because I like the status it gives me? Probably a bit of
both. Leaderboards have an extrinsic element. As does the awarding of
I wasn't trying to be that black and white about good vs bad. My point was that an extrinsic motivation will not inspire extraordinary effort in the longer term. It's like the "employee of the month" prize. The first time, it's a nice nod of acknowledgement. By the time everyone except the inanimate carbon rod has got one, there would be very few people still striving to be the one recognised.

Going back to your earlier point about value not accruing to the
individual, the whole issue that gamification attempts to tackle is that
lots of the behaviours you want to drive are NOT intrinsicallty
Yes, but the idea is to *make* the behaviours rewarding by adding an intrinsic reward, ie fun. If the game activity is not fun in and of itself, you're just replacing one kind of extrinsic reward with another.

(PS People aren't the same. Some find achieving on a leaderboard intrinsically rewarding. Many don't. Just one more difficulty of this kind of approach!)

-- Stephen.

Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
M: 0401 829 096

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