Gamification in KM - real experiences #gamification


Tom Short <tman9999@...>
 

Stephen - good catch! You are correct. This I think I pointed to the wrong article about Pepsi (will see if I can find the one I had in mind). The example I was aiming for had to do with employees who were blogging internally, and wanted to post those blogs externally.

In any case - now I understand your initial response to my original post, and completely agree with you. I don't know what the 'minimum' number of attributes should be to qualify something as a game, but I think your correct in saying it's more than one.

What did you think of the piano stairs example?

--- In sikmleaders@yahoogroups.com, Stephen Bounds <km@...> wrote:

Hi Tom,

I completely agree that we shouldn't fall into the trap of saying "X is
a game, therefore all games must be X". And the definition of a game is
notoriously slippery. On the other hand, most people agree that games
consist of some or all of:

- defined goals
- defined rules
- challenge (self-imposed, or mutually agreed), and
- interaction

The question is - what is the minimum number of these which must be
present to qualify as a game? Intuitively I feel that we must have at
least *two*, because any single factor could simply be described as "life".

Therefore I have a couple of quibbles. Firstly, the PepsiCo approach
wasn't described in the article as "self-blogging", but more a scrapbook
approach of cutting and pasting pre-approved articles. Also, there was
no approval of these scrapbooks; the approval happened earlier at the
individual article stage. So *as described* this won't meet the test of
being a game, since there aren't rules, challenge or defined goals.
It's just a tool that can be used.

Now, you seem to be saying that the existence of this framework allowed
employees to participate in a game to get their articles published. But
this appears to be "gaming the system" (an unintentional side-effect)
rather than an intentional effort by Pepsi to promote this behaviour.

Which kind of raises the point: if employees are creating games in
*response* to your management activities, is that still gamification? I
would argue not.

Cheers,
-- Stephen.

====================================
Stephen Bounds
Director & Principal Consultant
knowquestion Pty Ltd
E: sb@...
M: 0401 829 096
====================================

On 12/05/2013 1:07 AM, Tom wrote:
Hi Stephen - based on the research I've done on this topic this example
fits well the definition of gamification: using game-based design
principles in non-game contexts.

The question is what constitutes 'game-based design principles', and
that is a fair question. As for the non-game context, I think it's
pretty clear, as you point out, that the Pepsico example is not a
non-game context.

In Kevin Wehrbach's Coursera course on gamification he discusses the
game-based design principles that can be leveraged when looking at
gamification in the workplace.

The traditional game elements that first come to mind for many people
are points, a leaderboard, status levels, and badges (PBLS). While these
are certainly legitimate, and have been the focus of business use of
gamification for the companies catering to the social media crowd (eg,
Bunchball, Badgeville, others), there are game design elements beyond
these, that can be leveraged as well, that don't require a social media
platform to use them on (necessarily).

Some of these include a defined game space, rules, and willing
acceptance of both by the participants. In other words, the participants
have to be voluntary, not conscripted. Thinking about gamification using
these elements requires a good deal of abstraction away from the PBLS
that first come to mind when the word 'gamification' is uttered. Which
is unfortunate, because it is already resulting in a lot of wrong-headed
efforts that are bound to fail (Gartner reckons 70% or more of the
gamification efforts companies have embarked on will fail, in fact).

So, with that in mind, the other key ingredient, beyond identifying the
game space and rules, is coming up with an actual 'game' that would be
interesting enough to the 'players' (ie employees), such that they would
become willing participants in it.

As we know, sustainable behavior change is generally not easy to affect
in the workplace at scale, so the obvious place to look is where there
is already a behavior type occuring, that is seen to be beneficial by
the business, which could be extended through the use of gamification.

In this case, Pepsi saw that employees were already interested in
blogging about their brand out of a sense of pride. The brilliance of
this case example is that rather than try to control it, and tamp down
the enthusiasm that was clearly evident here, they decided to harness
it, by creating a game space, rules, and rewards for 'winning.' The game
space was blogging for public consumption; the rules were, the blogs
would be subject to a review, and the ones that were deemed appropriate
for external publication would be published; and the reward for winning
was being able to point your friends, family members and colleagues to
your blog post out on the public web.

This is simple, elegant, and subtle- but it does fit the definition of
gamification. For my money, efforts like this are much more sustainable
over the long term, and can generate powerful results for enterprises.

So - is this really anything dramatically new? Well, maybe not. It's
more of a new way of thinking about things that we've been doing all
along, that results in a reframing of how we view those things. The
result is we become more focused on identifying other opportunities that
fit that new frame, and thus become more deliberate about how we
identify and evaluate them, and do something about them. Remind you of
anything else this group has talked about?? :-) Knowledge management,
anyone?

- Tom


thomas.hsu@...
 

Matt,

2 quick thoughts…

Yes – gamification is at or nearing the top of the hype cycle. The trough of disillusionment is ahead and will be precipitated by all the bad gamification out there. But I firmly believe science will save gamification. In terms of science – there is plenty of real research behind it – behaviorism and reward schedules, self-determination theory, habit formation loops, etc. etc. But it’s too early to expect a lot of empirical evidence of what works specifically within an organization. We’re all guinea pigs here.

 

Game designers have been very critical of pointsification for a while now but that doesn’t mean gamification doesn’t work. Take Ian Bogost – who created the “cow clicker” game, a superficial collection of game mechanics meant to demonstrate the worst and most ridiculous aspects of gamification. Problem was – in went viral.



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Matt Moore <innotecture@...>
 

Thomas,

"But I firmly believe science will save gamification. In terms of science – there is plenty of real research behind it – behaviorism and reward schedules, self-determination theory, habit formation loops, etc. etc. But it’s too early to expect a lot of empirical evidence of what works specifically within an organization. We’re all guinea pigs here."

We're talking about a practical application of human science here.  In medicine, which is a good thing for comparison here, the gold standard for the effectiveness of any intervention is a systematic review of many random controlled trials. Because medical scientists know that just because there is a plausible scientific mechanism or interesting piece of lab data that doesn't mean a drug (or something else) will work. And even in medicine, we don't actually have a good idea of whether drugs & other things are effective because half of all clinical trial data is never published (and BTW those tend to be studies with negative results). The claim "based on science" is something you see a lot on late night TV ads trying to sell you something dodgy. N.B. I not suggesting that is your goal here.

It also turns out that we don't know as much about human psychology as we thought we did. We know a lot about the psychology of American college students & many of those findings may not be universal after all:

I am not saying that all psychology is worthless or that all gamification efforts will fail. I'm saying that we actually need to test these things in multiple real world situations. It's better if we do rely on psychological research rather than blind prejudice but we can't rely on that research totally.

Cheers,

Matt

P.S. Thanks for the CowClicker reference. Very interesting...


thomas.hsu@...
 

Matt - I’m not really sure where you’re going with this … you say we need to test this in multiple real world situations. We ARE testing this – everyone trying to use gamification for business benefit is testing it. We have enough real scientific research to suggest that there’s something here worth pursuing AND we have plenty of real world examples that show gamification can have business benefit. That’s enough for me - I’m not going to wait for a systematic review of many random controlled trials for something 100% definitive before I start using it.

 

I’m not trying to develop a new drug. But I’m also not selling a weight loss pill. If you want to wait for more evidence and research – that’s fine, you can learn from the mistakes of others. I’m still going to forge ahead.



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