June 16, 2012

1984: Gamification Style

I know you're jealous of my Paint skills

Who would think that Gamification would come under such a firestorm?  Take a gander at this article from Rough Type, where the author deals with whether-or-not companies who use gamification to enhance their work quantity and quality are really just exploiting people.  Business are increasingly relying on their customers to fix, market, make, and even develop some of their products.  This is what the Economist has referred to as "unsourcing", where you can simply drop your employees and force your customers to work for you.

This sounds like a horrible, dystopic future in which we'll will be forced to make our own french fries via a "game" at McDonalds.  Companies will no longer have employees, but only customers who will have to spend their own time to create their consumable.  However, we have seen that this really can't be the case.  In order to make an "unsourced" model, you need to be able to offer some carrot to your customers.  While fame and love do act as motivation in terms of crowd-sourcing, they can't be the only contributing factors when you're making demands as a company.  The most successful crowd-sourcing examples through gamification have primarily been non-profits such as Fold-It. It will be much, much harder to convince the public to work for your for-profit business, even if it has an element of gamification behind it.  So before your company drops all your employees and tries to gamify the business such as Topcoder did, you ought to think twice.

Therefore do not fret.  Gamification is not an evil.  You will not be seeing "War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength" on this blog anytime soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment