June 14, 2012

Lolcats and Fantasy Leagues

I promise you, this is somewhat relevant

I was reading yet another article about Gamification, since that has seem to become my primary hobby these days, and came to a small realization: that gamification is superficial.  Now, I know that this directly conflicts with some of our previous entries such as how gamification is helping hospitalized children, but for 99% of the applications... gamification is superficial.

Now before we pack up this blog because we feel hurt by this fact, the author at Gamemaki made a good point, which is "So what?"  So what if most of the applications are superficial?  The vast majority of our lives are based around the small, inconsequential elements of our daily lives.  And while it is true that gamification has immense impacts on education, job hunting, and such... the fact remains that the vast majority of our day revolves around LoLcats and Memes.  Therefore, if gamification helps enrich our lives in those areas, perhaps it can still be a good and important thing.

After thinking about Clay Shirky's TED talk on Cognitive Surplus, I came to the realization that in order to develop the good sort of gamification (education, jobs, etc), we have to have the bad elements of gamification (fantasy leagues, Areyouhotornot, etc).  The principles that have helped form the positives were initially tested in order to simply entertain us all.  Therefore, I must agree with our friends at Gamemaki... it is true that gamification is 99% superficial.  So what?

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