There Be Dragons: Ten Potential Pitfalls of Gamification
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There Be Dragons: Ten Potential Pitfalls of Gamification

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My talk at the 2011 Digital Shoreditch Gamification Workshop, May 4, 2011, London, UK.

My talk at the 2011 Digital Shoreditch Gamification Workshop, May 4, 2011, London, UK.

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There Be Dragons: Ten Potential Pitfalls of Gamification Presentation Transcript

  • 1. There Be Dragonsten potential pitfallsof gamificationSebastian Deterding (@dingstweets)Digital Shoreditch, London, May 4, 2011cbn
  • 2. (Grumpy monster talk)
  • 3. With unexplored territories ...
  • 4. … comes dangerous ground.
  • 5. 7 3 10 8 9 4 6 2 5 1A (partial) map of troubles ahead
  • 6. 1The Crap CrabAbuse is not a value proposition
  • 7. 8 MillionFoursquare Accounts! But daily checkins/user dropped from 0,5 to 0,4 to 0,34 while growing from 2to 5 to 8 million accounts (foursquare’s own data, 2011).
  • 8. Who knew?Foursquare has anengagement problem.
  • 9. http://www.creative360.com/blog/2009/09/why-i-quit-playing-foursquare/
  • 10. »What we have learned from our users is that anygame aspect has to be, at least for finance, moreoriented toward some specific thing that you areworking toward: I want to buy a house or a car, take avacation, get out of debt ... Otherwise you have asystem of points with no levels or no end game.« Aaron Patzer founder, mint.com (2010)
  • 11. We give you points User Business value value You check inThe gamification battlefield** Courtesy Buster Benson, “The Game always Wins”
  • 12. »The marketing dictum that “good marketingcannot compensate for a bad product” ispatently turned upside down in the Funwareworld. Game mechanics and thepsychological conditions they exploit arepowerful tools that marketers can use, andthey’re a lot cheaper … than cash in the longrun.« Gabe Zichermann game-based marketing (2009)
  • 13. Points and badges for loyalty – you are so cheap! That one coupon and I’m gone!An abusive relationship
  • 14. Stack Overflow
  • 15. You get answers & build reputation, we grow our platform User Business value valueThe gamification honeymoon
  • 16. Playing field  User Business value value OffStay in the playing field
  • 17. What do users value?*• Getting things done, easier• Self-improvement• Community recognition and belonging• A sense of meaning and meaning• Instrumental value, cash• Fun and enjoyment• Competence and achievement * A completely off-the cuff, non-comprehensive, non-scientific etc. pp. list
  • 18. Getting things done, easier
  • 19. Self-improvement
  • 20. Community recognition & belonging
  • 21. »Would my non-geek friendbrag about this during dinnerwith colleagues?«(The community status litmus test)
  • 22. Sense of meaning and contribution
  • 23. »Imagine a world in whichevery single human being canfreely share in the sum of allknowledge. Thats ourcommitment.« Wikimedia Foundation slogan
  • 24. Cash, instrumental value
  • 25. Fun and entertainment
  • 26. The Feedback BlowfishRewards are not achievements 2
  • 27. Score: 964,000,000,000,000 (You rock!)Earn 1,000,000,000,000 points
  • 28. »Fun is just another word for learning.« Raph Koster a theory of fun for game design (2005)
  • 29. »Fun from games arises out of mastery.It arises out of comprehension. It is theact of solving puzzles that makes gamesfun. With games, learning is the drug.« Raph Koster a theory of fun for game design (2005)
  • 30. Clear goals ...
  • 31. plus constraining rules ...
  • 32. equals interesting challenges.
  • 33. Plus constant, clear feedback ... http://www.flickr.com/photos/bodgerbrooks/1315419080
  • 34. equals experiences of achievement.
  • 35. Feedback without achievement
  • 36. The Maelstorm of Misplaced ChallengeGetting in the way of efficiency 3
  • 37. Ticket To receive ticket, steer point through maze
  • 38. Ticket Level 2 To receive ticket, steer point through maze
  • 39. The core challenge of e-mail?• Maximum output?• Error-free, polite, actionable?• Prioritization?• Quick answers?• Checking less often?• Inbox Zero?
  • 40. Prioritization
  • 41. Procrastination
  • 42. The Trapped Sea of StalenessNo fresh content and challenge 4
  • 43. 2010: 85Max. level 2008: 80 2007: 70 2004: 60 YearWorld of Warcraft Expansions
  • 44. FrontierVille Seasonal Content… vs. Quality and Variety
  • 45. The Urobus of Unintended ConsequenceNeglecting side effects 5
  • 46. Tumblarity… vs. Quality and Variety
  • 47. Mayor Maker
  • 48. The Social Signal Sea SerpentIgnoring Context Meanings 6
  • 49. Autonomy Leech and Value VampireThe hidden costs of extrinsic rewards 7
  • 50. … vs. Quality andthrough controlCurbing autonomy Variety
  • 51. Devaluing the activity http://www.flickr.com/photos/courosa/4955407599/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • 52. http://www.flickr.com/photos/courosa/4955407599/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • 53. The Ice Shelves of IgnoranceNot knowing your users 8
  • 54. FarmVille
  • 55. Fallout 3
  • 56. Fanlib.com, a cautionary tale
  • 57. 9The Feature ShallowsNeglecting design process
  • 58. Prototype & playtestVariety “why” … vs. Quality and for “how”,
  • 59. Analytics for “where”, “how much”
  • 60. The Panacea PythonLooking for a quick-fix, one-size-fits-allwonder potion 10
  • 61. »At SCVNGR we like to jokethat with any seven gamedynamics you can get anyoneto do anything.« Seth Priebatsch welcome to the decade of games (2010)
  • 62. When do people do stuff?* ability (Skills, habits) Usability motivation behaviour (intrinsic, extrinsic) Game design(and other things) opportunity Prompts, (Situation, environment) context* A comprehensive, well-researched, widely adopted etc. pp. model (namely the Motivation, Opportunity, Ability Model)
  • 63. Four questions to leave with• Is motivation the issue?• Is there a core value that game elements can amplify?• Can this be gamed (does it involve a learnable challenge and autonomy)?• Is gaming the most cost-benefit efficient way of improving motivation here?
  • 64. Thank You. @dingstweets sebastian@codingconduct.cc codingconduct.cc