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GSummit SF 2014 - Stopping Gamification from Being a Double-Edged Sword: Evidence from Games and the Enterprise by Ethan Mollick @emollick
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GSummit SF 2014 - Stopping Gamification from Being a Double-Edged Sword: Evidence from Games and the Enterprise by Ethan Mollick @emollick

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  • 1. Prof. Ethan Mollick Wharton School
  • 2. • A history of what we know, and how we know it • Data from studies by Prof. Nancy Rothbard and myself • Paradox of “mandatory fun” and consent • How to avoid gamification as a double-edged sword
  • 3. Karl Maydens
  • 4. Evan Long
  • 5. Fast-growing and successful social e-commerce company Field Experiment: Three sales floors, fairly random assignment Multiple surveys, plus individual performance data Examining consent: I followed the game closely I understood rules of the game The game was fair
  • 6. Game Condition Control Condition Alternative Control: “Competition” Condition • Basketball-themed game • Score points by closing deals • Warm leads “layups”; cold calls “jump shots” • Large display screens showed basketball themed animation when points were scored. • Daily emails sent out to update participants on game status. No intervention • Large screen “scoreboards” • Performance statistics • Data similar to game condition without the game mechanics
  • 7. Leaderboard Game w/Consent Game w/o Consent Performance Borderline - No Effect Borderline - Affect No Effect Strong + Strong - Attitude to co. No Effect Strong + No Effect
  • 8. Leaderboard Game w/Consent Game w/o Consent Performance Borderline - No Effect Borderline - Affect No Effect Strong + Strong - Attitude to co. No Effect Strong + No Effect
  • 9. Leaderboard Game w/Consent Game w/o Consent Performance Borderline - No Effect Borderline - Affect No Effect Strong + Strong - Attitude to co. No Effect Strong + No Effect • Winning and losing had minor effects • Legitimacy of games (hours of gameplay) …second experiment to find out more…
  • 10. • We created three versions of the same game
  • 11. • We created three versions of the same game
  • 12. • We randomized between three possible choice conditions
  • 13. • Three factors of consent (understand the rules, pay attention think it is fair) • Highest for groups that had a choice • Generally similar (except for understanding the rules) for those that were not presented with a choice • Lowest for groups that got the opposite of their choice
  • 14. • Gamification without consent can actually lower performance and attitude • This is often hidden because: – In voluntary settings non-consenters drop out – Measurement is often bad or non-existent in gamification • Gamification without consent is mandatory fun
  • 15. • Consent is absolutely critical in games to avoid the paradox of mandatory fun • Consent can be gained by giving people agency over their decisions • Measure what you want to change, and also what you want to avoid changing
  • 16. • emollick@Wharton.upenn.edu • @emollick