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Shepherd gov20 la 2012


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my presentation this morning at the Gov 2.0 LA conference (at Pepperdine Univ.), topic: "The Invisible Hand of Politics: Engagement with Government through Technology and Gamification." Kind of a rebel take on the normal slant...

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Shepherd gov20 la 2012

  1. 1. Engagementwith GovernmentthroughTechnology & Gamification Lewis Shepherd @lewisshepherd
  2. 2. The phenomenon,not the wordCommenter "Neil" on a blogpost about thetrend/buzzword “gamification”, Oct. 14 2010: "I really hate the word itself. The suffix is twice as long as the root! A lexical disaster."
  3. 3. Gamification derives from a game-designer approach, “game mechanics” • Rules-based • Attempt to architect optimal behavior & activity, through scoring • Multiple layers of feedback-loops and positive/negative reinforcement; Maslow!
  4. 4. In Enterprise settings…• traditional approach extended to enterprise use: BlueShield, Coca- Cola, hundreds of others• just as used in software games, extended to software companies: – Microsoft, SAP, IBM
  5. 5. In Government settings…• Attempts to apply term & concepts to government have often followed that enterprise model – – “behavioral economics”
  6. 6. “Nudging” from the top• Top-down, authoritative, prescriptive• Author Ian Bogost has written: – "Gamification is Bullshit" – It’s "exploitationware" designed to manipulate and lie, in age-old ways. – Extrapolated to government, runs counter to Tim O’Reilly’s original expression of Government 2.0 as a Platform
  7. 7. TJ letter about the kind of governmentwhere "every man … feels that he is aparticipator in the government ofaffairs, not merely at an election one dayin the year, but every day."
  8. 8. Taking the reins whichcitizens already holdWhat about understanding &extending the democratic,bottom-up paradigm?Instead of government incentingcitizens, citizens incentgovernment… and those who wantto govern.
  9. 9. Citizen scoring of optimal behavior bygovernment entities/representatives• In political campaigns: already active in implicit ways – Debate participation: 2012, 27 Republican primary debates – Tracking polls – No different from counting your Facebook "Likes" – the same exultation • How many of us admit to posting something (photo, book reference) primarily to shape your external reputation or image?
  10. 10. “Gaming the System”• Pandering politicians! – The more babies you kiss, the more votes you earn – The Larry Sabato rule of "How to work a room"
  11. 11. What are the analogues for citizen-governmentimplementation of traditional Gamificationtechniques? • Incentives/Rewards • Competition • Progress Feedback • Goal hierarchies
  12. 12. Executive government• Federal level (i.e. President)• Local (e.g. mayors of San Jose, San Francisco)
  13. 13. Legislative government• National/local blend within a representative republic; tie to the constituent (voter=scorer)
  14. 14. Judicial government• Citations• 5-4 vs 9-0 counts• appeal/overturns statistics (9th Circuit)• Laughs per term!• Oddity of lifetime appointment; results?
  15. 15. Judicial government• Traditional critique demands televised sessions – Public commentary on Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – Electrified national debate• But little feedback loop on government via TV – Argentine model instead – Positive/negative reinforcement on court actions
  16. 16. One traditional critique ofGamification• "Difference is, life is hard, real world cant be gamified" – Success is easily structured/designed for the gamer, and achieved by the gamer – Real world success is heavily random and hard• In traditional government use of Gamification (topdown), same thing – only used in tangential areas (the public urinal) because of complexity, difficulty
  17. 17. More promise in bottom-up citizen-government gamification• Complexity is inherent and a central part of the response• "Finger on the pulse of the nation"
  18. 18. What would explicit supportive actions toencourage Bottom-Up Gamification be?• Using gaming mechanics to make the citizen- control-of-government a more compelling experience• Explicit rewards – Until now, largely financial; • Lincoln Bedroom sales; • Ambassadorial appointments; • Solyndra
  19. 19. Using technology for governmentgamification from below• Social network sites – Direct engagement with politicians on Twitter – Politicians/Agencies keeping track of Twitter follower numbers, Facebook likes
  20. 20. Recognize distinction from actualGaming world between 3 types of games• PvP, competitive player games (global leaderboards, etc.) – This is where much enterprise "gamification" has focused; ranking, badges etc• Single-player games (challenge scales to evolving/learned skill of the user) – This is where small-ball government "gamification" has focused (social steering)• Cooperative multiplayer games (MMOGs) – Gamification mechanics require deep understanding of the social interactions within the systemAmong these 3, Im talking about“Cooperative multiplayer democracy”
  21. 21. The Invisible Hand of Politics• Adam Smith on "invisible hand" controlling macroeconomics – Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winner in economics, called Smiths Invisible Hand "the possibility of cooperation without coercion"• Macropolitics controls Government; the hot breath of the people – The Founding Fathers were game designers, particularly at the Constitutional Convention – Constitutional Amendments are merely game versions. Were now up to “version XXVII.0”
  22. 22. We need many more game mechanicsfor democratic control of government• something that rivals "big-donor reward system,” for the hot breath of the people – Already the system responds – usually – to incentives like • GDP growth • Unemployment rate • Murder/Crime rates
  23. 23. “Politics is a good thing.”popularized by Prof. Larry Sabato, University of Virginia Followup: @lewisshepherd
  24. 24. Engagementwith GovernmentthroughTechnology & Gamification