In Defense of Gamification

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I never got this intense anger at ads. Ads bring me free things that otherwise I would have to pay for. Nope, not really a problem there. I know this article is about gamification but really it is about advertising and the role that plays in our media content.

Mygaffer:
"If the only way to get them to stay for five more minutes is to give them five more minutes of free video content, you're going to go out of business."
Then prepare to go out of business.

You realize that if the Escapist went out of business, you wouldn't get ANY of their content anymore, right?

Rainboq:
March Madness really only serves to get people banned and increase traffic, and you know what? Both of those are good things, it adds some chlorine to the forum's gene pool and nets the cite extra traffic, allowing them to bring you more content.

You know, it's preferable to endless Top 10 lists and similar blatant troll-bait. Post a Top X list or "Best N of all Time!" article, and the offended, opinionated hordes beat a path to your door. I used to read guitar magazines in the early 90s, and they did this constantly.

Rainboq:
The sending Yahtzee to PAX was an optional thing, and you didn't have to donate to it, and some people really wanted to meet Yahtzee.

March Madness really only serves to get people banned and increase traffic, and you know what? Both of those are good things, it adds some chlorine to the forum's gene pool and nets the cite extra traffic, allowing them to bring you more content.

The Pub Club stuff doesn't annoy too much, the adds aren't that intrusive and it brings them more revenue, which, as previously stated, allows for more content.

The fact that sending Yahtzee to PAX was optional was so beside the point, the point is in another country. It is essentially "Pay for my vacation to Seattle you sycophants." All signs point to this website having the fiscal responsibility of an autistic chimp. The "Well They Have To Make Money SOMEHOW" excuse is not an actual excuse. The fact the Yahtzee had attended a con two year prior with no financial aid, and the fact that Yahtzee is the Escapist's most well paid contributor, only serves to further cast them (and Yahtzee) in a light I like to call moneyfaggery.

Oh so March Madness serves to achieve contradictory goals? Actually forget what I said about March Madness before, because the illustrates the whole thing better than I ever could.

And again, Pub Club should just be called what it really is: Sycophant's Club. Calling an ad that launches when you hit play on a video, that also prevents you from interacting with the rest of the site not annoying, and not intrusive? Okay now I know you must be some kind of alien.

Thanks for that statement of the obvious, but it doesn't affect my stance. Change doesn't necessarily imply improvement, and subverting language ultimately impedes communication.

JPH330:

Mygaffer:
"If the only way to get them to stay for five more minutes is to give them five more minutes of free video content, you're going to go out of business."
Then prepare to go out of business.

You realize that if the Escapist went out of business, you wouldn't get ANY of their content anymore, right?

I don't think you closely read my comment. I said that I would stop coming to the Escapist if the content started to suck and that no amount of badges or other gamification would change that. I was pointing out that content is still king when compared to marketing stuff like the badge system here.

So yes, I realize that if The Escapist went out of business their content would be gone, do you even have to state that? It seems pretty obvious. Of course other sites would step in to fill the void, assuming there is still a market for ad supported video game related content.

So please understand I was saying that without good content I wouldn't visit The Escapist and I believe most other people feel the same.

Mygaffer:

JPH330:

Mygaffer:
"If the only way to get them to stay for five more minutes is to give them five more minutes of free video content, you're going to go out of business."
Then prepare to go out of business.

You realize that if the Escapist went out of business, you wouldn't get ANY of their content anymore, right?

I don't think you closely read my comment. I said that I would stop coming to the Escapist if the content started to suck and that no amount of badges or other gamification would change that. I was pointing out that content is still king when compared to marketing stuff like the badge system here.

So yes, I realize that if The Escapist went out of business their content would be gone, do you even have to state that? It seems pretty obvious. Of course other sites would step in to fill the void, assuming there is still a market for ad supported video game related content.

So please understand I was saying that without good content I wouldn't visit The Escapist and I believe most other people feel the same.

If that's the only point you were making, then that's pointless and has nothing to do with Shamus's article. He was saying that no matter how good your content is, if that's ALL you have to offer, you will go out of business regardless. People don't stick around for nothing.

JPH330:

Mygaffer:

JPH330:

You realize that if the Escapist went out of business, you wouldn't get ANY of their content anymore, right?

I don't think you closely read my comment. I said that I would stop coming to the Escapist if the content started to suck and that no amount of badges or other gamification would change that. I was pointing out that content is still king when compared to marketing stuff like the badge system here.

So yes, I realize that if The Escapist went out of business their content would be gone, do you even have to state that? It seems pretty obvious. Of course other sites would step in to fill the void, assuming there is still a market for ad supported video game related content.

So please understand I was saying that without good content I wouldn't visit The Escapist and I believe most other people feel the same.

If that's the only point you were making, then that's pointless and has nothing to do with Shamus's article. He was saying that no matter how good your content is, if that's ALL you have to offer, you will go out of business regardless. People don't stick around for nothing.

If you think that is a pointless thing to point out than you are totally missing the point of this discussion. He is claiming you need these things to stay in business, I am claiming you don't. Lets look at one of the most successful and fastest growing video game content sites on the web today, Penny Arcade. I visit that site as much or more than I visit the The Escapist and they lack ANY of this so called "gamification" nonsense.

Gamificaiton may have some uses that genuinely enhance user's experiences but so far I have to agree with Errant Signal's argument that it has mostly been used as a manipulative marketing tool that at worst may actually degrade one's experience consuming content like The Escapist offers.

Try and engage on the points, not some pissing contest where you tell me my arguments are "pointless", you'll be taken more seriously.

JPH330:

Mygaffer:

JPH330:

You realize that if the Escapist went out of business, you wouldn't get ANY of their content anymore, right?

I don't think you closely read my comment. I said that I would stop coming to the Escapist if the content started to suck and that no amount of badges or other gamification would change that. I was pointing out that content is still king when compared to marketing stuff like the badge system here.

So yes, I realize that if The Escapist went out of business their content would be gone, do you even have to state that? It seems pretty obvious. Of course other sites would step in to fill the void, assuming there is still a market for ad supported video game related content.

So please understand I was saying that without good content I wouldn't visit The Escapist and I believe most other people feel the same.

If that's the only point you were making, then that's pointless and has nothing to do with Shamus's article. He was saying that no matter how good your content is, if that's ALL you have to offer, you will go out of business regardless. People don't stick around for nothing.

You honestly think the majority sticks around for a bunch of stupid badges? If you think that gamification is going to keep in constant views instead of quality content, then I think you've failed as a website.

matrix3509:

Rainboq:
The sending Yahtzee to PAX was an optional thing, and you didn't have to donate to it, and some people really wanted to meet Yahtzee.

March Madness really only serves to get people banned and increase traffic, and you know what? Both of those are good things, it adds some chlorine to the forum's gene pool and nets the cite extra traffic, allowing them to bring you more content.

The Pub Club stuff doesn't annoy too much, the adds aren't that intrusive and it brings them more revenue, which, as previously stated, allows for more content.

The fact that sending Yahtzee to PAX was optional was so beside the point, the point is in another country. It is essentially "Pay for my vacation to Seattle you sycophants." All signs point to this website having the fiscal responsibility of an autistic chimp. The "Well They Have To Make Money SOMEHOW" excuse is not an actual excuse. The fact the Yahtzee had attended a con two year prior with no financial aid, and the fact that Yahtzee is the Escapist's most well paid contributor, only serves to further cast them (and Yahtzee) in a light I like to call moneyfaggery.

Oh so March Madness serves to achieve contradictory goals? Actually forget what I said about March Madness before, because the illustrates the whole thing better than I ever could.

And again, Pub Club should just be called what it really is: Sycophant's Club. Calling an ad that launches when you hit play on a video, that also prevents you from interacting with the rest of the site not annoying, and not intrusive? Okay now I know you must be some kind of alien.

1: I'd expect there would be underlying circumstances, or the site just really needed the money.

2: Not contradictory, it brings in a bunch of new people, and weeds out the new and old morons who get way to passionate about such things.

3: No, just patient and armed with a mute button.

Mygaffer:

JPH330:

Mygaffer:

I don't think you closely read my comment. I said that I would stop coming to the Escapist if the content started to suck and that no amount of badges or other gamification would change that. I was pointing out that content is still king when compared to marketing stuff like the badge system here.

So yes, I realize that if The Escapist went out of business their content would be gone, do you even have to state that? It seems pretty obvious. Of course other sites would step in to fill the void, assuming there is still a market for ad supported video game related content.

So please understand I was saying that without good content I wouldn't visit The Escapist and I believe most other people feel the same.

If that's the only point you were making, then that's pointless and has nothing to do with Shamus's article. He was saying that no matter how good your content is, if that's ALL you have to offer, you will go out of business regardless. People don't stick around for nothing.

If you think that is a pointless thing to point out than you are totally missing the point of this discussion. He is claiming you need these things to stay in business, I am claiming you don't. Lets look at one of the most successful and fastest growing video game content sites on the web today, Penny Arcade. I visit that site as much or more than I visit the The Escapist and they lack ANY of this so called "gamification" nonsense.

Gamificaiton may have some uses that genuinely enhance user's experiences but so far I have to agree with Errant Signal's argument that it has mostly been used as a manipulative marketing tool that at worst may actually degrade one's experience consuming content like The Escapist offers.

Try and engage on the points, not some pissing contest where you tell me my arguments are "pointless", you'll be taken more seriously.

That's actually not what I said at all. I said they need something other than video/written content in order to make money, because otherwise people will simply read/watch and then leave, and that won't generate enough ad revenue.

Penny Arcade does have plenty to offer other than gamification. They have a merchandise store and a forum, namely -- those both help tremendously.

I never said every site needs gamification. Neither did Shamus. I was agreeing with Shamus's point that you have to do SOMETHING other than just posting your articles/videos online.

JPH330:

Mygaffer:

JPH330:

If that's the only point you were making, then that's pointless and has nothing to do with Shamus's article. He was saying that no matter how good your content is, if that's ALL you have to offer, you will go out of business regardless. People don't stick around for nothing.

If you think that is a pointless thing to point out than you are totally missing the point of this discussion. He is claiming you need these things to stay in business, I am claiming you don't. Lets look at one of the most successful and fastest growing video game content sites on the web today, Penny Arcade. I visit that site as much or more than I visit the The Escapist and they lack ANY of this so called "gamification" nonsense.

Gamificaiton may have some uses that genuinely enhance user's experiences but so far I have to agree with Errant Signal's argument that it has mostly been used as a manipulative marketing tool that at worst may actually degrade one's experience consuming content like The Escapist offers.

Try and engage on the points, not some pissing contest where you tell me my arguments are "pointless", you'll be taken more seriously.

That's actually not what I said at all. I said they need something other than video/written content in order to make money, because otherwise people will simply read/watch and then leave, and that won't generate enough ad revenue.

Penny Arcade does have plenty to offer other than gamification. They have a merchandise store and a forum, namely -- those both help tremendously.

I never said every site needs gamification. Neither did Shamus. I was agreeing with Shamus's point that you have to do SOMETHING other than just posting your articles/videos online.

Well you say that now but this whole article and my whole original point was ONLY about gamification, to whit, gamification is pointless without good content. But at this point you seem more interested in back pedaling so you don't seem wrong so I think this discussion is over, at least on my part.

Mygaffer:

JPH330:

Mygaffer:

If you think that is a pointless thing to point out than you are totally missing the point of this discussion. He is claiming you need these things to stay in business, I am claiming you don't. Lets look at one of the most successful and fastest growing video game content sites on the web today, Penny Arcade. I visit that site as much or more than I visit the The Escapist and they lack ANY of this so called "gamification" nonsense.

Gamificaiton may have some uses that genuinely enhance user's experiences but so far I have to agree with Errant Signal's argument that it has mostly been used as a manipulative marketing tool that at worst may actually degrade one's experience consuming content like The Escapist offers.

Try and engage on the points, not some pissing contest where you tell me my arguments are "pointless", you'll be taken more seriously.

That's actually not what I said at all. I said they need something other than video/written content in order to make money, because otherwise people will simply read/watch and then leave, and that won't generate enough ad revenue.

Penny Arcade does have plenty to offer other than gamification. They have a merchandise store and a forum, namely -- those both help tremendously.

I never said every site needs gamification. Neither did Shamus. I was agreeing with Shamus's point that you have to do SOMETHING other than just posting your articles/videos online.

Well you say that now but this whole article and my whole original point was ONLY about gamification, to whit, gamification is pointless without good content. But at this point you seem more interested in back pedaling so you don't seem wrong so I think this discussion is over, at least on my part.

I still don't see how that point of yours in any way counters, contradicts, or is even relevant to Shamus's article. He never said gamification would make a website without quality content stay afloat. He just said it's a way for a website to make more money.

And backpedaling? What backpedaling? I was clarifying my point since you didn't seem to grasp it.

Dastardly:

Shamus Young:
In Defense of Gamification

Shamus stands up for the concept of gamification.

Read Full Article

Particularly glad to finally hear some frank discussion about gamification-as-manipulation. Working in public education, it's been all the rage for years at the elementary school level (token economies, reward tiers, etc.) and it's seeing an upswing thanks to new verbage (gamification).

And not only does it not get the job done, it's counterproductive to engaging students in learning. It distracts them from learning, and creates the expectation that the Big Rich Someone will always be there to make everything fun for them. Neither of these is a good thing.

Phew, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the classroom is the wrong environment to gamify. I personally find the concept a little insulting to young people; it assumes that if everything isn't like a videogame their short attention spam addled minds can't deal with it. This is not true. You don't want to make students feel like they are being patronized.

It also creates the false idea that everything can be played like a game. It's not only a diversion good education standards it doesn't prepare students for higher level education and a work environment. It's also destructive to getting students used to learning and studying on their own. University courses are going to involve a lot of self study and relatively no spoon-feeding and hand-holding. Gamification should not be used as a crutch because sooner rather than later a student is going to need to walk on their own.

I suppose it could work in one off events like team days and so forth but it's really only appropriate for a very occasional gimmick.

Elementary - Dear Watson:
a badge only obtainable by selling several family members on ebay!

I have that badge.....Anyway I love it how the badges encourage us to be a more productive community member

Yes, gamification is about marketing--and marketing is about lying to people to get them to use something they wouldn't otherwise use. It's about taking money from people because making money is the only worthwhile thing you can do in life, and you've got to have the most when you die. Comparing gamification to marketing doesn't make me feel better.

And, yes, I sure as hell would prefer forums be added to sites, and even free give-aways that might benefit me to badges that serve no purpose but to try to create an artificial feeling of accomplishment in a group of people already predisposed to such, seeing as they are gamers.

And, sorry, but you guys are rather stupid if you are actually reading articles or doing other crap because of the gamification. You know they are trying to manipulate you, and you are letting them. The more you let someone manipulate you, the more likely you will do something you don't want, something that benefits them and not you. Letting someone else control you is the path for an eventual failure.

And, if that's really all your after, then, I guess all I can do is give you 10 trlkly points for reading my message and doing what I want, instead of what they want. Maybe that will somehow entice you since you want useless baubles rather than using your brain.

(The only good thing so far is that the only badge I've gotten was in my messages. I opened it, figured out it was royally stupid, and discarded it. If I start getting covered with badges, like most sites do, I'll just go watch Zero Punctuation on some other site. There are other forums out there, too. This sites value is that it doesn't annoy me.)

JPH330:
If that's the only point you were making, then that's pointless and has nothing to do with Shamus's article. He was saying that no matter how good your content is, if that's ALL you have to offer, you will go out of business regardless. People don't stick around for nothing.

And that's a huge bunch of bull, seeing as websites existed before gamification, and nearly every website I go to pulls it off. This is the first content-based website I know of that is trying to use gamification on me. TGWTG.com doesn't. YouTube doesn't. Blistered Thumbs doesn't. Cracked.com doesn't. CollegeHumor.com doesn't. Blip.tv doesn't.

If the Escapist is really having money troubles, it's because they don't have good enough content. This wouldn't surprise me, as, as far as videos go, only Zero Punctuation seems to have value: I watch it even though I don't even play the modern games it reviews--that's a valuable contributor. Maybe there's other stuff out there that's good, but, unless they get the word out somewhere else rather than trying to "reward" me for watching other stuff, I'll never find out. Gamification makes me less likely to stick around: I don't like feeling like I'm being manipulated.

Ummm... do I get a badge if I write here?

Because I want more badges.

I NEED more badges.

GIVE ME MY BADGES, AND HATS, AND ACHIEVEMENTS, AND GAMERSCORE! YES! ALL OF THEM.

It may be exploitative, but it does give people with to much time on their hands a goal to aim for.

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