Special K: Gamification is great if there's a game involved

Gamification is great. However, the game that is being “ified” should not just be the promoting company’s financial or statistical wellbeing … it should be something the user him or herself is playing.

Well duh.

And … real shocker coming right up … it should, actually, kinda, be at least sort of fun.

Ditto on the duh.

So why do so many companies “gamify” services that aren’t inherently games, or gameable, or even fun? Could it possibly just be that they want to manipulate users into doing things that are more good for them (the company) than for them (the users themselves)?

Couldn’t be, could it? Say it ain’t so.

Take Klout. No really, please do. Preferably away – far, far away. Maybe to a land beyond time. Or at least to a time beyond now.

I just unlocked this achievement from Klout. I am so excited I can barely contain it:

There are only two problems.

  1. Visiting a website is not an achievement (for the user). Unless you’re physically or mentally … umm … challenged.
  2. I haven’t actually been to Klout.com in 4 or 5 weeks. Exclamation point exclamation point, el-oh-el, etc.

Nice try, Klout. I actually responded to one of your emails about my Klout score changing, clicked the link, and now what.

I’m being praised for something that isn’t praiseworthy, and that I didn’t even do.

Even kids see through that crap.

 


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