Thursday, January 16, 2014

The dark side of gamified employment

As many of you know, I have become a passionate student of gamification.  I don't say a passionate advocate, because it is done incorrectly so often (as I discuss in my talk at NYTechUX). 

This article from the Wall Street Journal by Farhad Manjoo (of whom I am a big fan) is a good example of the dark side.  When it is used to exploit workers, leverages extrinsic motivation, and is used in a controlling manner, it violates all of the factors that good gamification experts warn against.  Unfortunately, I think Farhad is right that there will be a lot of implementations like this, at least until the general employer base learns (probably the hard way) that this is NOT what gamification is supposed to be.

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