I’ve been talking/writing about it quite a bit recently and I’ve come to a rather startling conclusion – gamification is a myth (at least, as charged by the hype brigade). Take any list of game mechanics (e.g. Jeff Nolan’s 18 points [and I'm not suggesting for a moment that Jeff is part of that brigade - he just provides a rather well-defined list]). The thing is that there is nothing on that list that you can’t trace back to something that came from real life and was put into games in the first place. The shame is that we didn’t call it “lification” when we put these mechanics into games, because we would now be trying to lifify, er… life.
I’ve taken Nolan’s 18 points and I’ve illustrated them in a little slideshow – it’s also, hopefully, mildly amusing.
And what’s more I challenge anyone to come up with a list that really did come from games, and not the other way round.
The interesting thing, and the thing that really matters is that people that are now starting to ask the more important questions (actually some people have been doing this for years). What is it really about games that make them compelling? And conversley, why do people find aspects of their lives so dull? Here’s an interesting view for starters from Scott Nicholson.
It’s got me thinking about education, government and kitchens in a completely different way – more about this another time.