At its best or worst, uniquely, gamification is able to get people to take actions that are not always in their best interest, without the use of force, in a predictable way.”
“Each contingency is an arrangement of time, activity, and reward, and there are an infinite number of ways these elements can be combined to produce the pattern of activity you want from your players.”
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– aimed at driving user engagement via rewards, achievements and consequently, loyalty.
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Rather than seeking to address the needs of humans (users, customers, workers), gamification strives to engage them into actions that they may not be intrinsically motivated to do by rewarding them with points whose value differs across the spectrum and amounts to minuscule value if any.
“Intrinsic motivators create greatness for human actors attempting to achieve self set goals. Extrinsic motivators on the other hand, are nothing more than pellets dropped for rats in a cage,” “creating virtual food pellets for you to eat“. And While this may seem like a great way to drive consumption, sales, marketing and advertising, it leaves a lot to desire in the way of simply providing autonomy and support for humans to identify and attempt their goals.
Human efforts aimed at achieving clearly identified goals do not require extrinsic motivation for the task completion process to be engaging. Gamification, filled with extrinsic motivators begs the question of ethics, of a dystopian future: amoral corporations hiring teams of behavioral psychologists to laser-target our addiction cycles for profit.