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Gamification sucks

About the Talk

August 25, 2011 7:00 AM

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Sydney, NSW, Australia

Gamification is hot buzzword at the moment; pity it sucks, eh?

Game mechanics and game design techniques have been a much proliferated meme in the UX, IxD, and design worlds as of late (for varying definitions of ‘late’). Touted as a ‘solution’ to the challenge of motivating certain behaviour in users, or making experiences more engaging, sadly these elements of the game development world are often blindly applied without finesse or elegance – akin to to hitting the user over the head with a colourful hammer.

I’ve given countless talks on gamification products, adding game mechanics to services, and motivating and engaging users through glorious interrelated feedback systems. All of it, well — most of it — was wrong.

Game design techniques aren’t applicable to every interaction design situation, but when they are they can make the experience that much more compelling, sticky and entertaining. The situations where they are truly, deeply applicable are few and far between. This session will help you spot those situations.

Using examples from the last half a decade of building gamified and non-gamified services and apps for consumers, this session will show you exactly why gamification sucks, why that’s actually quite a pity, and how you can fix it.

This session is about putting the heart and soul of game design into designing experiences, and using it to focus the well-meaning intention of games in the first place: making stuff more fun! This session is for everyone.

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