The misuses of gamification

By William Seidman Evgeny Morozov discusses new, tech-based approaches to incarceration in “Imprisoned by Innovation.” He cites technology used to track prisoners, confined to their homes, via smart phones and other technology. Gamification is the use of video game concepts such intense video interaction, multiple tiers, competition against others and, yes, keeping score as applied to learning programs. To select just the points aspect of gamification seems like a reduction to the most basic level and really misses the point: it really is classic behavior modification right out of observing that Pavlov’s dog eventually salivated at the ring of a bell. For severe behavioral issues, there is some evidence that behaviorism might work, but it is generally discredited for most other situations. This issue becomes relevant though because many organizations are reducing gamification to similar point systems and competitions without the intense video experience. This is a very a very behavioral approach and is not likely to be effective, particularly for any role requiring judgment. To me, the focus on gamification, particularly if it is reduced to just a point system, is an indication of the failure of the training function in an organization.]]>

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