This is topic Daemon (or Squicky wants to talk about gamification) in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
I've been doing some investigation/work in augmented reality and gamification and a friend of mine suggested this book to me.

It, and it's follow up, Freedom (TM), are by Daniel Suarez. I'd recommend them, not so much for the writing, but for the exploration of the ideas in it. Amusingly, I see them as similar to OSC's Empire series, although while they are pretty unrealistic and at times heavy handed (oosh the government agencies reps talking to each other), they aren't cartoonishly so like Empire.

Without giving too much of the plot away, they did get me thinking, or rather directed thoughts I was already having towards the prospect of another form of wide spread, distributed communal decision making action that would replace or at least exist in parallel to our current profoundly broken models.

Gamification provides both motivation and a mechanism for correlating actions that have real but non-specific consequences to some sort of reputation, reward/punishment, or whatever.

IT systems are constantly getting better at handling large amounts of data and deriving meaningful patterns and filtering results to match what people are looking for. But there's a lot there to improve.

Augmented Reality provides both a way to bring online data into common real world interactions and potentially can provide a bridge or linking between online worlds and the real world.

To take a low key example, let's say your out and see an opportunity to help a little old lady across the street (for the purposes of this example, this makes the world a slightly better place). She can look at you and see you're a level 15 little old lady helper or whatever and not someone who is likely to rip her off. So she gives you her bags or something and you help her across. She then somehow gives you experience points for helping her and maybe rates your interaction. These experience points push you over into level 16, which grant privileges to do things in places connected with this system, maybe in the real world, maybe in an online world.

Right now, I'm in the beginning stages of trying to set up some social service gamification at the college where I work. I'm trying to see if we can use online semi-anonymous matchmaking to match high school students with college kids who can tutor them or just read over their papers or go through say their math homework and give them suggestions for what they are doing wrong. Doing this, especially if they are well rated by the student (and also probably by someone overseeing the system to check for things like not just giving them the answers, etc.) will net them different levels of experience points that will level them up and let them do...something. That part I don't really know.

Long term, I think it would be pretty cool if people could put that they were a level 30 Tutor or something on their resume.

Myself, I'm also very concerned about how to deal with our culture's ideal of unrestricted populism, especially when a large majority of people make really irresponsible (and generally bad) decisions. There's a long way to go from here to there and I really don't know if it ever going to feasible, but this sort of stuff is the first thing in a long time that gives me hope that our culture isn't pretty much doomed. So, there is that.
Posted by SteveRogers (Member # 7130) on :
Is Daemon the name of the first book? I didn't see it mentioned in your post, so I wasn't sure.
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
The people who are possibly the best qualified to talk about gamification incentive are employees at Blizzard or ex-employees of Zynga. Realistically, this could be a new avenue of applied sociological business inquiry: how can we make a profit or social adjustment model work by gamifying it? What are known methods of creating the skinner-box like push that MMO's work on?
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
Yeah, sorry. Here's it on Amazon. It's mostly a good read.
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
Straight skinner boxing is a something I'm concerned about. I'm afraid you'll run into the decreases of intrinsic motivation and gaming the system that you get with explicit external rewards.

This is going to exist in some extent in any system set up this way, but I'm trying to figure out ways that work more with recognition, reputation, and "natural" consequences. Sort of like how cap and trade systems assign real economic distributed costs to the people/companies that generate those costs but can avoid having to pay for them under the normal course of events.

One of my favorite poli sci dictums is that a system can be judged based on how well it matches people's responsibility to their freedoms. Or like with raising kids, you let them do things when they give you indications that they can handle them. I think it may be possible to formalize that to some extent, where leveling up through whatever system will open up abilities that are roughly commensurate with what you've shown you can handle and will take responsibility for. Especially coupled with a more or less accurate reputation system, I think one of the major benefits could be rewarding virtue/responsibility by filtering abilities/power and recognition to people who have shown they deserve it.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
My college is seriously considering gamifying the admissions process, and perhaps even some of our pedagogy.
Posted by Blayne Bradley (Member # 8565) on :
Very apropos:

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