Four short links: 29 April 2011

Gamification's Failures, Crowdsourced Clinical Study, Traceability, and Faster Web

  1. Kathy Sierra Nails Gamification — I rarely link to things on O’Reilly sites, and have never before linked to something on Radar, but the comments here from Kathy Sierra are fantastic. She nails what makes me queasy about shallow gamification behaviours: replacing innate rewards with artificial ones papers over shitty products/experiences instead of fixing them, and don’t get people to a flow state. what is truly potentially motivating for its own sake (like getting people to try snowboarding the first few times… The beer may be what gets them there, but the feeling of flying through fresh powder is what sustains it, but only if we quit making it Just About The Beer and frickin teach them to fly). (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. Patient Driven Social Network Refutes Study, Publishes Its Own ResultsThe health-data-sharing website PatientsLikeMe published what it is calling a “patient-initiated observational study” refuting a 2008 report that found the drug lithium carbonate could slow the progression of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. The new findings were published earlier this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology. (via mthomps)
  3. Corporate Transparency — learn where, when and by whom your chocolate bar was made, from which chocolate stock, etc. This kind of traceability and provenance information is underrated in business. (via Jim Stogdill)
  4. SPDY — Google’s effort to replace HTTP with something faster. It has been the protocol between Chrome and Google’s servers, now they hope it will go wider. All connections are encrypted and compressed out of the box.
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  • That’s a great comment from Kathy Sierra.

    The very word “gamification” suggests a cookie-cutter process or list of game patterns that can be pasted on to make scenarios into a game. I can’t imagine any good game designer approaches their work in this way.

    I’m reading Jesse Schell’s classic book “The Art of Game Design” at the moment. It does have a lot of patterns and principles and heuristics in it, but they’re not presented as recipes to apply to make a good game. Rather, the goal of making a compelling and unique experience for people is always first and foremost. The patterns and so on are merely helpful stimulus for thinking about how to achieve that goal. It’s the difference between asking “How can I gamify this?”, and “What can I do to make this a fantastic experience?”