Gaming “the” system: do we can?

Is cheating really so bad?

Welcome Gamers and Players,

after a little while without posting (by the way: sorry, I was involved into the biggest italian event on gaming: Lucca Comics and Games), today I want to give a suggestion about how gamification can really increase business process.

To show how this can happens, let’s start from two simple concepts: gaming and cheating.
Sometimes, the “cheating issue” is involved during gamification project. When you are looking for a way to engage customer (players) in a competition, the innate tendencies to cheat can be a problem: you probably want to have a fair competition to choose only the best, and at the same time you don’t want that some players left the game, frustrated because they always lose.

However, human being cheats as they can. This is a fact. “Cheating”, however, is a way to obtain an always winning” income from a situation (“game” in our fields, but this can apply to everything). Cheating can be a shortcut to complete a task, or creating an offer that seems reasonable but that make you always lose (for example, a “Dutch book“). Many of the greatest invention in history and in science can be described as “cheats” (Einstein relativity, for example – but it’s a little complex to explain, lave a comment if you want a more detailed explanation).

So, for a lot of game-designer, cheating is bad: it ruins others players game (like in the MMORPG, where cheating is strictly forbidden). But we are not interested in pure gaming, rather than gamification. So, cheating is bad in this latter case?
Sometime it obviously is: in a fidelization program, someone using a tool, or a technical bug, to obtain an awards without participating the program… this is a bad thing. So, for all gamification project as-they-are, the problem is to avoid cheating and building a solid framework and platform that meets high security requirements against hacking.

However, let’s think about Game on Demand. “Cheating” is something bad? Think about Socket Puncher (this applies to any Game on Demand, but Socket Puncher is a concrete example you can read freely): if a players, hypothetically, find a way to obtain always the best result, no matter what pieces you give, what this means? He had “ruined” your game or not?
Can you see the point? Yes, your game now is obsolete, because you have a way to maximize configuration without accessing collective intelligence…. Anyway, the player have once and for all solved the problem you have outsourced: this is something any company surely wants!

Have you understand about how HUGE potential are we talking about here? If you gamify some of your process, there is a concrete opportunity that the players will find the best and/or shortest way to complete the task. They can find out organizational and strategical solution, that you probably will never reach without a big investment.

There are two kind of opportunities here: you can expect players will cheat in your game, finding new solutions, as an option. The game works also is properly used (as Socket Puncher). But, you can also develop a game that cannot be “won” without some “cheating” (or, better to say, “lateral thinking”). This is a powerful tool to crowdsource the problem solving about issues that, normally, cannot be exposed out of company.

There are also a lot of other opportunities regarding lateral thinking, cheating and gaming: I’ll probably write again about this topic in some of the next post.

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3 thoughts on “Gaming “the” system: do we can?

  1. Pingback: Brainstorming the wall | Play for Business!

  2. Pingback: Governance of Gaming #2 – Controlling the Players | Play for Business!

  3. Pingback: Games as chemical reactions | Play for Business!

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