The #0 rules of a game

free-willWelcome back, Gamers and Players.

Surprisingly, my latest post on Caillois was well accepted. I feared that theory can divert attention from practical solutions… but in small amount, theory make things smoother.

Today I will give you a single statement, one of the few about gaming I’m absolutely sure about.

  • A Game is, by definition, a willingly activity

That’s it. Consider it as an addendum to Caillois theory.
Anyway, it means that I am  against some specific use of “gamification”, for example in HR: when they are used for mandatory activities.

Those activities are useful, but you should remember that, when you use them as mandatory, they cannot be longer considered “gaming”.

You can always create a gamification solution without forcing anyone to play. Sometimes, you can achieve the same results without forcing players, obtaining better result and insight.

When something is mandatory, it’s not a game anymore. Often, it can be funny. But it’s not gamification because you can’t choose to play.

Keep Gamification a willingly activity, and don’t yell about “gamification of politics” or “gamification of economics” and so on. Do you really think could be funny to wake up every morning, have to win a race to eat something?
Humanity faced this situation many times in past (and present)… but it’s never called “game”.

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One thought on “The #0 rules of a game

  1. Pingback: When Gamification sucks | Play for Business!

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