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posted by mrpg on Thursday January 20, @05:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the read-three-more-stories-to-earn-a-virtual-taco!-(redeem-via-IRC) dept.

How 'Gamification' of Everything Is Manipulating You (and How to Recognize It):

“Gamification” is the practice of adding game-like elements to non-game contexts. It isn’t new, nor it is always a negative, but it is being aimed at consumers and employees more and more frequently, whether to keep you addicted to an app, motivated at work, or inclined to spend your money on something.

[...] There’s nothing necessarily wrong with making consuming a product or doing a job “fun,” but when marketers and employers are hacking our pleasure centers in ways we don’t fully recognize, that’s manipulation, and that’s not really a game. Below are some of the tricks of the gamification trade, so you can spot it before it happens to you.

Behaviorists’ studies of rats and humans prove that both species are more motivated by intermittent, unpredictable rewards than anticipated ones. Rats will pull the lever more often if they sometimes get a food pellet than if they always get a food pellet, and gamblers would never play a slot machine that returned 89 cents every time they put in a dollar, even though that’s what will happen over time.

Some of the tricks are: Variable rewards and suspense, Manipulating our desire for progress, and Engagement and “streaks”.


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by EJ on Thursday January 20, @07:52PM (3 children)

    by EJ (2452) on Thursday January 20, @07:52PM (#1214309)

    If you're happy, maybe don't go looking for things to be upset about.

    Is Mountain Dew trying to manipulate me? Maybe? Do I care? No. I'm going to drink it anyway because I like it.

    I actually know a guy who got his wife to go fishing with him. She ended up having fun and started going with him more often. One of her idiot friends told her that he manipulated her into enjoying going fishing with him. Seriously? He "manipulated" her into being happy spending time with him. THE HORROR!

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @08:43PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, @08:43PM (#1214328)

    Mountain Dew!!! You drink that piss?? Ugh...it doesn't even have any alcohol in to kill the germs so it's worse than Budweiser or Coors. I wouldn't drink any of them.

    • (Score: 2) by EJ on Thursday January 20, @08:52PM

      by EJ (2452) on Thursday January 20, @08:52PM (#1214334)

      I don't like the taste of alcohol.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by jelizondo on Friday January 21, @12:41AM

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 21, @12:41AM (#1214401) Journal

    Maybe you don't actually like Mountain Dew, you just like the brand. [nih.gov]

    Interesting study, worth two minutes reading the abstract.