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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: 2) by krishnoid on Thursday January 20, @09:33PM (2 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Thursday January 20, @09:33PM (#1214353)

    I make that argument about Google providing docs and mail as at least partially a public service (and research testbed). If it was all about the money, they could serve even tiny ads on those pages like the rest of the web does, but they don't.

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  • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Thursday January 20, @10:38PM

    by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 20, @10:38PM (#1214377)

    More money in scanning the docs and then advertising it back at you...

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday January 20, @10:40PM

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday January 20, @10:40PM (#1214378)

    They don't have to: they make plenty of money monetizing the data you kindly provide them.