Gamification is meh OR I’m going off points quickly…..

Externally, it’s all pointless

Well when I say I’m going off points I mean in a public sense. For me personally “social” games are turning in to a pretty dumb notion.  Bragging rights was never my strong point.  

Working from home is essentially a Foursquare no go area. I don’t check in at home for a start.  Home is home and that’s that. 


A network of social players doesn’t work for me.  The last thing I do is look to see where I am in a Foursquare league table or what Mayorships I actually have got, for instance. 


While a friend of mine may be out at meetings in different locations and raking up the points I’m never going to make it near them because of my lifestyle, my working day and so on. Essentially we’re incompatible players and this renders the league table useless. 

Could you imagine the work from home version of Foursquare.

Jase Bell has just put the kettle on

Hey Jase, this is your eighth visit to the kettle today!

Jase Bell has been ousted by someone as the Mayor of toast! Four more slices and you’ll be mayor again.

It’ll never take off. On a serious note though it could be used in reverse to ensure that work from homers find a way of getting exercise, having a walk or seeing daylight once in a while. If you are a software developer then your worst enemy is the chair.

Even the tried and tested game points classic, the Tesco Clubcard, I don’t actually look at the points to see how many I have. The first notion of knowing how I’m doing is when the card statement comes once a quarter and I see how much money I’ll get off my next purchase. While the points are used and are important to the outcome they are not my main focus.

Using points internally
I like points for internal monitoring of user behaviour. I’m also a firm believer that checkins shouldn’t be a manual process, the less the user has to do the better in my book.  Does a customer or user really want to know how many points they have if there’s no real world redemption value? 

What status do they actually hold? 


Internally though points tracking gives me plenty of data to chew on.  What things are making the user look at the app, checkin, login on the website. From there I can figure out which users need some encouragement to connect and engage (that’s where offers should come in, not a blanket discount for acquisition). Ultimately the customer/user doesn’t need to know anything about how the points are allocated as you don’t want to skew chances of the system being gamed.  

Hook this in with a set of rules and everything is in place for a customer connection where you can start to influence without coming across all tacky. 

Gamification is not about games, it never has been
And to be fair it’s a horrible name but the marketers and tech writers loved it. It’s about the mechanics of competitive psychology. What do I need to do to get someone to do something. With uVoucher the points are never displayed but they are now being used in a way to monitor transaction behaviour and I’ll be adding a lot more in over the next few months. 

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