Leaderboards for Real Life
Buying a cup of coffee? Foursquare, the social networking app that helped popularize the gamification idea, gives people virtual badges for checking in at...
This made me think: Should we celebrate or bemoan the fact that grownups want to be rewarded for achieving real-world goals like conserving energy or patronizing the local coffee shop? On the one hand, there's something delightful about the fact that--when you get right down to it--we're all kids at heart, hungry for approval and giddy about competition. On the other hand, there's something a little sad about the fact that we need virtual rewards and Facebook fanfare to make the work of slogging through daily life tolerable.
Gamification is an established business practice now, but what I'm looking forward to in the future is innovative developments that will make our jobs and home lives feel more rewarding and fun for everyone--and by extension a little less competitive, a little less tied up with climbing up the leaderboard. What would it take to relish daily existence as a delightful, meandering adventure, the ultimate 3D, Technicolor game?