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Gaming the System (randsinrepose.com)
59 points by andrewpbrett on Dec 14, 2009 | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments

Maybe it is just the ex- raid leader in me, but I've often thought of the day job and business as games with paychecks attached. Sometimes it even feels like I'm playing them -- particularly when checking my analytics stats. (I've had a lot of fun playing Spreadsheets In Space with worse visualization than my stats pages.)

I've resisted the urge to build actual game mechanics into my business for fear of what it would do to my social life. (It wouldn't be too hard -- make a quick Rails plugin to duplicate the Stack Overflow badges functionality, add a few hooks into my pre-existing stats code, maybe add a post-commit hook to... NO, NO, NOT GOING TO DO IT. But dang if the gamer in me doesn't see every problem and start thinking of ways to kill the dragon... preferably ridiculously efficient ways of killing the dragon without all the work that the designers intended me to go through.)

Generally speaking, with your bare hands works best ;-)

More seriously, why do you resist? I mean, what is your perceived downside to implementing a gaming type of system in real-world work?

I quit MMORPGs because the allure of rapid feedback, constant iterative improvement, social recognition, and purple pixels was such that I neglected things I believe to be more important than my leisure activities. Making my business into an MMORPG would bring back all the temptations that motivate me to excess AND stir actual money into the mix. I think that would result in me devoting too much of my time to my business and not enough time to other things I believe are important.

I've often thought about a software package that implements achievements for completing various tasks with an office wide leaderboard >_>

To know that I am not the only one with such fantasies makes me feel more... more stable? adult? something like that. Thanks for posting it!

My philosophy on the matter is that some men make a social ritual out of getting together with their buddies to watch other men slap their bodies into each other at high rates of speed, while other men make a social ritual of going out to hear people sing of torrid love affairs in classical Italian (which they don't actually speak), and if these folks can be normal, upstanding members of the community I don't have to feel embarrassed about a bit of relaxing dragon genocide every once in a while.

If you want to become serious about game dynamics I suggest watching this interview: http://mixergy.com/amy-jo-kim/

In ev'ry job that must be done

There is an element of fun

you find the fun and snap!

The job's a game.


The wisdom of Mary Poppins.

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