pay attention to context: from gamification to pleasurize

Week 6, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

The first time I heard about gamification was with the work of Jane McGonigal and later in a video of Jesse Schell, I even have read about this new system of evaluation relating grades to experience points.

McGonical and Schell are leaders on the arena of game design. Schell’s book, The Art of Game design, in my humble opinion is a gem. However, in regard to the topic of gamification, I have my doubts. I do not find the gamification arguments convincing. My impression is that the proponents of gamification are losing the point of games, play-space and real life. Myself, I subscribe to those individuals who think that gamification sounds like a  disguise of a behaviorist conditioning of everyday activities for competitive societies.

The reason I am writing about this topic is because a friend of mine, Javi, wrote about gamification, and an interesting exchange of ideas emerged. He put me to think when he wrote that: gamifiation is a trend, supported with the idea that marketing agencies want to utilize game design techniques but they do not really know how, specially with a critical mass of players and a new generation coming.

Of course Javi gave me food for the thought, specially when I think on a new generation which is used to reality shows and having all pervasive….

In order to reply to Javi’s comment I watch the video he suggested me:  The Pleasure Revolution: Why Games Will Lead the Way by Schell (embedded below).  The actual reflection of Schell makes more sense to me than the earlier explanation of gamification. Schell bases his analysis on the positive psychology and context.  He changes his focus from gamification to pleasurize or improved motivational design.  To me, as you can imagine from the title of my dissertation hypercontextualize games, I found more common ground with the actual reflection of  Schell than in earlier talks. Perhaps more posts about the topic will emerged.

My conclusion, at this moment, from my talk with Javi is: yes marketing strategies will change. They must change in order to survive. I still think that gamification might not be the way. However, I think we will be finding more ARG and transmedia activities than earlier. Nevertheless, whatever is the new marketing path,  CONTEXT will be its key concept and resource.

To the time!

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