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Wired: The Power and Pitfalls of Gamification

Adapted from How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katherine Milkman, PhD Gamification first took off more than a decade ago. At the time, there wasn’t much evidence for its value; the concept just seemed to make sense. Business consultants promised organizations that gamifying work could more effectively motivate employees, not by changing their work itself, but by changing its packaging, and making goal achievement a bit more exciting as a result (“Yes! I earned a star!”).

This latest science suggests it makes lots of sense for apps to continue gamifying our achievements, so long as they’re promoting goals we’re intrinsically eager to reach. But when it comes to using gamelike features to promote change we might not find so appealing, gamification doesn’t seem to be a workaround for more substantive solutions.

While not every context is the right one, under certain conditions, gamification can make pursuing your aspirations feel more like play. And that is a powerful tool in any personal or professional quest for change.

Read more at Wired.

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