As Gamers Age, the Appeal of Competition Drops the Most. Strategy is a Stable Motivator.
This article comes from Quantic Foundry, a game analytics consulting company. Based on data collected from 140,000 gamers, Quantic Foundry researchers find that competition as a motivator in gaming is related to age. As gamers age, they are less motivated by competition, even eclipsing gender differences between men and women (men are more likely to be motivated by competition). However, strategy is age-stable as a motivator:
“We then looked for the motivation that changed the least with age. In our model, Strategy is the enjoyment of gameplay that requires careful decision-making and planning. You might think that strategic gameplay appeals more to older gamers than young gamers, but we found that the appeal of Strategy is the most stable motivation overall.”
Read this article to see how player profiling matters – and to think how to tie it into gamification.
Activity Measurement is a Double-Edged Sword
This article in the Atlantic discusses new research from Duke University. The researchers were interested in seeing what the effects of measuring an activity had on the person doing the activity.
In the experiment, participants were asked to color in shapes and then rate how much they enjoyed the experience. Those who were given feedback on how much they had colored, did in fact color in more shapes, but also mentioned enjoying the experience less. This doesn’t mean however that tracking is a bad idea – for instance when you want to improve physical exercise or lose weight – but that its effects need to be considered at times.
When Sticker Charts do more Harm than Good
This article touches on what seems to be one of the most commonplace practices in households with young children – the “sticker chart”. I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about – clean your room, you get a good sticker; Forget to mow the lawn – no stickers for you. As the article states, the problem with these systems is that they create a reward economy, where children are only interested in doing an act of good or kindness if they think that they are going to be rewarded.
The article touches on the issue of intrinsic VS extrinsic motivation, and how undermining children’s intrinsic motivation can lead to a need to offer bigger and better rewards in the future. But more than that, offering external motivation can actually lead to lower productivity in the long run. The article explains how when a task is done for compensation, the minimal necessary requirement needed to fulfill the task will be the one chosen. On the other hand, when the way by which to fulfill a task is left open, there is a larger chance that out of goodwill and curiosity, employees (and children) will look to see how they can not only fulfill the task, but also go above and beyond.
Using games to recruit is more effective, and says something about your company
According to an article in FastCompany, recruiting is in trouble. The traditional ways to attract talent aren’t as effective as they used to be, but the completely automated solutions could be discriminating against qualified, diverse candidates.
This is a problem a company called CodeFights thought they could assist in solving. The company started as a platform for programmers to propose, solve and discuss coding challenges. But the company has now found it can offer value in the form of a fun, highly effective recruiting tool. Employers can give candidates different tasks that they need to solve, and only those that are able to give the correct answers move on to the next stage in the recruiting process.
The FastCompany article explains that this isn’t only for engineers, but is actually being done by more and more companies, looking for different types of recruits. It feels that this is only to be expected since technology is moving into more and more areas in the workplace.