There is not that much reason that drive people to play games. The only and main reason in gaming theory is called ”the Flow”. When i am in the flow I stop to perceive myself, i don’t feel the time and i loose the feeling of the space. Suddenly I forget who i am, where i am, i am in inside the game. I am the heroe of the game. This phenomena also is also used in the ‘story’.If someone is telling me a nice story or if i am reading a good book, i can be also in the flow and have the same sensation.
In order to reach this feeling the theory of gaming use few ingredients well known: a story, a challenge and a reward. If the challenge is not hard enough i feel bored and if the challenge is too hard i also get bored. The challenge need to be hard but in the same time i need to have the feeling that i can reach the final point, this is why the games are generally divided into levels. The reward maintains me in the flow and give me the feeling that i am moving forward.
So about the gaming in the SCN community? Someone arrive register on the community, he is new and the first thing he sees when he looks his profil is 0 Points. What is his feeling about that? For sure one of his toughts will be to gain points like the other members of the community. He has a feeling called jealousy. Is it useful? Probably!
In one hand it helps the community to progress because someone who has zero Points will want to have points and will make efforts in order to change his statut. In the other hand What if happen if this person is capable but not able to gain points? Should we throw him out of the community?
The concept of points, if it is not community goal oriented is very limited. For example if I reach a certain amount of points let’s say 100 000 points. You will remark something funny: after a while you loose the sensation of the points you are gaining or that you gained. It is as if they didn’t exist anymore. At this level you will need something else to drive you. Out of that you will feel bored and you will want to do something else. For sure the other community members will continue to be impressed by your score but not you anymore, at this level you need another form of reward. All the gamers know this feeling, after a while they don’t look and they don’t care anymore about their score!!!
Gamification is a very good thing if it is well used but it must be clear that we can’t detach it from the reward: it can be badge, point or anything else. For sure there is no game without a reward. Nevertheless the reward should go to an individual but it should be for the whole group because he was able to achieve a challenge.
All the games are based on the fact that there is a winner and there is a looser, the competition between people. However more and more research show that the real success is in the collective intelligence. Meaning if you take a group of people working together, not in competition one against the other, but working together in order to achieve a higher purpose they are able to solve any problem even if they don’t have any knowledge on the topic.
The idea is to bring people to the understanding that there is more force, more fun and more flow trying to connect the individuals of the community and that each member of the group has a specific role, a speficific ability as the elements of the human body.
So if i take a group of people with a challenge for higher purpose, a common goal i can achieve any results that will bring the community higher. In this community, I don’t receive a reward because i am more talentuous or smarter than the others but because i am helping the community to grow, because i am helping the other to achieve their goal.
This is what what is missing the whole industry of gaming and unfortunately our children are reproducing this model.
Let’s hope that we will be able to give the example and convey this feeling and thought to the other communities. 😉