Thursday, March 13, 2014

Activity Loops in Gamification

I can feel the pent up feelings of many people now who are about to scream the words Operant Conditioning at me. For those who don’t know, this was a form of behaviour modification that was made famous by BF Skinner. He conducted experiments that rewarded or punished animals for types of behaviour. Pull a lever, get a reward. Pull a lever, maybe get a reward. Push the wrong button, get a shock. This was called reinforcement. One of the big arguments we have in gamification is that it is just a new and shiny form of operant conditioning. For the most part, this does seem to be true. Click like, get a point. Click like 10 times, get a badge etc. A big issue here is the lack of any kind of skill or effort needed to get the reward. One of the things that I am trying to show with this activity loop example is the idea of earning the reward of access to new features. more

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