I've been a fan of gaming since I can remember - from when I was a kid playing Super Mario Brothers and Legend of Zelda, spending hours and hours just to defeat the game, and then turn around and start all over again at level 1.
And for anyone who knows me, it may come as no surprise that I love collecting badges. I am not sure where this love for badges came from, but I did find this photo from when I was in elementary school, standing proudly with all the badges I earned at Brownies.
I always achieved the excellence badges in Gym class too with the Provincial testing, all that work to get a round cloth badge, that was the same as all the other badges just a different colour. Same for swimming, I had all my badges by the time I was 9 years old, but needed to wait until I was twelve to take Bronze Medallion due to age requirements. Now I wasn't any better at swimming or gym than other kids, I was just extra-driven by the badges, not sure why, but it kept me engaged and motivated - wanting to do my best every time.
I contribute it partly to the way I was raised, I would bring home a test where I achieved 98% and my Dad would say: "That's fantastic, what happened to the other 2%?". Now I know he was proud of me and he always told me he was, but it increased my motivation to bring home that 100%.
Which brings me to gamification. So what is Gamification?
Here is an online definition:
"Gamification is a technique where designers insert gameplay elements in non-gaming settings so as to enhance user engagement with a product or service. By weaving suitably fun features such as leaderboards and badges into an existing system, designers tap users’ intrinsic motivations so they enjoy using it."
I participated in a GCTools Hackathon a few years ago where we spun Gamification into Social Recognition and presented five peer-recognition badges to the judges. Here is our team "Go Go Gadget" slides for your interest and our "Go Go Gadget" Periscope pitch to the judges. We didn't place in the hackathon but we did get "Best Virtual Participation" award.
So where does this love of badges come from? Can anyone else relate? Are you also engaged and motivated by gamification and/or social recognition badges? If not, what motivates you?
Jodi LeBlancCommunity Leader
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