The Danger of ‘Gaming’ the System

Melinda Jacobs

About the Talk

Gamification is often seen as a quick win, a silver bullet. It’s treated as if there is an inherent magic and power to game mechanics that, when implemented, act as human cheat codes that allow us to motivate (or manipulate) people.

But, when we look at mechanics, like a leaderboard, alone as holding the power, we miss the true source, our intentions. In order to be sure we use gamification ethically we need to challenges ourselves and be honest about the role we play. Understanding how our intentions relate to the set of elements we choose to fulfil this represent your values is key; not only to ethical design but to effective design.

We’ll look at what gamification means for UX, what designers can learn from game storytelling, and why understanding system design is the most important thing we can take away from game design. We will explore the danger of designing for untethered metrics like daily engagement and why fun isn’t a value proposition on its own.

About the Speaker

Melinda Jacobs is a gamification expert, tech entrepreneur and N7 paragon. She’s a geeky nerd who found a way to combine her love of games and her fascination with people’s behavior into an award-winning expertise. As the founder of the digital experience agency Subatomic, she’s helped companies and organizations develop interactive experiences that change behavior through play, games, and gamification for over 10 years.
Her current role is as a founder and co-CEO of Perkio where she’s on a mission to improve the way we approach company culture & wellbeing in organizations.
She routinely gives talks around the world on playful design, behavioral science, and technology ethics.