Gamification is for Dicks

It’s that thing where an app developer thinks it would be really neat to make parts of their non-game app into a game. I hate it, and I think it’s bullshit.

Actually, I have hated it for a while, but this is the catalyst for my rant today:

So what’s your favourite “secret” theme in Clear? Let us know in this Facebook Poll!… — Clear for iPhone (@UseClear) April 27, 2012

Now Clear had this all along, even when I reviewed it, but at the time I figured this aspect was more of and easter egg than it was a long-term thing for the app.

As it turns out, I figured wrong.

And gamification bugs me quite a bit, because I think it is disrespectful to users of the app. If I pay for your app, why do I still need to jump through hoops to get all of the features of your app? I can only assume it is because making me jump through hoops amuses the developer in some way.

Don’t just take my word for it, here’s Brent Simmons on the issue:

“Gamification” treats people like children — children who need to be manipulated, who need to be tricked into doing what’s good for them.
And it makes bad software.

And it makes the software developer look like a dick.

It’s time to put an end to this.

Originally posted for members on: April 27, 2012
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