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This video of JP Rangaswami speaking (Chief Scientist of is kind of brilliant. It wanders far through the various psychologies of work these days … and best of all, here’s a man who understands what time it is. 

It is time to say what he says:

"The thing I want to avoid is that people will walk away from this presentation with the view that if work sucks, you can just put the lipstick of points, badges, completion bars and leaderboards and suddenly make work exciting… it’s like saying ‘I’ve gone green’ or ‘organic’ as a company by painting myself green… this is not about putting something superficial on tasks you don’t want to do in order to find a way of motivating you to do it. There is something far more serious afoot…"

Rangaswami moves forward with a clear understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic reward systems, and what they mean for people. Then, later:

"I have neither the intent or wish to put the lipstick of gamification on the pig of work because the solution is not to make work a pig and the solution is not to make gamification lipstick. Both of these solutions are available to us."

It is in marked contrast to the introduction provided for him by Alex Blagg? Dan Patterson?  I hope for his sake that he is kidding, and I hope for everyone else’s sake that it’s understood as a joke:

"Up next, a presentation on social gaming, which is a very exciting discipline. I like to build game theory and functionality into all my platforms and new social networks so I can basically leverage my user base with badges, scores and scoreboards and things in order to continue to exploit and monetize things. Very exciting.”

But I don’t think he was trying to be funny, and then on the other hand: it’s not funny.

Meanwhile, I applaud Rangaswami, it’s really a great walk through some broad and interesting ideas.

  1. slavin posted this