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Hello! I am teaching law at St. Petersburg State University. Major part of my research is connected to virtual worlds and massive multiplayer online games (a broad field which includes Internet law, video game law, virtual law and game studies). This interest derives from my passion for computer games which I consider as one of the most important cultural artifacts ever created. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gamification Everywhere!

This is by no means a new observation, but I have just realized how far things have come while updating my LinkedIn profile. They have a 'profile strength' meter which rises in proportion to the amount of information you entered. 

This feature is so obvious and widespread now that it is hard to pay significant attention to it. Many other services, and not only social media ones, use similar mechanics or, to be more precise, game mechanics. Gamification (the term is considered to be coined in 2002 by Nick Pelling) was always in use, but in most cases it was implicit. Today we face explicit gamification, and there is a lot of things around to research.

For instance, although I have the impression that gamification is generally praised more than blamed, I would dare to say that it has its caveats. And here is what I mean. People definitely have a need for games. Computer games made a revolution which allowed to satisfy this need with specific and diverse tools. 

However, if this need is not satisfied in such a natural way, people tend to include elements of game in serious business, like relationship with significant other or at work, and this may lead to harm.

Or not?