Gamification

An example of great gamification in the real world is FitBit’s exercise app. Using their FitBit devices which monitor your physical activity and steps, it allows you to “compete” with friends, family or strangers to exercise more. Attempting to “beat” someone else motivates you to work out harder and more consistently that attempting to work out alone. By employing gamification FitBit gives you a “work out buddy” and pressures users to stay on track. I think that allowing users to connect with friends and not just strangers, especially for fitness, exponentially drives the users.

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A bad example of gamification is Yahoo Answers. They use gamification to give a “Best Answer” trophy choosed by the asker as well as a point system to create a leaderboard. This encourages users to choose quantity over quality in lowering the credibility of Yahoo Answers. For example see the question in the screenshot below.

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To improve this gamification I think Yahoo Answers should implement a system that changes how the “Best Answer” badge is given out. In the screenshotted question above the Asker’s rating was one star yet the answer was still deemed the Best Answer. Since the user’s points is based of “Best Answer” badges, this allows users to put down unhelpful and flawed answers and still make the leaderboard. I believe that Yahoo Answer’s should implement a system to give “Expert” points when a user has a history of giving correct and good answers.

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Additionally, I would give badges to experts on particular topics, encouraging them to pursue questions that they have knowledge on and answering any question that will appear.

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About the author: jessicamwang

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