[S]ome companies have turned work groups into guilds, rewarded staff with experience points when they complete tasks, giving out titles and badges when a guild finished a project and portraying objectives as quests.Hey! I finally thought of an answer to TaxProf Paul Caron's question: "What is the single best idea for reforming legal education you would offer to Erwin Chemerinsky as he builds the law school at UC-Irvine?" Set the whole thing up according to the principles of a video game.
Some were also considering using a virtual currency as a reward system allowing workers to cash in their savings for benefits or extras for their office space. The top performing guilds also get to do the best projects.
None, so far, he said, were tying wages to how people performed in the quests and against other guilds.
"Mapping levels and points on to wages is the most extreme application," [said Stanford education professor Byron Reeves, whose company, Seriosity, applies game elements to workplaces].
Companies were adopting game mechanics for several reasons, said Reeves.
Partly because workers were so familiar with this structure, he said, and because people become powerfully motivated when they know how they compare to their contemporaries.
The main reason was for the transparency it gave to the way workplaces were organised and for revealing who got things done.
"It exposes those that do and do not play well," said Dr Reeves. "There is a leader board and you know the rules."
I'm not kidding. When I went to law school, I did not know what the hell I was doing. I was undereducated — having majored in painting undergrad. I had a rebellious, alienated attitude and had no friends or family who had gone through the experience who could give me any sort of advice. Somehow, I hit upon the device of thinking of law school as an "athletic contest." I devised a set of rules and imagined myself to be playing a game. I didn't do this because I was very competitive. I considered myself an artist. (I still do.) I did it because I thought everyone else was competitive, and I'd be overwhelmed by them. My conception of the experience as a game gave me pleasure, serenity, motivation — and success.
But imagine a law school where the whole thing was openly structured as an elegant game, designed to absorb and hold everyone's attention and to yield motivating rewards along the way.
ADDED: I want to emphasize that the "game" of law school would be played in person and not on line. Students and faculty would interact in a real workspace (according to various devices and principles taken from video games). I would put the faculty inside the game. Perhaps alumni could integrated and it can work to bring donations into the school. I wish I understood more about video games so I could try to spin out some more detail here. I'm just working off the BBC article. If we're going to get serious, we can call in Seriosity.