Can real-life jobs give you a ‘level’ like in a videogame?

30 09 2011

The title of this post is a quote of Philip Rosedale on his Aug 11 twitter regarding his Coffee&Power site: http://blog.coffeeandpower.com/

I am particularly tuned to this concept having recently completed the 3DGameLab seminar this summer …and for a few months now, whispering in the ear of teachers and principals the wild idea (yes, sarcasm can get us so far) to bring gaming techniques back in the learning process (present in preschool-K-1, so why are they forgotten after those first years of schooling?). I have been mainly left with the impression that I impersonate a giant buzzing bug they are trying to swap away from their head.

So i find it extremely exciting to see how the leveling up so common in mmorpg is implemented on workplace sites: react to ones resume, projects, thumbs up/down, etc. Enters ” On Becoming a Level 42 Entrepreneur”: http://blog.coffeeandpower.com/2011/08/11/level-42-entrepreneur/

Imagine LinkedIn and EpicWin coming together, with Facebook and other social platforms informing C&P with complementary data. C&B would not replace a final interview during which it remains your responsibility to tease out level of loyalty and quality/quantity of work that the candidate is providing. However, i suspect that C&B platform provides noobs entering the marketplace with a more visible place for referral from teachers, trainers, mentors, colleagues, etc. For example, collaboration is a skill valued in business, but rarely visible in traditional resumes.

If you read more about Rosedale’s latest projects, you’ll notice the gaming trend in LoveMachine and Worklist as well. This Atlantic article provides a well-rounded explanation of the softwares philosophy and how they attempt to re-educate workplace dynamics: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/meet-the-new-boss/8637/. To grossly summarize, LoveMachine is a performance system provided by the customers that managers can use to gauge long-term contribution (Would n’t it be nice to have this in the faculty performance system, including for the tenured?). Worklist “is a project-management tool for tasks that are hard, if not all but impossible, to plan in advance.” Breaking the goal intro multiple tasks and allowing for errors/explorations as growth processes are game affordances. When I blogged on Aug 8 about the 7 ways to reward the brain, I listed what the games tend to to promote engagement:

  1. Experience bars measuring progress: access to your growth stage> control, power.
  2. Short and long term aims: breaking the goal into multiple tasks.
  3. Reward efforts: mistakes are incomplete learning processes. Don’t stop the learning process by punishing mistakes. Implement a reward schedule.
  4. Rapid and frequent feedback: to link action to consequences.
  5. Element of uncertainty: neurological gold mine > excitement
  6. Windows of enhanced memory: memory and confidence
  7. Other people: We are social animals afterall. Peer collaboration leading sophisticated player behaviors.

What are YOU adapting over to a mmorpg format? Tell me here in comments and I give you this Blood Elf badge.

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