Can the Structures of Gaming Help You Work Better?

Can the Structures of Gaming Help You Work Better?” has been a question asked by Lifehacker today. Here are my thoughts about this. If you think work really has nothing to do with killing monsters, think twice: how many ( ugly looking ) problems do you have to move out of your way every day ?

I am always astonished to see how well some games are designed to keep you going .. for hours and days. I am also astonished to see how badly some business applications are designed to actually hinder you as much as possible to achieve what you are trying to achieve. In that sense I am a big fan of games @ work, or better: design work like a game.
In the era of smart project planning and activity centric computing this should not be too much of a challenge: imagine you get some sort of credit for every activity you accomplish. A project manager or architect or some smart computer system has determined the complexity of your activity; the more complex it is, the more credit points you receive. The faster you accomplish it, the more points you get. There is some acceptance criteria assigned to the task; depending on how good you fulfill it, the more points you receive.
Based on number of points you receive you advance to higher "levels of expertise" ( depending what type of activity you accomplished ) in your company, or higher "level of reputation". Credit points can be converted to
. extra money ( I am sure CFOs will love this option 😉
. free time
. extra resources to get your work done, like file space on a network drive or your own virtual server, or even a small budget for your own projects
Work could be so much more fun ( and thus productive through motivation boosts ) if carefully "designed". Will it ever be possible to "design" work ? Or should we stop dreaming and realize that there is a major difference between work and fun ?

More of my thoughts on this in “Playing, learning, growing … “ I wrote in August 2009.


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