If you’re dealing with a fakes problem right now, hire a gamification designer

There’s been a spate of fakes issues recently.

Let’s see who is dealing with fakes right now:

So it seems fakes are all around.

As gamification experts we classify fakes issues into two groups:

  1. Cheating
  2. Gaming the system


Typically we deal with this via legal controls – the rules of the game are set. If you break them you’re out. If we see cheating we implement enforcement measures (either human or automated) to filter out the cheats.

Gaming the system

Gaming the system is rational – players optimise their behaviour towards the cheapest way to score points. In a well designed system this is often exactly what we want.

“Don’t blame the gamer, blame the “game” ” – Roman Rackwitz

Gamification to the rescue

So  can better gamification design help with the sort of fakes problems I’ve listed above?

Good gamification design looks at the whole motivation system, not just the methodology for scoring points.

In the case of Alibaba we might look at the rewards sellers are getting from brushing (increased ranking) and provide other, less intrusive, and more customer beneficial activities for them to get the same result.

For Facebook’s fake news we need to assess the motivation of the organisations producing the news – are they being financially incentivised to do so? If so how, can we cut that out? Who else is gaining points from the spread of fake or malicious news?

The fake reviews problem is difficult to deal with but can be countered with reputation systems. As an example of this in action, I was fascinated by StackOverflow’s recent moderator election where both candidates and electorate had to have sufficient reputation points to participate.

Key Takeaway

If you’re a business dealing with a fakes problem then don’t call your lawyer first, call a gamification guru.

Toby Beresford

Toby is founder and CEO of Rise the success tracking network to track, publish and share success. He was the 2013 chair of Gamfed.com - the International Gamification Confederation and organises the UK Gamifiers meetup. As a gamification leader, he speaks at conferences and hosts workshops. Follow him on twitter @tobyberesford and Subscribe to this blog at Gamification Of Work blog feed

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