At noon of the 16th of February, gamifiers from around the European continent gathered for an epic hour of discussion, twitter and, of course, #gamification. Featuring #GWC15 legends such as Andrzej Marczewski, Michiel van Eunen and Pete Jenkins, it also featured @Gamfed steering committee members Juan @ValeraMariscal and @JoshuaWtc. The conversation on #GamificationEthics was centered on the question fielded by Shane Fumagall from @gamifiplus: “If gamification accepts current social practices, does that limit its ability to be a pioneer?”.
It has been established that there is a pressing need for current ethical practices to evolve in order to deal with certain harms of gamification. Gamification is a powerful tool that can cause undesirable behavioural outcomes such as addiction. We can see how games and gaming principles can cause significant time (video games) and financial cost (gambling) at levels that is undesirable to users. Beyond the present, “the long-term potential includes things like Addiction To Authoritarianism. (@JoshuaWtc)”. People will always find ways to use this power for self-interested means, as “One person’s “unethical” is another person’s “competitive advantage”(@CraigTaylor74)”, and thus “It’s easier to start now (@JoshuaWtc) ” in the formulation of norms before any entrenched motivations to protect accumulated interest can be formed (Core Drive 4 : @OctalysisGroup).
The task looks possible. Precedence has been set as “current social practices have evolved enough in some places 😉 (@daverage)”. Practitioners will need to come together as a trade to find the right levers to influence the necessary regulators (@MichielvanEunen) to create regulations such as a trade-specific code of ethics (ethics.gamified.uk). It might not cover everything, but “we should consider it as a minimum spec that can be upgraded as needed. (@daverage)”, attempt to ensure that “it must fit at first all regions and then include local ethics if it is necessary (@ValeraMariscal)”, and in the short-term even if it merely “makes #gamification practitioners think about it and improve their practice, it’s useful already. (@GustavoTondello)”
Steering Committee Member (Singapore)