The rage today in the business world is gamification. Taking a cue from the incredible decades-long success of video games, companies are looking to mimic them in non-gaming situations, integrating gaming features in non-gaming applications and activities. But has the explosion of gamification techniques in all aspects of our lives led to less peaceful, more stressful lifestyles?
Victim of Gamification
I recently downloaded the mindfulness app Headspace. This app promises a “happier, healthier life” with less stress and more focus on what’s truly important in life. I began by using the free “Basics” pack that helps you meditate for ten days to get started. Quickly I realized, however, that this was only an intro pack; the app began pushing me to buy a subscription that would unlock more advanced packs. Headspace also sent multiple notifications to congratulate me on what I had already completed, and to encourage me to keep going. It dawned on me that, ironically, the constant notifications were another source of stress: What if I don’t continue? What if I don’t buy the upgrade? Will I never achieve peace and tranquility?
I had become a victim of gamification.