Proposal: Gamification

Looking through most of the questions here, a lot of the questions are theoretical. That should be allowed, but theoretical problems can be quite tedious to answer, especially since academic gamification is still very new. These theoretical problems shouldn't form the core of the site.

Perhaps a better option would be to make the backbone of the site similar to Stack Overflow. Unfortunately, these kinds of problems are difficult to describe in only question form. If you look at Stack Overflow, none of the problems are visible from their titles.

There should be less questions on how gamification works, and more questions like "I tried gamifying this thing and people reacted the wrong way. Please advise." or "This thing is boring. How do I make it not boring?"

  • 2
    Yes. I think that without a specific case gamification is useless. "How can I gamify foo?" Well, why do you need to gamify all cases of foo? "Here is bar, should I gamify it with baz?" That is an actual question with an actual answer.
    – bjb568
    May 12, 2014 at 22:03

2 Answers 2


Considering that gamification itself is new to everybody, even to the ones who have been working on it for some time, there will be theoretical questions. Always.

However much we (or the Community Team) may want to make this purely about practical problems, that is not going to happen, both because of the age and the expertise of individuals in the field.

The age affects the lack of formalism in the field of various terms and definitions as well as lack of documentation, which means there will be questions about basics, terms and terminology.

Is that bad for the site? IMO, not really, since the site will mature as the field and documentation also age and mature. While this may be different from what we may come to expect from SE sites, every community and its needs are different.

  • Ironically, theories are best suited to something that has been well developed over time, when there are actual theories out in the wild. Game design has been out for maybe a decade and gamification is a subset of that and there's few theories out that are tried and tested and useable to answer questions. The previous site died because there weren't enough questions, so the scope should still be expanded somehow in order to make it work. SO is significantly bigger and has less of an entry barrier over the theoretical comp sci SC sites so I figure it's a better model.
    – Muz
    Apr 18, 2014 at 11:21
  • It is this answer and this question which have caused me to step away from this proposal. There is clearly a lack of knowledge about gamification, scientific research, and... well, anything related to this matter. The game here seems to be getting it to work on SE without remote understanding of why the gamification components of SE have helped it... and tangentially why the non-gamification components damage it. Jan 17, 2015 at 5:10

Solving problems could help develop balance within the games that individuals are creating for the gamified product. Perhaps the reward/recognition "engine" is to easy to climb and accomplish and therefore doesn't engage as much as it should. How would one ask for help in refining such a specific topic associated with gamification (I hate that term by the way) if they were not allowed to test the topic here and solicit assistance in possible options.

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