What Would You Do?

I was recently turned onto an ABC News series called "What Would You Do?," (I don't watch TV, but evidently this show has been around for a while) which examines how everyday people react to awkward but realistic scenarios such as bullying, questionable parenting and other obnoxious behavior. The scenarios I watched included a group of teens bullying a gay teen, parents reacting against their daughter's interracial marriage announcement, a mother ditching her two young girls on the streets and having them walk home, two boys bullying two children for having gay parents, a mother trying to get her four year old to dress provocatively for a beauty pageant, and so on. After showing how people react, the hidden cameras come out and the host debriefs the unsuspecting people and question why they reacted the way they did.
Read More

On Gamification (Part I)

I've been a member of Gamespot - a website dedicated to news and discussion on videogames - since 2003. My rank on it is Super Bagman (Level 23), which I gather isn't particularly high, since the site suggests you can go up to at least Level 71. I also have a list of achievements for having done mundane things, such as registering for the site, voting for the game of the year, and being a "New Game Ninja," whatever that means.

The details about levelling up in rank isn't displayed prominently, so I had to do some digging around to find it. Here's a passage that gives you some idea of what levelling up means:

To level up on GameSpot, all you need to do is to spend your time here. The levelling system exists in order to encourage users to come back to the site, and enjoy using it, in whatever way they want. This means there is really no set method of levelling up.

Common ways of spending time here include but are not limited to:
visiting the forums, posting, reading articles and blogs, watching videos, updating your profile etc. It is factors such as these which contribute towards a user's activity level, and thus, their level itself.

This is gamification. It's basically a way of using symbols (badges, titles, ranks, levels, etc.) to signify your status in a community. In broader terms, it is used to encourage certain behaviors, such has developing healthy habits, or quitting bad ones.

Read More