Feminine gamification viewpoint: demographic
For some time I have been writing about the importance of recognising differences in behaviour between gender, always with the health warning that most of use operate on a range between 100% masculine or feminine style responses and situations may impact it. The reason for bringing this point into awareness, was because the initial gamification advice on gender differences were that it wasn’t important, and to me that intuitively felt wrong and it still does. If we are truly looking to change behaviour through gamification then we need to look at both similarities and differences on a multitude of reference points gender is one, age another, culture, corporate culture, beliefs, etc.
Most men and women in a relationship with the other gender, will realise that decision making and behaviour will vary significantly between you and your partner, so it is important as a credible gamification designer to pay attention to this. As with all things age is an important factor also. Earlier this week I was watching a BBC program on e-sports and to be really competitive in e-sports players peaked at about 21-22 years of age and after that your motor skills slow down, which would affect performance. At 24 a good few of them had retired and become coaches or team managers, which was fascinating to see.
Age is indeed a factor as a gamification designer to pay attention to, especially in a corporate setting where the average demographic may play a role. Often organisations land on gamification as a solution because they want to attract the younger generation and the first thing I typically ask when they say this, is what is your corporate culture like through the eyes of the young people you are aiming to hire or have hired. Because attraction is one thing, them being willing to stay ultimately also a goal for most HR teams or hiring managers. On the other side when the demographic in a company is older, I often receive the question whether to have gamification at all and funny enough in nearly all cases we have concluded that even the older generations play. The type of play and strategies may differ. It turns out different game dynamics will work with an older demographic than with a younger one.
Most older people have gained a lot of experience in their career and they would hate to be shown up by some young upstart, at the same time they are also acutely aware that the could be. If you have ever been in a managerial position you probably understand this. When building in gamification to include the more experienced you want to be mindful of the fact that they have a lot to offer and hate public humiliation, so some hyper-competitive scenarios are an absolute no-g0, but discreet feedback and try it on my own tracks are great. I remember listening to an L&D manager in a bank, where they had created a simulation of running a retail bank for the younger demographic in the company. When they looked at the statistics however they found the older demographic were even more regular players, because they could discreetly test their skills and apply variables to the scenario.
I think it is the diversity and handling so many potential inputs that has attracted me to continue to learn and delve deeper into human behaviour and understanding it as well as matching game dynamics to it to make it the best outcome for the individuals and groups I am dealing with.
What attracts you to this melting pot of diversity?