Feminine gamification viewpoint: fear motivation
Fear is a powerful motivational driver, which expresses itself in different ways for individuals but also depending on the scenario. The most commonly known responses are fight, flight and freeze. In neuroscience the away from motivation is often accredit with being stronger than a towards motivation. In the case of fear, we all know what fear feels like, because at some point or other in our life we have experienced it. But what is the counter-opposite of fear, we could say it is power where you feel able to deal with whatever comes towards you. Power can be based on ability, environment, sense of choice, etc. Yet, if you take a straw poll amongst your colleagues and friends, who will actively admit having experienced power?
In light of current political carry on, I feel it is important to point this out. In the UK we have fear mongering campaigns on both sides of the European referendum of staying or leaving the EU, where fact and fiction are actively intermingled. In the US you have a presidential candidate who builds his whole campaign on instilling fear of anything foreign even ignoring facts to the contrary. It has gone so far that for some people the fight responses are triggered by even the slightest bit of criticism, just look at supporters at political rallies or the killing of one MP in the UK.
With fear as the tactic, leaders (if you can call them that) are disempowering voters on a local and global scale. We are no longer trusting what they say nor what corporations say for that matter, because the fear tactic has been used so much. Fear drives people to make more irrational decisions and display behaviour that if reviewed afterwards didn’t look logical.
The voting systems were created to give people a sense of power. As a game mechanic voting is often used and can work really well. When the facts however are overshadowed by fear, honest voting becomes seriously hard. Some people will side behind those who scream the loudest and can rile the most manipulative messages with enthusiasm. Others become apathetic or paralysed by the non-sense and tune out, because they don’t know what to do. And then thankfully only a small minority will go as far as fighting for the cause.
To make voting systems really powerful again, I would suggest that not only politicians are voted on but also campaign or strategy accuracy. Peer-to-peer rating in IT and scientific communities calls out the BS artist very rapidly and acknowledges those with true added value. I guess in these communities facts are more important for everyone’s benefit rather than when we deal in politics. In politics there is personal and party benefit to be gained and there are ultimately winners and losers. Unfortunately in my view the biggest losers right now are the people.
In order to gain back power and walk away from fear, drastic action is required. Gamification can go a bit of the way in amending the political garbage that is coming out, but maybe we have all been desensitised so much? Only in Iceland people have truly taken back power over their banks and governments, by reversing the power back to the people. Any sign of corruption is handled with people asking questions and voting. So the same mechanic really, just a different motivational dynamic behind it.
What other gamification elements would you use to address the current fear mongering campaigns that reign a lot of the world?