Feminine gamification viewpoint: inclusive narrative
This week I came across a number of articles on the importance of supportive narrative in order to be inclusive of each other. In one scenario office banter which was rather rude with a sexual connotation between a male and a female employee was justified, because of office culture. Yet the author pointed out that newcomers and outsiders may have read this situation as rather aggressive and demeaning. He also went on to point out that in a lot of offices there is even no awareness about such matters and the minority group in this case ladies would very likely never admit to it being uncomfortable for fear of not fitting in. Hence it perpetuates the same very culture.
When designing a storyline for gamification purposes, I would always look at playing on the corporate culture in so far as this is healthy for all involved. However in a situation as the above reversing roles may be a very powerful technique to create a different kind of awareness. Gamification is often a change initiative. In each scenario I also believe that it is very important to distinguish between the person and their behaviour and to mind what exactly is being given feedback on. Let’s think of the above scenario, you could say it was a sexist male who made the comment. This in effect is criticising the person. What would be 100 times better in a storyline is to give feedback that the comment was sexist and inappropriate, which leaves the person intact as a potentially great human being.
Another article discussed how the rituals of success are passed on in an organisation often with war tales by white men going above and beyond duty, which as a female and other ethnicity listening in may raise doubt levels in being able to achieve a similar tale style scenario. Most organisations are currently starting on the back foot with a lack of female and non-white role models, when designing corporate war stories look for success stories from all groups and backgrounds to pass on as tales. Where possible go a step further an support the minority groups with mentoring and career progression mentoring to create a culture of opportunity. In gamification stories I like to have unlikely heroes who all in their own right had to overcome amazing obstacles to become known as superheroes, as the participant in the story you get to mentor the character to hero status.