Gamification, the future of work ?

Motivating your teams through games is a concept that is becoming more and more popular. I am convinced that this concept will be the new grail taught in management schools to motivate teams, if not already. Not so far from the alienating concept of metaverse, gamification is probably going to become the new standard of management for the new generations of workers.

You probably today already use tools at work which are on the verge of gamification, like a data visualisation tool, showing you charts, graphs, tables or infographics. With the recent progresses made in big data analysis, these tools are a must when it comes to get maximum value out of it, great for improving conversion rate for example.

The definition of a “game” is an activity that one engages in for amusement or fun. Think about it, would you be more happy at work if you constantly got little rewards ? Hard to say no right ? But can we really play when our main source of income is at stake ? Hmmm, not so easy anymore 🤔

Like any application today, the first goal of gamification is to gain attention, making it’s user (in this case worker) concentrate on its goal and not be distracted by his smartphone for example.
There has been quite many studies on how an employee checking it’s Instagram during work, is losing a LOT of productivity, and how long it actually takes him/her to fully concentrate again on it’s work. Smartphones and moreover social networks are a real problem today when it comes to work.

To make it easier to understand, if you are a truck driver and you are checking your phone during your work, the risk of accidents because of those few seconds out of your phones is most probably 20 times higher than if you did not. Same applies to any worker, without of course the life threatening results (it was an example) but with the economical consequences for the company.

Here we can easily see, how gamification will most probably automatically link an employee to the lost of a client in real time. This implies a risk of amplification on the employee side of the the consequences of a negative action. It could be seen as a good point on a manager side, being able to immediately take action, but the effect on the psychological health of the employee in this case are probably made worse.
It’s not without reminding me the way Amazon treat their employees, whether it is in their warehouses or their office workers… (external link)

Therefore, in my opinion, what is sold today as a full solution of gamification, is just a very nicer way to present what has been the daily life of very large customer services, with robots dividing work in between agents, constantly measuring the time on the phone, time to answer a live chat, watching their every moves, choices, toilet breaks and monitoring their customer satisfaction ; basically all measurement that we can englobe in a standard set of customer service SLAs (Service Level Agreements).
No need to spend hours researching what could be in the end the limits and the bad sides of gamification, we already know most of them 🤓

In the end, the main challenge with the future of gamification is finding the perfect balance between benefits and risks for the company and it’s employees, to maintain a life / work / balance and a psychologically stable environment of work.
Mistakes should not become GAME OVERs otherwise people will work sick with fear. The ultimate goal being to make work pleasant and motivating and not making it addictive and dangerous, ending up in a greater overall performance.

Note for myself : I think I would love to work on the product side of a gamification software solution. But until that, let’s first finish my career shift in development 🤔

The ugly (but lucrative) future of metaverse, already described in the comic book “Convoi” ?

I was surprised to read recently a lot of articles about something called the metaverse, Meta (ex-Facebook) and other tech companies declared wanting to invest tons of money in this new form of online social life.

It turns out I remembered reading when I was younger a collection of comic books called Convoi TM, happening in the end of the 21st century. This comic book is written by Thierry Smolderen and Philippe Gauckler, and was publised in 2004 by their editor “Les humanoïdes associés”.

Convoi comic book

3D spaces in the metaverse will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine

Mark Zuckerberg

A little summary of the first volume ( 4 in total) :

“We are in 2069. A virtual game, Convoy, threatens to supplant real life… While the first space colonies of the Earth enjoy independence, a great program of robotization of the conquest of space is launched by the President of the Earth, disregarding bitter failures and the despair of young generations deprived of dreams. For the disenchanted citizens, there remains the virtual reality of Convoy, a second world where hundreds of gamers try to attack a regularly passing money transport. Among them, two undisciplined and resourceful twins, Gil and Fred, their mother, Karen Springwell, a journalist, and their grandfather, a senator and ardent supporter of the President, will find themselves caught between virtual adventures and real dangers.”

Unfortunately I could not find any EN version of the Convoi comic books, only the French version exists, fortunately it is available on digital format.

The best of us will remember the first of its kind metaverse “Second life”, I was myself a little too young to be able to join this community at the time it was really popular but yet I was already a lot curious about the possibility to have a new second life in a virtual world. When you think about it, anyone who is at the moment not happy with their current life would easily fall for a dream world where they could be who ever they want, build their own dreamed universe and bring to virtual life their deepest fantasies.

The metaverse in Convoy is, in my opinion, describing quite accurately the dangers of such projects, with people becoming totally addicted to their online life and therefore not living their real life, even forgetting to “wake up” from their VR and dying of extreme long sessions of online activity. I think this phenomenon already exists in countries like for example in Japan. People living in very small appartements, disappointed with their social life, spending so much time playing addictive games, that they forget to eat or drink.
It’s just the easy way out for many people and with all the crisis we are facing, it will probably just make more and more people potentially vulnerable to this solutions.

Yes investing in metaverse is probably the best new thing to do, and builders of these online worlds will be the billionaires of tomorrow, imagine all the possibilities, crypto currencies will easily find their new markets in those VR worlds, 3D designers will be able to freed their creativity with no physical limits in making building, art or any artefacts that they will then sell to the online public. The new reality will not be to post your cute picture of the new restaurants on Instagram, but to share how beautiful and creative your online place will become. I could write pages on the possibilities of a full VR world 😁

Facebook has recently been a lot in the spotlight for putting it’s own economic interest over proper censoring of conspiracy content, it is just an example that we probably unfortunately can not trust private companies to regulate themselves on this kind of projects. But when at the same time you see how ignorant governments are to this kind of technologies, regulation might never happen (I am referring to the lunar questions asked to Zuckerberg in Congress : 9 weird questions asked by Congress ).

If Meta or Facebook, could not yet launch a viable crypto currency for regulatory reasons, it will certainly be able to do so in it’s own virtual world, with the only law applying being their own one… smart 🤓- Meta coins are coming – soon

Following my first publication of this article I was looking for ways to invest into the Metaverse, since it’s probably going to be THE ONE THING TO INVEST INTO (as ugly as it could get), a quick search on Google reinforced my belief that it is a MUST to invest in these companies or tech, here is a few interesting articles I found :

To be continued

Progresses on RNA vaccines technology, premises of a new type of bio-weapon ?

Science is great and also often unfortunately correlated to research on advance weaponry systems, governments being more keen to spend billions of dollars into their defence programs than on vaccines R&D.

It just stuck me the other night, how RNA vaccines are a major scientific breakthrough, making it so much easier for us to find the adequate counter-measures in a short period of time against any type of new viruses that would threaten Humanity.

The associated risk with that type of scientific innovation is that potentially any state who would master this advance technology can now potentially develop any new disease and manufacture its cure at the same time as well. To put this in perspective, North Korea could erase the rest of humanity and make sure their own citizens survive, of course the scale is probably fortunately too large.

On a smaller scale the best example of such weapon system is that scene in the last James Bond movie No Time to Die where the scientific used DNA technology to kill everyone in the room except the ones that are protected.

Yet the technology is not perfect, Covid-19 RNA vaccines are effective but we still need boosters from time to time to make sure we have the right level of immunization against the virus. These breakthroughs are rising hopes for vaccines against certain types of cancers, even HIV could potentially be cure in the next decades.

Let’s cross our fingers that this technology will be used wisely in the future !

Short article to be continued later 🙂