As I come to the end of a two-day workshop on gamification for employee engagement and HR in Kuala Lumpur, I asked participants to give scores on the gamification designs of their fellow course participants. I also scored all the teams and had given everyone reference points to look out for.
Scoring or point systems are part and parcel of every game and of a lot of gamification designs. It is typically a way of keeping track of behaviour and allowing for win conditions to happen. Not every culture has the same scoring reference, so it is important to make your system appropriate for the culture of your company and the local national culture also.
At some point during the day the point system in Pokemon go was mentioned and whilst it uses several points indicators to give progress and influence, which are helpful. However the level scoring system is the very reason why many of the early players gave up on the game because it became way too hard to level up, which took part of the fun away.
In our workshop, I scored people quite generously with the purpose of keeping them motivated to continue gamification design.
When the participants shared scores on each other, they were rather harsh in marking each other down significantly. When I mentioned this, they had calculated in the fact that they still had a lot to learn and in their culture it is also harder to score high. It is often overlooked in gamification design to adapt your point scoring to the local culture and for the right motivations.