Gamification Mechanic Monday: Rules change

Gamification Mechanic Monday: Rules change

All games and gamification will contain rules. rules help us to understand how the game is played and what is considered acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, what constitutes a score or a win and what is consider a fault or penalty earning offence.

When rules change, you will find a number of players and teams may still want to use the old rules and have a bit of a challenge of letting go. It usually also requires re-training of officials and referees in sporting arena’s. Normally a rule change is only carried out for good reasons and in consultation with the participating governing bodies or in smaller instances the teams and players. It also typically means the there is a suggested plan for the new rules.

I remember in my competitive basketball days that the European rules were changed slightly to adapt more towards the NBA related rules. It meant going from 2 halves to 4 quarters and in terms of gameplay some of the more punitive European rules were replaced with more time driven US rules. Because I was still playing in youth teams the impact was not too great, we just learned something new, which was probably a regular occurrence at that time. I know that referees and coaches all went on workshops to understand the new rules. As a coach later in my basketball days, I often was on the receiving end of these instructions and how to handle them.

Now imagine in todays world a rule change on Facebook for example which happens quite frequently to be honest and all of a sudden you may be infringing the new rules without really understanding why. You would have to unlearn the old ways and adapt to the new ways. Each change on Facebook always has a fun grumbling few days after a rule change, where a lot of people complain and get angry about the new rules. Usually the changes on Facebook come suddenly to most of us and we were usually not consulted.

So when applying rules, make sure you have a clear structure for them and you train your players how to use them. When you are planning on making rule changes, consult with the players and governing parties and look at the best for all involved. Then when you move to the new rules, build in support and communication to let people know that this is happening. That way you ensure people understand the process.

How have you managed rule changes for your gamification designs?

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