Game theory. Gamefication. Winning. The specific methods that underlie these ideas are everywhere. From the campaigns of politicians, to the design of mobile apps, everything is being consciously designed to facilitate engagement. Good UX (user design) or EX (experience design) lead to higher levels of usage in apps and greater sales in the retail space. The crafting of messages for specific audiences at specially tailored events, allow politicians to drive home messages to specific audiences individually, creating a coalition of disparate voters, rather than a unified body.
But there is something about the culture of gaming that can be corrosive. Competitive games are fundamentally about winning. Even if you are playing against yourself, the drive to achieve the stated goal is strong. We want to earn the badge, get to the next level, get the sales record, have better stats, or win the election. With that goal in mind the strategy to win is super important. But what are we willing to do, to our environment, relationships, friends and neighbors, or even ourselves, to win?
That is the question we all must ask as we enter into coalition, put our time and effort behind a product, person, or message, and maybe even find ourselves in a position to make decisions that can change things. Not everything is a game. Some things are not just about winning. Some times our relationships, environment, friends and neighbors, or even ourselves could use the break from being a pawn in a game.