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Index – Culture – Does your company also measure the amount of time an employee spends on the toilet?
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Index – Culture – Does your company also measure the amount of time an employee spends on the toilet?

A polar explorer, former CIA analyst, and space suit designer walk into a bar. Sure, this would make a very stupid joke, but the funny thing is, it’s not a joke. For many years, Brain Bar has been attracting professionals working in the most diverse fields to Budapest to share their opinions on important world events in their presentations and roundtable discussions.

This year, we had the opportunity to conduct some online interviews with guest speakers who visited the conference on September 21 and 22. It so happens that we can also put our questions to Adrian Hon. According to Brain Bar’s description, Hon is a game developer, but in a different way than you might think. It deals with how to improve our daily routine – using game techniques.

Adrian Hun

Photo: Joshua Fry

Is play an opportunity or a source of danger?

Englishman Adrian Hone criticizes Play To your question it is used by many companies, organizations and governments. According to him, playful form Irresponsible overuse It can lead to serious consequences at the social and institutional level, so consistency is important. The following was stated in the interview:

  • What techniques do companies use to manipulate employees, and what are the disadvantages?
  • How government regulations can affect the functioning of society, and why the Chinese credit score system is important,
  • What are the basic rules of play, which can be used to avoid a devastating outcome,
  • How can we integrate gaming technologies into our daily lives in order to improve our standard of living.

What is the primary goal when a company wants to influence its employees through games? What can they improve, reduce or change with this?

Most companies claim to use gamification to make their employees happy, but the truth is that even the best kind of games do It is very difficult to reach. Filling it with fun items when you have to pack five thousand boxes a day or answer a thousand calls doesn’t make the task any more fun. Companies often use the fun format to motivate employees to work faster and harder. I think the most important thing is making sure workers are safe and that they are paid fairly. There are cases when play can be used to make a training session more interesting or to celebrate a joint success, but this is the wrong approach when we want to hide the unpleasant parts of the work.

How can games accelerate learning processes or improve performance?

Games are a great way to provide quick, relevant feedback to beginners. Good games are able to explain the rules within seconds – that way New players Your learning process is kept under close control, new elements are explained step by step, and at the same time it is not boring for those who already understand everything. Such games also reward progress with points and prizes, so players know they are on the right track. We can do the same with regard to education and training.

Amazon even measures toilet breaks

What techniques do companies most often use to unconsciously influence, motivate or deter their employees?

Many companies track their employees. It measures how quickly they complete their tasks and monitors the ratings and comments customers provide. This data is kept in rating lists and evaluation boards, on the basis of which the worst-performing employees can be retaliated against, while the best-performing employees can be rewarded. Using gaming technology, they can do all this faster and more often, so they can check performance even by the second. Amazon Games, for example, seems to measure this as well

How quickly workers return from lunch and toilet breaks.

The company may not specifically want to point out that “you need to go to the toilet faster,” but employees know that they are being monitored and analyzed.

If the government uses such technologies, what are the long-term consequences for society?

In theory, any employee can decide to leave the company if they are abused, or even if they stay, they can only work a maximum of 8 hours a day. It is very difficult for citizens to leave their country, because governments have much broader surveillance capabilities, much greater power and the ability to reward or punish citizens. Perhaps if governments were fully democratic and there was no corruption, for example, gamification could be a solution – but with governments, there is a much greater risk of things backfiring. Some parties, in their bias, play games, even if their basic intentions are good are able to use For or against certain groups, thus increasing social division. KLet’s imagine a national competition where the winning families or cities receive more support. This only works if the competition is fair – and if it isn’t, those who have more time and resources to play the game, or who know the exact rules, usually win.

Everyone sees China differently

If we take the example of China as a basis, where are the limits, the limits of applying gaming technologies at the societal level, before their application causes mass discontent or becomes destructive?

Many Chinese citizens seem to like the social points system, which is already being trialled in several cities. However, many criticize it for its arbitrary nature. Who decides which bad behavior is worth -100 points and which good behavior is worth +25? People hCan they trust that data is being collected and counted fairly? Of course, this kind of criticism stems from the same source as concerns about the authoritarianism of the Chinese government. I feel that social merit scoring is not as aggressive as most non-Chinese people imagine, and there is not as much frustration in society as they think – but if they intervened more in the individual sphere, it might happen in time.

Are there similar hidden methods in European or American systems of government that we do not see?

There are similarities. Financial credit scoring systems have similar mechanisms of manipulation when they attempt to influence behavior through a points system. The most direct basis for comparison can be the loyalty programs of retail chains and airlines. These elements specifically influence behavior through gameplay (such as awards, levels, points, badges, and missions). There are some health insurance companies in the UK that are using gamification to get people to buy healthier food, walk more, and go to the gym – in order to lower their premiums.

This has its good points, but it could easily go further.

Obviously these institutions are not governments, but we can still consider them quasi-governmental, as practically everyone has to participate in the financial system, and we have to buy health insurance more often than not all over the world.

If we follow the rules, it won’t be a big problem

From the point of view of government regulations and large companiesIt can be determined An ethical basis on which these methods can be used to improve public life, without harming the individual in the process?

I have four rules to follow when playing:

  1. People should volunteer to play, rather than being forced to do so by schools or workplaces. If it is really fun and good for them, they will happily do it. But if Boring or offensive, no one should be obligated.
  2. The level of rewards and punishments is low. Prizes such as millions of dollars should not be set for first place, as this may lead to fraud or worse; On the other hand, it is also inappropriate to expel those who fail in the game.
  3. Gamification should not be misleading in terms of its benefits. Many apps and games claim to make the user better and smarterWhile there is no research data available to support this.
  4. Gaming is and should remain user-centered: people should not be manipulated into sharing more information than necessary, spending more money, or exercising more than is healthy.

Can people use gaming technologies in their daily lives to improve their performance or quality of life?

absolute! Many people use it to learn to play an instrument (e.g. Rocksmith+) or to exercise (e.g. Supernatural, Beat Saber, Zombies) Being!). These toys can make repetitive, boring, and even painful activities more exciting. The most important thing is to find games that you actually enjoy playing. Additionally, I recommend avoiding brain exercise games, which, contrary to popular belief, do not make you smarter.

What are the most useful game techniques that should be used more often?

The goal is to make it fun to play. Many of the game’s mechanics are off-putting – just points and badges for an already boring activity. My own designed game, Zombies, Run! For example, trying to turn running into an epic adventure. We use storytelling to make training a habit because players want to know how the story continues.

Index is a committed supporter of Brain Bar. The interview was conducted within the framework of cooperation in the field of media support.