Do the (Poly)math

Does Overjustification Hurt Games?

Over on ihobo today, my thoughts on how Achievements and gamification might be the enemy of free play, based on the overjustification effect discussed by psychologists:

When the game offers explicit rewards in advance – for instance, and now most commonly, as a result of Achievement or Trophy schemes – these rapidly condition the player’s interactions with the game in question to the point that whatever intrinsic enjoyment there might have been in the game soon becomes secondary to the pursuit of the next badge in the collection… Once the badge has been earned, many players will move on to other things, even if the activity they are passing from would have been fun for much longer.

You can read the whole of Does Overjustification Hurt Games? at


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