I am really fascinated by the culture of gamification. I consistently notice changes in my personal behavior when I’m keeping track and that directly feeds into a gamification system. If I’m wearing a pedometer, I will walk more. If my friends are also, I will walk wherever I need to walk in order to defeat them. If I’m getting a reward, even a tiny gold star, I am easily manipulatable and I will adapt to score as many gold stars as I can possibly get my hands on.
I love the idea of behavioral changes through non-negative methods. Most of the methods discussed in the article aren’t necessarily positive, but they’re certainly not punitive. It is amazing to think that just through the completely redundant visual reminder of speed, people actually adjust and adapt. To think what you could then accomplish if you dip into the positive side, if for instance, you seek to change behavior through fun, it could be amazing and quite revolutionary.
I love this example, where they created a foot traffic-driven piano on stairs to encourage users to utilize the stairs, as opposed to the dubiously healthy escalator. People do in fact change their habits to take advantage of the fun option presented and it works.
More at Thefuntheory.com