Kathy_SierraThe rise of "gamification" means that as you interact with digital media and software in any number of forms, you are being gamified. "Training" tools deriving fron blunt-force operant conditioning are artificially pushing you to do things you would not otherwise do, and with unexpected negative costs to productivity and motivation. 

Gamification's Dark Side

Kathy Sierra's thought-provoking Bold Talk calls attention to the hidden dark side of gamification, including devastating unintended consequences, and makes you stop to think about the many ways that software is shaping our behavior.

Kathy Sierra created the bestselling Head First book series for O'Reilly Media, now with more than 20 books and 3 million print copies sold. She spent 20 years as a software/game developer (Virgin, MGM, Amblin' Entertainment) and designed and taught the first New Media and Interaction Design courses for UCLA Extension's Entertainment Studies Department. She founded Javaranch.com in 1997, which was the largest online developer community for more than a decade. She was the producer of the original Wonka.com site, finalist for a Cleo award.


Kathy's Slides:

Sketch Notes:

Kathy Sierra Bold Talk Graphic Recording

Graphic recording by Kingman Ink.

Kathy Sierra is Context Designer, Serious Pony. You can follow her on Twitter at @SeriousPony.

INBOUND 2013, attended by over 5,500 inbound marketers, entrepreneurs, and executives, included an INBOUND: Bold Talks experimental storytelling stage. We will publish each talk right here in the Opinion section until all 36 are online.

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Originally published Jan 28, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023