Gamification

Ever since I found out about this particular method of interacting with you folks, I’ve been thinking about what suggestions I would have to make Wanikani better. And after some thought, I settled on this thought: I like WK just fine, except that doing the reviews and lessons can be drudgery sometimes - particularly since it’s a long term investment over a period of years, every single day.

I used to work at a software company (actually a couple of miles from WK 本社). They made a tool that they insisted up and down was not “Facebook for business”, but, honestly, it was Facebook for businesses. They gamified everything. You’d get points for participation, for doing new things, much like your community has. It kind of turned participation into a good natured competition between others on the forum as well.

I don’t think gamification should be time based - one should not be rewarded for ripping through as quickly as possible, and I’m not sure it should be level or numbers based either. Perhaps, though, it might be useful to gamify the amount of time it takes to actually recall a particular item? I don’t mean punish for taking slow, but I mean, the faster you go, the more points you get, but getting one wrong takes some points away. Something like that. Maybe at the end of every month, have a leaderboard, and the winner gets some kind of silly perk (maybe a community durtle). At the end of the month everything resets so new users can get in on the action too.

That’s just one idea and maybe not a good one - I’m more talking about the general concept than any particular implementation. It would be cool if there were a reason to sign on and do my reviews that wasn’t just “oh, I guess I have to do my reviews tonight”. It’s such a long-haul kinda commitment that every little incentive helps a lot.

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I kinda like the idea of the leaderboard :grinning:

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The time-based aspect of SRS has nothing to do with gamification, but rather with the mechanics of how long- and short-term memory works, based on various studies in the field. The incentive is “you get to learn kanji”.

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I’m not suggesting eliminating the core mechanics, which obviously work, just figuring out a way to take the drudgery out of the process. Learning kanji is a great incentive for the long term. It’s not as great for when you’re trying to muster up the will when you’re not feeling well and just want to sleep.

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I don’t like the idea of leaderboards. I think that takes general competition that WaniKani already has (via the leveling systems) and risks making it nasty. I think it’s detrimental to compare your progress to others too much, which I think a leaderboard could do.

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I don’t necessarily disagree. That’s why I was putting it forth as an example, rather than an actual idea, which I’m not sure of either.

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I find a lot of gamification schemes (not WK, just in general) just feel patronizing. I like the discourse ‘badge’ thing, because it’s fun, but not so “in your face” - you can easily ignore that whole thing.

BunPro’s badge and level thing, for example (and don’t get me wrong, I love bunpro) feels tacked on, arbitrary.

Another thing at work I see is, as soon as you put a metric on something, people try to game it and it’s very easy to accidentally incentivize bad or counter-productive behaviors.

All in all, not a terrible idea, just harder than it sounds (as I’m sure you know, having done it).

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Believe me, I’m aware of that. Any such gamification would have to encourage good behaviors rather than bad ones. Perhaps something that rewards coming back every day. I don’t know.

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I didn’t look at the community until I was at about level 40 and I never thought about other users on here at all until then either, and I think it was better for me that way.
I’m not really interested in more things being gamified either.

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Maybe some combined statistics would be good. Like dividing all WK users into a few teams, and the leaderboard just shows what everyone achieved together.

[Actually I thought the sects were something like teams]

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Quite frankly, you might have the better idea. I always regret joining a community like this, it’s just a matter of time. But in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose. I just threw a chunk of change towards lifetime, I guess this is my way of trying to make it worth my while on an immediate basis.

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Those are also double edged swords. When I used iKnow they really highlighted getting a continuous streak of days where you do reviews. To the point that when I was on vacation I made sure to log on for a few minutes each day just to maintain my streak. But when I accidentally missed a day a few weeks later, it destroyed my motivation. I’ve heard of similar things happening to people on Bunpro.

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Yeah. As pointed out, it’s not easy. I posted this more to get the creative juices flowing than to put forth a specific solution.

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Just friendly FYI, posts that start out like that almost always go poorly here. Not saying that’s bad or good or indifferent, and this one seems to be going fine, but people have a lot emotionally invested in wanikani, so tread lightly. :slight_smile:

Best badge BTW, @seanblue. I saw you get that from Koichi kimself

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I don’t think you should regret joining the community XD I wasn’t purposely avoiding it either, it really didn’t occur me to look at the community until then. There are some good things about the community, like @Saida is on here!
But I did think the WaniKani experience was better for me when I was just off on my own and just doing what the crabigator gave me without thinking about what other people were doing.

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Thanks for the advice, but allow me to be frank as well - I don’t really care. I’m here to learn kanji and to post suggestions for how to make it better. If it goes poorly here, I’ll just start communicating with their support directly and say to heck with this. :slight_smile: I am honestly, due to a rather odd and unusual background, nearly immune to peer pressure. I can, and will, hold my own.

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Another thing at work I see is, as soon as you put a metric on something, people try to game it and it’s very easy to accidentally incentivize bad or counter-productive behaviors.

That’s something I was thinking. I could imagine people abusing the ignore script in order to get as many points as possible, and in the end they end up not learning anything. I also think the idea of leaderboards isn’t a good idea. People compare themselves to others enough, and I think it’s very demotivating for some. Having an actual feature for comparing yourself to others could be even more demoralizing.

I’m not opposed to the idea of additional gamification features, however, I just think they would have to be very carefully considered. I think maybe some more things related to community interaction would be cool. I know you get badges, but most of those badges are more discourse-related than WK-specific. Having some feature where you could get points or some form of recognition for being helpful in relation to WK and Japanese learning would be neat. For example, you could gain points for posting in a certain number of newbies’ threads, or for posting in a certain number of threads in the introduction category. This would bolster a welcoming environment for newcomers, and help encourage people to interact in the community even more.

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I completely agree.

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I sensed that. :smiley:

That’s why I left the note. If you don’t care, you don’t care (and I don’t really mind either). Just thought your “just a matter of time” remark, well that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If you get some pushback, it might not be you, just the subconscious “what? wanikani is perfect as is! how dare you!” instinct coming out in people.

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