18 June 2019

The Gamification of Chess

After Playing the FWFRCC (June 2019) -- that stands for 'FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship' and the post is on my chess960 blog -- the next time I signed into Chess.com I had to clear a half-dozen popup messages for trophies or something. I mentioned this to a friend who told me, 'That's what they call "gamification"'. I had to admit that I wasn't familiar with the concept. In Gamification, Wikipedia informs,

Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. It can also be defined as a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying the characteristics of game elements. Gamification commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, employee recruitment and evaluation, ease of use, usefulness of systems, physical exercise, traffic violations, voter apathy, and more. A collection of research on gamification shows that a majority of studies on gamification find it has positive effects on individuals. However, individual and contextual differences exist.

That paragraph was littered with more references (like '[20]') than I've ever seen in a Wikipedia introduction. The following images shows the awards (not trophies!) I won for playing the chess960 tournament.

Top row / 2nd row (left to right):-

  • Killer Queen: You delivered checkmate with a Queen!
  • Random Thoughts: Your 1st game of Chess960!
  • Mix Master: You played 10 Chess960 games [What? No '!'?]
  • Quick Knockout: You checkmated in less than 20 moves!
  • Full House: You won without losing any pieces!

The last award is from February 2019.

  • Club Member: You joined a club!

That was probably while I was working on the post TCEC S14 Final, CCC5/-6 (February 2019), for an ongoing weekly series about engine tournaments. The club was the 'CCCC Club' -- I forget what all the C's mean -- which has little activity.

Back to the five awards I won for playing the chess960 tournament, three of them -- Killer Queen, Quick Knockout, and Full House -- were for a single game where I checkmated my opponent on the 9th move. The other two -- Random Thoughts and Mix Master -- don't add up. My first game of Chess960? No, I've played correspondence chess960 on the site. I played ten chess960 games? No, I played five games in the tournament and haven't played on the site since.

Anyway, I'll take the awards. The 'Achievements' page where I found them lists 120 awards. I can't imagine that anyone has won all 120. What's the record for winning awards?

  • Award Monster: You have won a zillion awards!

Who would have thought you could turn playing chess into a game?

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