Offended when fitness apps get “gamification” so wrong (like Basis does)

Do you despise the term “gamification” as much as I do? There is something about it that feels so silicon valley pretentious in that “we have created a new TERM for something so NEW”.

Some products do a good job of using various mechanics to help push you, but a pet peeve of mine is when people run with points, widgets, foofles, and other tactics that get in the way more than they help.

The latest example for me is Basis. I was looking forward to giving the watch a try as it had health data that I wanted to capture. Their mission is a good one:

To help fit health into our busy lives. We want to help people become the best possible versions of themselves, every day.

I got it setup and wanted to configure my “habits” across sleep, walking, running etc, but quickly got hit by:

The Basis app dashboard

Notice the “Earn 100 points to unlock this Habit Slot”. Are you kidding me? I can’t setup another habit until I unlock a slot with points? How long is it going to take 1o0 points?

This isn’t a game. It is my health. If I want to add a habit LET ME ADD ONE.

I know that this shouldn’t piss me off this much, but man. If people want to use game mechanics to make themselves exercise more etc awesome, all for it, but don’t force it on me.

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