Badges really are kind of juvenile. Makes me feel like I'm playing video games or Pokémon instead of discussing valid information security topics.
"Gotta catch them all!"
I'm betting they are just trying to engage the millennials (which I am a bit older than). I don't see a problem with it as these badges don't come with continuing education units they are just flair (blatant reference to Office Space). No harm no foul =) If it is a way to keep people engaged with a fun reward system it doesn't hurt anybody and IMHO.. will keep security professionals of all ages coming back.
I guess it is part of an industry trend , I agree it is "different" to see this concept of badges.
I mention it is a trend because , as an example , I did multiple certifications with Splunk this year and each one of them gave me a Badge I can use :
certified consultant badge , certified architect badge , certified administrater badge , certified sales engineer badge ....If we start to put them one next to the other , it will start to look like you say , very similar to badges earned on social video game profiles for participation/skills
The problem is that my OCD is going to kick in and I'll spend endless hours grinding for one more badge.
I get it though. Gotta engage the millennials.
Those of us who grew up before the World Wide Web became an everyday part of our lives might be tempted to dismiss the idea of badging. But consider that this is an idea that others (see the referenced millennials) in the workforce can quickly and easily identify, whether they are security professionals or not. In other words, it's not for the IA professional millennials, it's for the rest of the millennials in the workforce.
I don't mind it at all, this badge in particular just shows how many people read their emails and are involved in the community.
The people who don't come in during the timeframe may not have the time nor care to join the community, but if you have the badge....you can at a minimum see that the people are interested in being part of the community.
First impressions, you know.
I recently joined, and I really enjoy badges, but I get the feeling that "oh! Someone has a badge I don't have, how do I get it?" - kind of feeling.
Although as people has mentioned above, it gives you a picture on how active people are, and how interested they are in connecting with the rest of the community
We don't have a place where you can see all the available badges right now - but maybe in the future! We are adding new badges from time to time, as well, so keep an eye out