On the one hand, I can see your point. On the other, systems of ranks have been used in all types of environments to not only reward, but also recognize, incentivize hard work, and increase interest. Correctly implemented, it can indeed foster positive growth and engagement. Having badges as a measure of progress and participation can help us gauge ourselves. Instead of thinking of "gaming" in the negative light, we can rather learn about it's power and effectiveness (see "gamification" in the educational research community) for learning, engagement, and professional improvement. The scientific community shows that gaming has powerful implications for the future of technology and education. I know that gaming have always had a bad rap, but it's not all "fun and games". See this interesting Ted Talk:
Sort of related to the badges - what are the "ranks" and what do they signify? I was a Viewer II when I logged in earlier today - now I am a Reader I. (EDIT: After posting, now I'm a Newcomer I! Huh?) Is that a good thing? What is the difference between viewing and reading? I have seen Viewers, Readers, Newcomers and Contributors out here so far, with trailing Roman numerals I, II or III. And the all-powerful (I'm guessing) Community Managers, with no "leveling" needed.
If these are supposed to be sign posts in this community, I'd like to request a road map, please!
We don't share the algorithm for how ranking works, but we have just published the list of the ranks that you can work your way through as you participate in the Community.
I like the badges and can also understand how someone can be bothered by them. But, if that is the worst thing about this website, that it gives out badges, is that really all that bad?
I am far from a millennial but I like the badges, so it does work on the older population and not just work on the millennial generation!
After watching that TED video I am glad I played video games growing up.
and yet at the same time, shows absolutely nothing about how useful, entertaining, educational, thoughtful the posts are. Just that they posted lots, and lots of people hit the button.