I remember reading multiple times that Beeminder (or at least the Beeminder staff) were opposed to “gamification”. Could anyone comment on why, or perhaps more importantly, what you mean by “gamification” in this context? It strikes me as a bit weird since to me, Beeminder is a game, although it’s so free-form it’s perhaps more similar to Nomic than it is to more common games.


If I had to take a guess, I would start from the idea that “gamification” often involves trying to provide fake rewards for activities (in the form of game points/ levels/ cool hats/ etc) – but the reward for succeeding at your Beeminder goal is succeeding at your Beeminder goal. Imposing a game-based set of incentives and values could distract from the inherent value in your goals.

For me Beeminder is very ungamelike, because I experience it as an extended conversation between my past, present, and future selves. Beeminder goals are all about maintaining priorities and making my values explicit to myself. Keeping up with a Beeminder goal for any reason other than “I want to accomplish these things” would feel like Beeminder was backfiring for me.

I know a lot of people have different experiences, though, so I’d actually be very curious to hear opposing views!


Good question. I dug up a previous thread where I tried to answer:


Also I found this (HT @Brian_Ball) which claims that Beeminder satisfies Core Drives 2 and 8, gamification-wise: