When I go to a cafe I want a cup of coffee. I already know how to order it. I already know the social convention of going to a counter and paying for it. I don’t necessarily think they should try to make that core experience into a game somehow.
Good games have interesting choices and compelling narratives. The gamification movement is focusing on the reward system, not the meat that makes good games good.
And, actually, when I go to a cafe, I’m already playing a game. Is it crowded? Maybe I should order a mocha instead of an americano so I don’t have to deal with the milk and sugar counter. What’s the most optimal way to get the best damn cup o joe I can?
I don’t want them to introduce underlying rules to what’s optimal. I don’t want them to dictate what gets rewarded, pushing me in a set direction. I want freedom to play the game the way I want to play.
When you realize that many parts of life… maybe all life… is a game, it’s very empowering. All you have to do is learn the rules. Then you can push and poke at those rules until you succeed. And by “success” I just mean you have agency in determining your own goals and getting what you want out of life. You have the power to create your own personal compelling narrative.