Fighting the Need to Chase Badges

While out with Jason last week to watch Doctor Strange (see it, not your typical superhero movie and I’m not a superhero movie fan), we had a beer, of course. After logging the beer in Untappd, I got a “Riding Steady” badge. And unlike other times when achieving this goal or discovering a new badge, it barely registered.

Later in the meal, I was a little proud of myself for no longer getting so excited about new badges. Untappd had an anniversary last month and I really do like this app, less for the social and more for the cataloging of beer.

Much has been written about the gamification of beer drinking. And not just biggies like Beer Advocate but other bloggers have this topic well covered. For me, I’m not sure if it’s gamification as much as that completist mentality. But making a challenge out of social drinking isn’t new to me.

I work in tech marketing. And from reading any of these posts you could debate if I’m good at marketing in general. But gamification and just appealing to people that want to “run the course” is very much a marketing program that works well. It’s become essential to any tech that’s linked to social growth, largely for no reason other than to have it, even if it doesn’t make sense on the surface. But it is a marketing program I understand and can get behind in business, which is also why I’m proud I am no longer so emotional about Untappd badges.

I still endorse Untappd for it’s overall beer log and encyclopedic nature. But my early days of drinking six of the same beers in a row just to get a badge have faded. Or so it seems until they make a badge about coping with the election results, because I’d be level 20 for that.


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