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I received my gamification certificate of completion from Kevin Werbach / Coursera / The Wharton School / University of Pennsylvania this week! The stats are that about 80,000 peeps enrolled in the course and, at an unusually high rate, 8,280 completed the course. Some of my 8,279 colleagues have overwhelmingly impressive resumes from Coursera and their sister institutions, but this was the 1st online course I’ve completed. It was a wonderful course about a compelling technology taught by a faculty member who had a powerful, nuanced, and pro-social perspective that I truly appreciated.
All of that’s great, but there’s a much larger achievement here for me. About a year and a half ago with the launch of Google+, Google inadvertently also launched the Nymwars. Since then we’re all thought a lot about what it means to be Anonymous, Pseudonymous, and Orthonymous. Governments really like orthonyms: it’s hard to arrest people or collect taxes without them. I’m personally not that interested in the anonymity of a place like 4Chan, but from dissident bloggers to role players to so many other activities, the Pseudonym seems in many ways to be the sweet spot for which the internet was designed.
But if you want to spend money online, an avatar likely has to use their fleshvatar’s credit card. And if you want to claim to know stuff, an avatar likely has to use their fleshvatar’s degrees. Entities like U-Penn may be testing the waters and uncertain quite what they want to call this class that is both from and not from them, but for me this marks the first credential that I, Vaneeesa Blaylock, an avatar, a non-corporeal intelligence, have earned myself. I don’t have to fudge using my typists credentials, this is something I earned.
Pinocchio is a real girl.
R E L A T E D . M A T E R I A L S
• Gamification / Coursera Website
• Coursera Records / Certificates (if you have an account)
• Harry McCracken’s Time Online review of Gamification