Should manufacturing industry sponsor eSports to fight skills gap?

Should manufacturing industry sponsor eSports to fight skills gapThe manufacturing industry has a big problem. The youth of today see manufacturing as a dirty and uncomfortable work environment and would rather work somewhere else. The result is that too few young people choose to pursue careers in engineering, machining, or welding, and of the young people who have skills that are applicable to multiple industries, such as software designers, too few consider manufacturing industry as a primary career choice.

In his presentation at Manufacturing Performance Days in June this year, Professor Marco Taisch argued that the issue begins already from the way science is taught and appreciated in elementary school. If that is the case, then the needed changes are quite fundamental. However, problem-solving often consists of both short-term and long-term solutions, and in this post I am more concerned in more short-term solutions, namely, how to reach teenagers and college students and change their view of manufacturing. Can eSports offer a venue to changing their opinions?

Continue reading “Should manufacturing industry sponsor eSports to fight skills gap?”

Manipulation of book review rankings at Amazon

Manipulation of book review rankings at AmazonReviews have been one of Amazon’s strengths and one of its problems for a long time. The issues around fake reviews are rather well known and covered extensively in traditional media as well (here is a New York Times piece on those issues and Amazon’s attempts to solve them).

However, there is also another, less thoroughly covered story of Amazon review manipulation: the helpful or non-helpful review vote. Anyone can vote for or against a review with the simple click of a button, and this affects how reviews are displayed on the page. This feature is nowadays extensively used for manipulation of review rankings on product pages.

Continue reading “Manipulation of book review rankings at Amazon”

Bartle player types, Yee’s motivations, and self-determination theory

Bartle player types, Yee's motivations, and self-determination theoryThis post stems from two sources. On one hand, Daniel Pink’s Drive has brought variations of self-determination theory of motivation into the mainstream. On the other hand, everyone in the gamification scene is building varieties of Bartle player types to explain motivation. Can these two be brought together?

Actually, Andrzej Marczewski has already done something like that with his user types, but in this post I want to dig a bit deeper into the theoretical basis of doing so. We’ll get back to the user types later, but first we need to venture into Nick Yee’s well-known paper, Motivations of Play in MMORPGs: Results from a Factor Analytic Approach.

Continue reading “Bartle player types, Yee’s motivations, and self-determination theory”