While contributors appreciate attribution, and can earn status from the quality or quantity of their work, explicit gamification and badging are not essential to successful crowdsourcing. In fact they are potentially disastrous if enforced when the project’s goal is one that contributors already admire, such as free education or advancing science.
Status and badges motivate some people, and creating and awarding badges is an opportunity for creative expression and social interaction. Designed well, badges can direct competitive instincts into collaborative behaviour. Then again, personalities differ: badges that appeal to one contributor might seem offensively infantile to another.