Posted by: Ryc0v on May 30, 2011
My previous article explained some incentives and bonuses that this approach could garner, with teamwork bringing about class bonuses, and even modifiers to your "experience points" (essentially a less punitive gauge of course perf0rmance).
Before I continue with this however, I thought it might be interesting to mention that several leading Game Designers despise gamification totally, believing that subverting
gaming concepts and techniques to "Sell stuff" is revolting, and demeans the art form of modern gaming. Food for thought!
Gamification is, as explained by Escapist Magazine, an opportunity to several alter children with poor agency's life-perspectives (this refers to how much power they feel they have over their lives, and is directly linked to planning for the future, and personal ambition)/ By offering easily identifiable and tangible rewards, in the form of a constant point rating, and encouraging peer-to-peer assistance, pupil agency increased, because they can perceive their successes and weaknesses immediately. This is possible because in a game, the relationship between action and consequence occurs on a much shorter scale. There isn't a 12 year space before you realise whether you used your school years properly or not, you can plan and test variables, and have results within an hour. Imagine you could test every action's result, using your imagination? Well this is something people with agency do automatically, but those with fear of the future, and crippling uncertainty, have to suffer along without really being able to act sensibly in accordance with their future prospects.
This increased agency is a critical skill for the modern student, the power to cover and study topics outside of the syllabus, and promotes concepts like Life Long Learning.
Escapist magazine uses the wikipedia linking game as an example, where you click random article, and then try to get to a chosen article in as short a "link-route" as possible. I'll do it now, let's say I want to get to World War 2. I started with:
The Six Dollar Fifty Man
and moved on to
Cannes Film Festival
World War II
A very simple example, but when you are using a more obscure topic, it requires the student to really read a great deal of "foundation" knowledge before they reach the topic they are required to research. Back soon with some more unusual instances of Gamification, time to put some distance between the more conventional topics such as Foursquare.