Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 15 - Gamification

Gamification is a concept, which is not exclusive of education. Some researchers generically defined it as “the use of game design elements and game mechanics in non-game contexts” This broad definition has been further refined to reflect the most common objective of gamification: increase user experience and engagement with a system. It is important to note that Games and Gamification are two different things! (Deterding, Dixon, Khaled & Nacke, 2011).
Gamified Services
Huotari & Hamari (2011) outline some ways in which services have been gamified

Core serviceEnhancing serviceGamified service
  • LinkedInprofile
  • Progress bar measuring progress in filling personal details
  • The enhancing service increases the perceived value of filling all details by invoking progress-related psychological biases.
  • Cafe
  • Mayorship competition in Foursquare  
  • The enhancing service creates a competition between customers where they have to visit the cafe frequently enough → competition
  • Dry cleaner
  • Loyalty stamp card - 1 stamp for every visit
  • The enhancing service invokes the psychological biases related to progress and thus increases the perceived value of using the same dry cleaner service.
  • Gym
  • Heya Heya
  • Gym experience that sets goals and help to monitor the progress of the training.

Game mechanics
In his video (on the portal) Seth Priebatsch described the four game mechanics of appointment, influence and status, progression and communal discovery. Badgeville (n.d.) outline a large number of game mechanics:

  • Achievements 
  • Appointments 
  • Behavioral Momentum 
  • Blissful Productivity 
  • Bonuses 
  • Cascading Information Theory 
  • Combos 
  • Community Collaboration  
  • Countdown 
  • Discovery 
  • Epic Meaning 
  • Free Lunch 
  • Infinite Gameplay         
  • Levels 
  • Loss Aversion 
  • Lottery  
  • Ownership 
  • Points 
  • Progression 
  • Quests 
  • Reward Schedules         
  • Status 
  • Urgent Optimism 
  • Virality 

Professional leadership games
Gamification has been applied to leadership in some organisations One example is the NTT Data Ignite Leadership Game that addresses five key skills for leaders
time management
change management
problem solving

Deloitte's Leadership Learning Motivator includes sharing badges on professional networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Meister (2013) provides some more detail on both games, while Bodnar (2014) explores some of the key concepts in more depth, including some discussion around whether the same motivational game mechanics work across cultures.
Seven principles of game-based design
These principles are outlined on the Quest to Learn website (Quest To Learn, n.d.)
Everyone is a participant
Learning happens by doing
Feedback is immediate and ongoing
Failure is reframed as “iteration”
Everything is interconnected
It kind of feels like play

Game thinking
Marczewski (2016) explores the following types of game thinking:
Game inspired design: This is where no actual elements from games are used, just ideas such as user interfaces that mimic those from games, design or artwork that is inspired by games or the way things are written.
Gamification: Extrinsic gamification is the sort that most people are used to, where game elements are added to a system. Things like points, badges, progress bars etc.Intrinsic gamification is more about using motivation and behavioural design to engage users.
Serious games: These may be teaching/learning games that teach you something using real gameplay, simulators that provide a virtual version of something from the real world that allows safe practice and testing, meaningful games that use gameplay to promote a meaningful message to the player, or purposeful games that create direct real world outcomes.
Play (games / toys): Play is free form and has no extrinsically imposed goals. It is done for fun or joy. Games add defined goals and rules to play (such as challenges). Toys are objects that can be used in play or games.
Some examples of serious games
Sparx ( )
Quest2teach ( ).
Tinnitus game (
Cancer Research UK's game Play to Cure: Genes in Space (
Educational game model
According to Amory (2007), Educational computer games should:
Be relevant, explorative, emotive and engaging
Include complex challenges, puzzles or quests
Be gender-inclusive and non-confrontational
Provide appropriate role models
Develop democracy and social capital through dialogue
Support authentic learning activities
Support the construction of tacit knowledge

Educational games need all the usual qualities of games, plus they should not contain any socially undesirable features (racism. sexism, violence, etc) but provide positive models, plus they have to have some embedded pedagogy. Maybe this explains why successful educational games are so hard to create.
Kupu Hono
You can try out a basic demo of Tyne Crow’s Kupu Hono Maori language learning game at
This is an example of a learning game designed for mobile devices that uses a virtual game world.
Flow theory
Flow experience is widely accepted to be one of the fundamental reasons that people play games. It is the essence of games. For game designers, the question is not whether flow is important, but, rather, how long you can keep your players in flow (Murphy, 2011).
Game creation tools
One of the tools that could be used with students to create their own games is Gamefroot. There is a video in the portal about how one teacher used Gamefroot for assessment.
Mobile Learning Tools
A number of tools have been developed for mobile devices that support game-like learning experiences linked to exploring outdoor environments. They include such features as competing individuals / teams, ‘treasure hunt’ style activities, scores/ badges for achievement and leader boards. Some examples of this type of tool include:

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