Gamification is a bit of buzz word. But what is it? And how can you use it to help transform elearning into a much more powerful tool?
And can gamification really make you run faster?
[For bonus points – read the very last paragraph in this blog now.]
Here’s one definition of gamification:
Game elements + Game design techniques in Non-game contexts
In basic terms it’s about selecting elements of games, and how those games are designed, and putting these two things in a situation where you might not expect to find a game. For example in a course about health and safety.
Nike did this to help sell trainers.
First they put tracking technology in their running shoes, then they created an app that recorded people’s personal data on how far they ran. Finally they allowed people to set personal targets on running their fastest mile.
And, excuse the pun, people ran with it. It’s a popular app because it’s become a bit of ‘game’ to run as fast as you can. The reward in this case being personal satisfaction, though Nike added other game elements like badges and leader boards to the mix to allow people to share their results.
So like Nike, if you can add game elements to your course, and wrap them up in design techniques you’ll have gamified your elearning – well, you’ll nearly have gamified. One other major component of gamification is FUN!
Games are designed systematically, purposefully, for the aim of being fun.
The very last paragraph…
If you’re reading this paragraph when prompted I just scratched your human itch for finding out ‘why’ – something gamification leverages to push you to act. And HA it worked!
Be sure to check back next week for the next instalment. If you can’t wait till then here’s a TED talk on how gaming can make a better word.