Friday, May 18, 2012

Gamification

Here's a summary paragraph from an interesting study via Pew Internet on Gamification:
Tech stakeholders and analysts generally believe the use of game mechanics, feedback loops, and rewards will become more embedded in daily life by 2020, but they are split about how widely the trend will extend. Some say the move to implement more game elements in networked communications will be mostly positive, aiding education, health, business, and training. Some warn it can take the form of invisible, insidious behavioral manipulation.
The connection of games to task learning certainly has a lot to offer. I'm reminded of my son memorizing his simple math facts for addition and multiplication. This year in school, his teacher had the class competing in a math-style spelling B, head-to-head, trying to recall faster than their fellow classmates. He benefited, as did everyone in the class, in a huge way. Recall went through the roof, with his Teacher who'd been teaching for nearly 40 years stating that this game would now be a fixture in her classroom.

Digital? Hardly. It's simple human reaction, and a method of reinforced learning. But I have to think that in the proper hands, all styles of gaming -- real world or virtual -- have similar benefits to offer.

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