Gamification Articles, Studies, & Events
James Riggall from HITLab Australia offered up a few links to Gamification-related articles, talks, and papers. Mentions the cynicism among some in academia about the concept being marketing-speak. Again, when Gartner reports that 50% of future innovation will be gameified then I think we’re close to the peak hype.
Nothing here exercise-related, I believe.
From: James Riggall <email@example.com>
Date: May 9, 2011 9:45:17 PM PDT
Subject: Gamification Primer
I’ve been involved in email correspondence with one of Angela Thomas’ PhD students over the past week or so. He is working on a PhD project which will involve using gamification in primary schools to help with the teaching of persuasive writing.
During the course of these discussions, I have sent a number of emails that have included links to content on the web that concerns gamification and gives (in my opinion) a good overview of some of the major trends in academia at the moment in that space.
As some of you have shown an interest in this topic over recent weeks, I thought it would be worthwhile to pass these emails on to you. Feel free to disregard this if it’s not of any interest to you. Likewise, if you think the emails may be of interest to your colleagues, feel free to pass them on to other interested people.
————— Forwarded message —————
From: James Riggall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 8 May 2011 23:21
Subject: Re: A Few Gamification Links
Hello Again Damon,
It seems gamification related stuff is coming my way daily at the moment.
This one is a masters thesis on the topic, published a couple of days ago. No idea if it’s actually any good (I haven’t read it myself and probably won’t read it closely, to be honest), but even if it’s some kind of disaster, you should gain value from skimming the reference list.
To link directly to the document, you can use this: http://is.gd/IpQnLF
My source is a comment on Rock Paper Shotgun: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/05/08/the-sunday-papers-169/#comment-683905
On 7 May 2011 23:17, James Riggall <email@example.com> wrote:
You may also enjoy this Extra Credits video from a couple of days ago. Much lighter than the last few videos I’ve sent you, but it’s good content.
On 6 May 2011 11:00, James Riggall <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Hi Damon,
Richard Bartle’s talk from yesterday has been posted online here:
The recording quality is pretty low, but it’s watchable enough that you can get the content out of it.
On 5 May 2011 02:02, James Riggall <email@example.com> wrote:Hi Damon,
I enjoyed talking with you the other day.
The purpose of this email is mostly to pass on some materials that you may find useful when you’re thinking about Gamification and how you might structure a research topic around it.
As I mentioned when we met yesterday, gamification is quite a contentious topic in academia at the moment. The marketing guys in industry love it, business schools are getting interested and it’s starting to make in-roads into other faculties. All of that said, some influential thinkers who work in fields such as videogame theory, media studies and philosophy tend to be quite a bit more cynical about gamification as a general concept.
What follows are a few resources that I think give a good overview of gamification from some influential game designers and academics. This should flesh out that side of the debate for you quite nicely and bring you up to speed with a lot of the threads of my own thinking on the topic as well.
Jesse Schell @ DICE 2010
Jesse Schell’s DICE presentation from last year.
This is a provocative, rather than descriptive talk. Schell doesn’t really commit to any of the ideas that he puts forward in this talk, but is really putting forward some contentious ideas to spark discussion. It’s a fun talk to engage with.
And, Schell succeeded in sparking a lot of discussion. The reaction to this talk is one of the first times that gamification really leaped into the foreground of the various videogame blogs. The guys at Critical Distance have put together a critical collection of the various responses to Schell’s talk.
You can find that collection online here:
Jane McGonigal @ GDC 2011
Jane McGonigal gave a talk a couple of months ago about gamification titled “We don’t need no stinking badges: how to reinvent reality without gamification”. Her talk isn’t necessarily negative about gamification itself, but it does give valuable insight into some of the ways through which gamification might be used more effectively; or, perhaps more specifically, how the term might be redefined to make it more useful.
This talk was part of a gamification day at the Serious Games Summit (serious game is another term that videogame academics sometimes take issue with =P). I’m not as familiar with other talks in the series, but you may find them to be of value as well.
There’s a list of the talks that occurred on the day is available here:
Note that this is just the schedule. Not all of those will have videos available online, those that do, you should be able to Google for and find fairly easily. You might also find Googling the names of the various speakers to be a valuable exercise.
Ian Bogost on Gamaustra
Today, Ian Bogost wrote a few pages about gamification on Gamasutra. His analysis sums up a lot of my own misgivings about the fundamental concept. He’s one of the more vocal cynics in the community, but his voice carries a fair bit of weight.
It’s important to be aware of the various criticisms that people like Bogost are making, as it will help you to recognise where the strengths of an idea such as gamification lie and where the weaknesses are. Hopefully, being aware of both sides of this debate will give you the tools you need to design and implement some really interesting learning tools.
Richard Bartle @ Digital Shoreditch
Richard Bartle spoke on the topic this evening at a conference in the UK (I’ve just finished watching it). It was live streamed but I don’t believe a video will be made available for download, so I can’t point you at a video to watch. If I hear that the slides have been posted online I’ll shoot them your way.
Someone did post a photo of his concluding slide to Twitter (http://twitpic.com/4t9ob4). The gist of that is: Gamification will not be ubiquitous after five years; the more it happens the less effective it becomes. He does suggest that the next few years will involve a lot of people making a lot of money on gamification, but he sees it as a fad rather than a fundamental shift in the way the world works for the long term.
The point in sending critical material such as this your way is not to discourage you from engaging with gamification, but simply to ensure that you’re aware of some of the more controversial claims that are tied up in the basic gamification concept. For my own part, I truly believe that games have an important role to play in the future of education. “Gamification”…well, that, I’m not so sure about. It’s an open question though, and a field that warrants further investigation.
Let me know if you’d like to chat with me further about anything. Once I hear from you with some further details about what you hope to do, I’ll start talking to students and drum up some volunteers for us to sit down with and discuss the mechanics of the project in greater detail.
I hope the materials I’ve linked above are useful to you. :)
Have a good one,
Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITLab) Australia
School of Computing and Information Systems
University of Tasmania
Locked Bag 1359
Launceston Tas 7250
phone: +61 3 6324 3976