It’s interesting that my iPad wants to correct ‘gamification‘ to ‘ramification‘, as it’s the ramifications of such trends that are on my mind this week. We are all subject to the latest trends, the latest buzzwords, concepts and fads, myself particularly in the world of new gadgets and technology. My failed Playbook lies beside Playstations (1, 2 and 3), various Gameboys and an old PowerMac (still running after eight years).
There is nothing wrong with fads of course, it’s how things change: we try new ideas out and use an evolutionary process to decide what to keep. We adapt what we do, what we know, and forge forwards. Gamification is one of those trends: a term much used, both by people who want to sell you something and people who shape the strategy that makes you want to buy it, but what does it mean for learning, how is it having an impact in the real world and, most importantly, why don’t i feel i know enough about it to have an opinion?
Whilst gamification is everywhere, it’s strangely nowhere too. There’s a lot of talk, but not a whole great deal of substance: at least, beyond adding league tables at the end of courses and saying that everything is ‘gamified‘. Are people doing great work, but it’s just not visible, or is there a whole great deal of inflated hype with very few people actually knowing what they’re talking about? Or is this a slow trend, one that is still finding it’s way, one that is working out what works, what’s quantifiable in terms of delivering results into business, one that is emerging?
I want to spend some time over the next few months exploring this trend in detail, by reaching out to my own personal learning network to speak to practitioners and theorists. I’m keen to built a community narrative around the subject: this approach has worked well around social learning and the piece i’m currently writing up around ‘music in learning’, so it’s an approach i want to replicate here.
Gamification ties into all the best things we can observe in the social and entertainment worlds: collaboration, competition, engagement. The ploughing in of untold hours to complete challenges (and that’s just my Halo career).
If you have experience around gamification, if you have been bitten by the bug or just bitten by the fad, do share your thoughts. You can do that by joining in the Research Forum, or by posting your comments here.
Clark Quinn has already shared an article he wrote in 2011 exploring this topic, and it’s a great place to start. If you don’t already subscribe to his ‘learnlets’, they’re a constant source of interest to me.