I’m presenting some new work next week, a session entitled ‘Beyond Badges: Game Dynamics in Learning‘. As i pull that session together, i’m refining some of my earlier work and finding the right framework to present it in. I’ve settled on contrasting Game Mechanics (stuff that we do within games), with Game Dynamics (underlying concepts and social frameworks that power the game).
For example: game mechanics may be ‘scoring‘ things, ‘moving‘ things, ‘shooting‘ things and ‘building‘ things. By contrast, game dynamics may be ‘sense of loss‘, ‘resource marshalling‘, ‘facing adversity‘, ‘identifying risk‘. It’s an inexact differentiation, i realise, but my hypothesis is this: much gamification in organisational learning tends towards mechanics, which make it look great, but possibly at the cost of the underlying dynamics, which are what really matter.
Great games will be designed to mirror and reflect facets of the real world, providing rehearsal spaces to prototype and explore new behaviours. That’s the thrust of what i’m rehearsing for next week as i #WorkOutLoud today.