Gamification. What makes our life a computer game?
Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in a context unrelated to games, aimed at engaging people, motivating them to act, stimulating them to learn and solve problems while achieving the desired behavior or other goals.
The mechanics known from games used for gamification of projects include:
- tasks and challenges for participants or groups;
- a progress bar or other form of presentation of how close the person is to complete the task of moving to the next level;
- achievement badges – completed tasks or challenges;
- levels of difficulty/development (achieving the first tasks is very simple, as the experience of the participant’s increases, the level of difficulty of the tasks increases, with time it is necessary to involve more participants to complete certain tasks);
- individual and group competition;
- cooperation of participants to achieve a common goal;
- rankings (people and groups of people);
- points – a virtual currency awarded for completing tasks (the number of points awarded is proportional to the difficulty of the task and its importance for the author of the project);
- virtual items;
- a system of rewarding, exchanging, collecting, gifting others to raise the status of participants or tighten social ties within the project (element supporting the virality of the project);
- a communication system between participants – forums, e-mails, chats (they support building social bonds between participants).
Gamification has been applied to almost every aspect of life. Examples of gamification in a business context are the US Army, which uses America’s Army military simulator as a recruitment tool. Another example can be seen in the American education system. Students are classified in their class based on their average grade point (GPA), which is comparable to getting a high score in video games. Students may also receive incentives such as Dean Honors, Honor List, and Scholarships that are synonymous with advancing a character in a video game or earning virtual currency or tools that increase their success in the game.
It is worth remembering that gamification has its supporters and opponents. It is not difficult to find articles about the disadvantages of using game elements in education or work. It is worth bearing this in mind and taking a critical approach to certain issues.
Reiners, Torsten; Wood, Lincoln C. (2014-11-22). Gamification in education and business. Reiners, Torsten,, Wood, Lincoln C. Cham, SwitzerlandSebastian Deterding, Dan Dixon, Rilla Khaled, and Lennart Nacke. 2011. From game design elements to gamefulness: defining “gamification”. In Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments (MindTrek ’11). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 9–15. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/2181037.2181040