it seems difficult to conclude otherwise...love it or hate it, "gamification" is becoming "the way." yes, of course game mechanics tap into basic human psychology and have been used for years to get people to buy stuff and perhaps to do more than they would have done without the "game." but as the article demonstrates, the money-makers are catching on to ways to make it even more prevalent and more widely applicable. there is another ton of evidence just a few Google searches away.... not just the money-makers, but the movers-n-shakers as well: US Govt's "No Child Left Behind" and "Race to the Top" for examples. and in education. not educational games, but real gamification of the school curriculum. i am trying to persuade educators and educational theorists to embrace the change and incorporated the game dynamics into the curriculum....to help transform the drudgery of traditional school learning into a challenging and rewarding set of interactions, behaviors, and progressions that make schooling more relevant to life, more fun, and less of a beatdown for so many students. i am a high school math teacher and curriculum theorist. i'd like to contribute to getting this education thing right! RKing
Hugh Pickens writes "JP Mangalindan writes that for years psychologists have studied what makes video games so engrossing — why do players spend hours accruing virtual points working towards intangible rewards and what characteristics make some games more addictive than others? Now, companies are realizing that 'gamification' — using the same mechanics that hook gamers — is an effective way to generate business. For example, when Nike released Nike + in 2008, it 'gamified' exercise. 'Place the pedometer in a pair of (Nike) sneaks and it monitors distance, pace and calories burned, transmitting that data to the user's iPod. The Nike software loaded on the iPod will then "reward" users if they reach a milestone,' writes Mangalindan. 'If a runner beats his 5-mile distance record, an audio clip from Tour de France cycling champ Lance Armstrong congratulates him.' In addition, users can upload their information, discuss achievements online with other users, and challenge them to distance or speed competitions. The result: to date, Nike has moved well over 1.3 million Nike + units."