What is Gamification?

So I’ve been using Coursera for the last couple of weeks and it’s been awesome (I’m doing Intro to Finance). I decided that I wanted to learn something new to complement my finance course and scrolled through and found a course that is going to be offered by UPenn called Gamification. And I was instantly psyched, because this is a topic that is very in sync with what’s happening right now. All over the world, millions of children play games, whether it’s board games or digital games, or rock, paper, scissors. What Gamification does is study how games influence different aspects of life and then identifies how we can use gaming techniques and ideas in other different fields, like business and education.

I’m definitely taking this course, and in fact previewed one of the videos, on The History of Gamification. In the video, Prof. Kevin Werbach explained the earliest known origins of gamification, which in fact, is heavily tied up in advertising. When I was a kid, I would buy boxes of cereal just to get movie toy figures because of the latest blockbuster, like Ice Age in Chocos. That’s how gamification works: motivate individuals with things like rewards, points, trophies, badges etc so that it influences consumers to buy more, or employees to work harder.

The preview video showed me links to other videos that were similarly informative:

Jesse Schell’s DICE 2010 talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLwskDkDPUE&feature=relmfu (Part 1, you can find the other parts in the related videos section)

Jane McGonigal’s TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE1DuBesGYM

I also saw an amazing short film a couple of weeks back that simulates how integrated games can be in our real lives, the core idea behind gamification. It’s called Sight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK_cdkpazjI

I personally think gamification is a double edged sword because it can lead to a Terminator-like future. And I also think that gamification could make me a more consistent blogger. What do you think?

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