This week we focused our attention on a new concept that would lead to the completion of our next scenario: Gamification. Gamification is the use of game design elements and mechanics in different contexts, in order to increase the engagement and motivation of learners. We were given plenty of examples of how this would work, for example:
- Feedback/progress – e.g. a progress bar to show how far you’ve come in the game, and how much is left
- Time pressure – e.g. giving players a time limit to focus on the target
- Competition – e.g. allows people to compete against others and win rewards
- Levels – e.g. set levels and goals to achieve to progress through the game
One major example our lecturer gave, was Duolingo, a popular language learning application. I have actually been learning Spanish this way, and I have found it amazing, and really helpful for learning something from scratch. The only Spanish I knew previously was hello, goodbye, and how are you, so the amount I have learned in a quite short amount of time, I’m surprised and really satisfied with. This uses many of the elements mentioned above that make the experience gamified. The Gamified UK website has a long list of other mechanics that can support different game designs.
Our lecturer also took us through different gaming user types, theorised by Andrzej Marczewski, which explain the different types of gamer, and the purpose of their gameplay. For example; achievers, who want to learn new things and want challenges in order to improve themselves; and free spirits, who want to create and explore new things.
When carrying out our scenario for this, we will have to think about all of these different contexts and elements for the purpose of our game. At the moment, I can’t think of any ideas for the scenario, and I can’t get past the amazing ways Duolingo teaches people new languages. We shall see next week when we get together as a group if we can come up with something different to help people.