One topic that has sparked my interest in the past week or so is that of gamification, particularly in how it relates to education. Gamification simply refers to the use of game design and mechanics in non-game settings, with the aim of getting individuals to engage in a particular topic or learn new skills.
Games offer a kind of engagement that rarely happens in our schools or workplaces. Jane McGonigal, in her book Reality is Broken, argues that the tasks players undertake in the gaming world often feel more meaningful than the work they carry out in their real lives. As a result, people tend to be more curious, determined, optimistic, and resilient to failure when they are playing games. Many educators are therefore interested in bringing this mind-set to the education system.