A Field Guide to Game-Based Learning
Chapter 7. Gamification and Quest-Based Learning
Gamification can turn a nongame activity into a game. Shopping is one example. People often return to stores not for products, but for experiences. I could drink coffee almost anywhere, yet I often frequent Starbucks. When I enter a store, I am greeted with the smell of freshly ground coffee and hipster music. The machines behind the counter are positioned to enable the baristas to face the customers. I can pay for my drink using the Starbucks app on my iPhone: All I have to do is shake the phone at the register. In exchange for purchasing coffee, I am awarded stars. The hope is that I “level up” from “green stars” to “gold stars.” The app includes other free rewards every week, such as a song from iTunes or a free game. There is even the fun mechanic of shaking my phone to pay. The store is filled with positive aesthetics, and I am moved along with a reward system (stars). Clearly there is more at work here than just a cup of coffee.
According to a Pew Internet & American Life Project report, gamification is “interactive online design that plays on people’s competitive instincts and often incorporates the use of rewards to drive action—these include virtual rewards such as points, payments, badges, discounts, and free gifts; and status indicators such as friend counts, re-tweets, leader boards, achievement data, progress bars, and the ability to level up” (Anderson & Rainie, 2012). ← 121 | 122 → Designers often mix...
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