Introduction: Gamification

While the concept of making tasks more fun and game-like is by no means new, the term gamification appeared at the end of the 2000s as a way to describe the use of some gaming mechanics into non-game contexts like the business world. Often this includes badge and point systems, but can include other game elements as well. This concept now expands beyond corporations to everything from classrooms to cooking apps. Its fast and ubiquitous spread seems to only continue into the future, even as many of these endeavors are projected to fail. Gamification is certainly not without its critics, who argue that gamification oversimplifies or limits the ways in which games affect learning and engagement, both in theory and practice. As with many hyped terms in new media, the term gamification itself seems to be slipping as corporate structures look for other ways to reframe incentivizing programs.

For this three-week survey, the front page specifically asks how gamification affects learning. We have invited scholars of games and education to weigh in on the possibilities and limitations of gamification. Their responses focus on gamification in academic settings like classrooms and conferences, but also in other contexts where learning through discipline is necessary.

We invite you to join us as we analyze the ways gamification is applied. Join us in the discussion on the site itself through the comments. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on all of MediaCommons’ content.

Week 1 Sept 9-13

Wendi Sierra,  St. John Fisher College

Catrina Mitchum, Old Dominion University

Jamie Henthorn, Old Dominion University

Danielle Roney, Roach Old Dominion University


Week 2 Sept 16-20

Kevin Werbach, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Alexandrina Agloro, University of Sothern California

Zoe Corwin, University of Southern California

Jeff Watson, OCAD University


Week 3 Sept 23-27

Richard Landers, Old Dominion University

Matt Beale, Old Dominion University

Sean Duncan, Indiana University

Andres Lombana-Bermudez, University of Texas-Austin


Images from Steven-L-Johnson available on Flickr and uses with CC License. Collage made through photvisi.

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