Gamification: Blurring the Boundary Between Gaming and Learning

7th Jan 2022 17:49 | all

The last two decades have seen an enormous surge in the number of games released. Gone are the days when SNES and the early Playstation consoles were affordable only to the affluent. Be it single player or multiplayer games, gaming has now reached a point where it's no longer a source of recreation that can only be enjoyed by hobbyists and elites. With such an increase in the number of games available to the general public, it's no surprise that gaming is starting to bleed over to other environments!


What's gamification?

Simply put, gamification refers to the act of using gaming elements and terminology in fields that are unrelated to it. For instance, you might have come across an avatar for a social media website like Reddit. This is a form of gamification. Another example would be a badge earned for running 5 miles in a day inside your steps-tracking mobile application. Yet another example would be the tier system in a casino which offers greater benefits to players who visit it frequently.


Improving Your Fitness One Frame at a Time!

Back in 2008, Nintendo released an exercise-sports-game called Wii Fit which marked a turning point for games as a medium for exercise. This revolutionary game had over forty mini games which served as short workouts for gamers and their families. Levels, high scores and badges were added to a person's profile for accomplishing certain feats within the application. Wii Fit had a sequel called Wii Fit U which was released for the Wii U console, and a spiritual successor called Ring Fit for the Switch.

When it comes to virtual reality, there are tons of fitness oriented games that serve to work the player's muscles. A prime example is Beat Saber - by slashing blocks at the rhythm of music, it serves as a good way to get some calisthenics workout from the comfort of your home. Heck, games such as Until You Fall and Pistol Whip offer some good workout despite being centered primarily towards the gamers.

An Engaging and Superior Approach to Learning.

In a world ravaged by the pandemic and constant lockdowns, e-learning has revealed itself to be a valid means of imparting any and all forms of academic lessons to students. But with e learning comes its fair share of trouble in the form of replicating a classroom and creating an interactive environment for students to embark on their quest to gain knowledge.

By incorporating the key factors of what makes video games fun, online learning can be made a lot more interesting for any eager scholar. Some study applications, for instance, award achievements to students when they meet certain criteria like scoring good grades on a test or for finishing a chapter. Levels are awarded to the user based on the number of courses finished and exams passed. This is precisely the method utilized by language learning applications such as Duolingo. Using flashcards for easy memorization of formulae and difficult words, making a leaderboard for players to showcase their academic prowess, and charting performance graphs are effective ways of integrating the enjoyable aspects of gaming into education and training.

Closure

One of the most popular games of all time, Minecraft, has seen tremendous use in the field of education. What it does is provide the player all the tools they need to create any structure, building or biome by their own hands. It fosters creativity and allows the player's imagination to run wild! It comes as no surprise that Minecraft has a dedicated player base of creators who love to spend weeks and sometimes, even months to craft towns or kingdoms. There are tons of online games available online that provide a balance of fun and learning by mixing elements of video games with subjects that may otherwise seem rather uninteresting. They showcase that gaming is not only a recreational tool but is also a multifaceted field that, if used properly, can exponentially boost productivity!

Published 7th Jan 2022 17:49, by JM

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