“Games,” defined as activities with goals and rules but which are amusing or designed for pleasure, have been used in EFL and ESL classrooms for decades now, and have spawned a wide range of useful…
What can we learn (and adopt) from Video Games?
In terms of (a), the videogame “ethos” applied to learning, the key points to keep in mind are to understand how people actually achieve success in videogames, and how (and why) people will continue to play a videogame over and over until they achieve their objective.
Failure is, by design, part of the game; you advance by failing, by understanding why you failed, and by taking corrective action on your next attempt (e.g. try and try again without stigma)Repetition breeds competence; it is not a function of intelligencePositive reinforcement all the timePositive stress (the thrill of challenge) vs. negative stress (the embarrassment of a low or failing grade)Level design: progress to the next level of a videogame is always a challenge, but an achievable one by anyone if enough time is spent on itProgress in the game = status enhancement within the game environmentSocial tools amplify the challenge and status advantages of progressing within the game (multiplayer gaming; leader boards; in-game chat; challenge-a-friend)
What are the key gamification components?
In terms of (b) above, the gamification ecosystem, this should include:
Points and achievement levels (instead of grades)A progressive difficulty curve (easy to “play,” difficult to master)Missions/ tasks / badges, so that most activity results in a rewardFeeback that errs on the side of reinforcement and avoids creating stressSocial sharing of rewards and challenge mechanisms among friends
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