Gameful design could be a useful way of engaging users with an information system and it is applicable to a wide range of contexts including work places and education.
My understanding thus far… In business it is most commonly used in sales and marketing since that lends itself naturally to the concept of leader boards, scores, badges, rewards and positive feedback. However the game design concepts are also used in ‘customer relationship management system (CRM) to support relationship marketing, i.e., creating a personal connection between the company and its customers through value creation, multichannel integration, and information management (Payne & Frow, 2006).
The example given by Monu&Ralph (2013) is of the Nike app which gives Nike valuable information about their customers while giving customers activity reports, personal progress information and competition/ comparative information.
In education games are used in varying ways and with varying degrees of success. Traditionally the drill and practice serious games have been quite widely accepted, however introducing gameful design to other information systems may be quite challenging.
Firstly, it is vital to be very clear on the objectives and desired outcomes, identify desired behaviours and then devise rewards which will appeal to users to produce the outcomes and behaviours. This requires an intimate knowledge of the learners and the context and the curriculum. The user is all important since it is their interaction with the “game” which will to a large extent determine the success of the experience.
Secondly implementing the mechanics of gameful design can be both daunting, challenging and time consuming.
- Educators need to be very aware of establishing a clear goal/purpose in order to move the experience from play as described by Deterding et al. (2011) as free form, improvisational and expressive, to gaming, which is more structured, rule bound and goal directed.
- Educators need to consider the degree to which technology will mediate the experience
- “Successfully gamifying work for diverse individuals may require appealing to diverse player motivations.” (Monu &Ralph, 2013, p 5). As a result, educators need to consider this in the design in order to engage all learners and avoid isolating some.
The potential of this approach is wide ranging and impressive, personally I am very excited and motivated by the concept. The challenges are not insurmountable in education however it always seems to go back to the same issue…teachers attitudes, appropriate training and support… for it to be widely accepted and successful.
Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/63520492
In my searches I found this LMS, which is marketing itself as embracing gameful design… at a glance, it certainly looks interesting. It may be a good indication of software designers responding to the increasing demand.
Monu, K., & Ralph, P. (2013). Beyond gamification: Implications of purposeful games for the information systems discipline. arXiv:1308.1042 [cs]. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.1042