Gaming Education

A couple of ideas about gaming, gamification and the space between education.

Rather than just being a buzz word – the reason we should be looking at gamification is not to simply translate the mechanics of games into the education system but to learn how to develop our own. The games industry has turned the development and construction of digital experiences and user assessment into an art form.

Games moved beyond simple point scoring systems decades ago, education hasn’t. Games can map and spawn complex interaction models that reshape the personal experience, education can’t get past one size fits all. Games create immersive online environments that encourage social interaction, learning and development, the LMS just doesn’t. Game systems spawn spinoffs, derivatives, modifications and remixing, education as a whole can’t even get it’s head around this concept.

Let’s also be up front – copying and pasting gaming techniques, methods and processes won’t translate into better education. The fundamental drivers and values between the two are poles apart. You can’t just equate playing with learning, what drives someone to play is often the opposite of what motivates them to learn.

Education shouldn’t be trying to emulate gaming as the model, instead it needs to learn how to develop its own. It needs to fork the ideas, concepts and mechanics of gaming and then develop and adapt them to suit our context. This might lead to us needing to change a lot of the methods and metrics that are foundational to the current system, but Everything is a Remix.

What is valuable and should be learnt from gaming is how they trod the path to understand and incorporate increasing complexity into the experience from a practical and cultural perspective. Let’s not get diverted by cheap thrills and hi scores.


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