Here are four papers, articles, and/or chapters that discuss various aspects of gamification and what it means to education, learning and the public in general. WARNING–There is not a general consensus among these articles…that’s exactly why I collected these different views.
The first article is from an online journal called GAME. Here is a description of the journal– “G|A|M|E is a journal dedicated to a comparative, critical and theoretical analysis of videogames”
The article from this journal is called +10! Gamification and deGamification
In the article, the authors provide insight into several different ways in which individuals and organizations have defined “Gamification”. The author, Ivan Mosca (Università di Torino), writes
…some authors define gamification as A) a process of market expansion, which transforms non-players in players (or non-gamers in gamers) and non-games in games. According to others, gamification is B) the expansion of a ludic property, the so-called pointsification, toward non-ludic contexts. Finally, there are those who define gamification as C) a broad cultural phenomenon that can criticize consumerism by promoting it (McGonigal, 2011).
The second article is From Game Design Elements to Gamefulness: Defining “Gamification” by Sebastian Deterding, Dan Dixon, Rilla Khaled, and Lennart Nacke. This article does a nice job of distinguishing between serious games, toys, playful design and gamification. I think Figure 1 and Figure 2 in the article are helpful for thinking about gamification vs. other game-like experiences.
The third paper is Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother? and was written by Joey J. Lee and Jessica Hammer. This paper, focused on games and gamification in schools, tackles the question how can gamification encourage student motivation and engagment? Does gamification provide an opportunity to help schools solve difficult problems related to motivation and engagement.
The fourth item is the first chapter in The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. This chapter provides a broad definition of gamification and argues that gamification and serious games are not that different. Chapter One: What is Gamification.