Gamificaiton! Whee!

I absolutely adore the gamification of everyday things. Especially when they are everyday things that I would prefer not to do—like working out! I’ve gotten my burn calorie up by dancing to “Star Wars Kinect—Galactic dance off,” “Just Dance” 1-4, and “Kinectimals.” I was an avid player of Wii Fitness (with my Wii board). And now I even have my own Fitbit. Which is little more than a glorified pedometer. However, it connects me to a fit community and puts in me competition with my friends. Sure, I’m really only supposed to be competing against myself. But you better believe I hate being 7th in line (which I am right now because the last few weeks have been sitting down and doing school work). I was super excited to read about the app “Zombies, run!” What an awesome idea! I hate running! But I’d run away from virtual zombies! Sadly, my ipod is too out dated for such a game. Perhaps when I upgrade, I will get something that can accommodate.

I have been enjoying the reading of The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education, by Karl Kapp. It’s interesting to break down the concepts that I grown up with as a kid and analyze what components came together and kept me so engaged for hours on end.

With the technology that’s currently available, there is so much more available to teachers who are wishing to create an engaging vehicle for our students. However, with higher tech comes more difficulty as well in the department of aesthetics—kids these days are just pickier!!! MS-DOS games are laughable to them and games such as ZORK (which contained no graphics whatsoever and was a type only RPG) are unbelieaveable. Students even questioned the quality of “Minecraft” solely based on its blocky looks.

Kids React to Minecraft– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1tBXe0JGyc

I’m very happy to see how teachers are currently using video games in their classrooms, and not just in the area of math. The teacher in this article is using a game to help bring his immigrant students together in their learning regardless of their educational background.

NY Teacher uses video game to encourage learning– http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ny-teacher-turns-to-video-games-to-encourage-learning/

The concept of game replayability really stuck with me. Video games are expensive. There’s a sense to want it to be worth your while. Just like a good book, gamers like a game that they can go back to and easily recommend to others. Personally, I like a game with a great story line and options that affect the outcome. Games such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins, and Heavy Rain do this in spades! I honestly have played DA:O over 6 different times just to see all the variations that can occur. Imagine being able to put this into an educational sense! I’m still getting an understanding of how to harness that type of engagement, but I feel like I’m getting closer. Here’s a list of some of the top listed replayable video games (be advised: it is a gaming site, and some of the language and ads even are meant for adults). Hopefully by studying the list, and I get a better idea of the common thread that makes them so enjoyable.

21 most replayable games of the 2000’s– http://whatculture.com/gaming/21-replayable-video-games-2000s.php

So here we go again, on yet another epic technological adventure! I’m super excited about delving into gaming and education. And I’m super excited to utilize it on my classroom of guinea pigs…er, students!

References

CBS news. (2014). NY teacher turns to video games to encourage learning. Accessed at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ny-teacher-turns-to-video-games-to-encourage-learning/

Kapp, K. (). The Gamification of Learning and Instruction : Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education
. Ebscohost.

The Fine Brother. (2011). Kids react to minecraft. Accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1tBXe0JGyc

Whatculture.com. (2014). 21 most replayable games of 2000’s. Accessed at http://whatculture.com/gaming/21-replayable-video-games-2000s.php

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Gamificaiton! Whee!

  1. rockislandtechie

    So many fun things to check out after reading your blog! I’m the same way; sometimes I hear about a new app, tech product, or game, and I really want to check it out, but my mind also tries to find other ways that concept or product can be applied. I think it’s also a good practice, to place new ideas and products into your professional life and really think about how to apply something across different disciplines. I’m just starting my EdTech experience and I’m “fast-tracking” it over the next two years, so I know I’m in for a crazy ride, but it was encouraging to hear how much courses and being in the program has stayed with you and reinforced your personal and professional passions! I “replay” a lot of things, I re-read books I’ve read so many times, binge re-watch my favorite tv series that have been cancelled, and of course re-play my favorite games, which tells me that students could possibly enjoy the experience of building on prior knowledge and experiences through games. Trying and trying and going back and playing stages to get practice and re-aquaint themselves with game play is a good thing in learning too! I think if younger gamers were more interested in the game elements, they might appreciate why we find those “old” games so entertaining! I’m looking forward to reading about the minecraft game in your group!

  2. Thanks for addressing what I consider to be a perfect fit for Minecraft and ELL students!

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