Strategies for Meaningful Gamification

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These are the slides from a talk I gave at the Meaningful Play conference at 2012. The full paper behind the slides can be found at

Transcript of Strategies for Meaningful Gamification

  • 1. Strategies for Meaningful Gamification: Concepts behind Transformative Play and Participatory Museums Scott Nicholson @snicholson Syracuse University School of Information Studies Because Play Matters game lab
  • 2. Overview Meaningful Gamification Concepts of Play Participatory Museum Strategies for Meaningful Gamification @snicholson
  • 3. Gamification The use of game design elements in non- game contexts (Deterding et al, 2011, p. 1) Most common game design elements = scoring systems @snicholson
  • 4. BLAP Gamification Badges Levels & Leaderboards Achievements Points @snicholson
  • 5. The Secret of External Rewards Once you start giving someone a reward, you have to keep her in that reward loop forever. Zichermann & Cunningham, Gamification by Design. Fine for skill building or short-term events Problematic for long-term behavioral change @snicholson
  • 6. Meaningful Gamification Theoretical Framework Self-Determination Theory / Organismic Integration Theory Situational Relevance Universal Design for Learning Player-Created Content User-Centered Design @snicholson
  • 7. @snicholson CC Canadian Coast Guard on Flickr
  • 8. Meaningful Gamification The use of user-centered game design elements in non-game contexts Instead of organization-centered Use rewards sparingly if at all Focus on helping user find meaning in non-game context through game elements Allow user to set goals and create their own experience @snicholson
  • 9. Solving for Play Game = Play + Goals + Structure Game Play = Goals + Structure = BLAP Gamification Play = Game (Goals + Structure) Think about the PLAY and PLAYer @snicholson
  • 10. What is Play? Features instead of definition Common features Voluntary Exploration / Improvisation Constraints Catalyst for learning @snicholson
  • 11. Stages of Play (Eberle) Anticipation Surprise Pleasure Understanding Strength Poise Cycle -> Transformative @snicholson
  • 12. TransformationJesse Schell: Serious Games Transformative Games @snicholson
  • 13. Transformative Transformative Gamification The use of transformative game design elements in non-game contexts Transformative Play Transformative Learning @snicholson
  • 14. Transformative Learning (Mezirow) Breaking Boundary Structures Disorienting experience Recognition of others Create a plan Acquire new skills / knowledge Raise self-confidence @snicholson
  • 15. Ludic Learning Spaces (Kolb & Kolb) "free and safe space that provides the opportunity for individuals to play with their potentials and ultimately commit themselves to learn, develop, and grow" (2010, 27) Play + Constraints @snicholson
  • 16. Participatory Museums @snicholson
  • 17. Adult Play Concepts from Participatory Museums Roleplay Experimentation Collaboration Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Personalized experience Public vs. Private choices Optional @snicholson
  • 18. Challenges from Science Museum Design Balance open play with directions Immediate apprehendability Connection of abstractions to real world Play spaces to engage instead of exhibits to observe @snicholson
  • 19. Strategies for Meaningful Gamification Focus on information-based play elements Optional (JP Dyson) Improvisation/Exploration within constraints Play vs. Games Example: Removing rewards from summer reading programs @snicholson
  • 20. Strategies for Meaningful Gamification Create transformative opportunities through participatory activities Engagement on both intellectual and emotional level Facilitate play activities and reflection Roleplay activities with consequences Create and share content, goals with others Example: Nike +, SCVNGR @snicholson
  • 21. Strategies for Meaningful Gamification Thinking in three dimensions (Eberle) How would the gamification system work in the physical space? Creating active play instead of passive observation Using real-life metaphors Creating rings of activities instead of lists Create spaces for social engagement Example: Online classroom @snicholson
  • 22. Summary Facilitate user making meaningful connections Focus on engaging play and games instead of rewards and points Reflection and sharing is as important as doing Create spaces for voluntary exploration @snicholson
  • 23. For More Information Because Play Matters game lab http://becauseplaymatters.com @snicholson