What are Games and Gamification?


The games culture has grown to include a substantial proportion of the world’s population, with the age of the average gamer increasing with each passing year. A 2012 survey conducted by the Entertainment Software Association showed that the age demographic of game players in the U.S. is split in almost equal thirds with people ages 18-35 representing 31% of gamers, along with roughly equal proportions among those younger than 18 and those older than 35. As tablets and smartphones have proliferated, desktop and laptop computers, television sets, and gaming consoles are no longer the only way to connect with competitors online, making game-play a portable activity that can happen in a diverse array of settings. Game play has long moved on from simply recreation and has found considerable traction in the worlds of commerce, productivity, and education as a useful (and engaging) training and motivation tool. While a growing number of educational institutions and programs are experimenting with game-play, there has also been increased attention surrounding gamification — the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios. Businesses have embraced gamification as a way to design incentive programs that engage employees through rewards, leader boards, and badges, often with a mobile component. Although more nascent than in military or industry settings, the gamification of education is gaining support among researchers and educators who recognize that it is well established that effectively designed games can stimulate large gains in productivity and creativity among learners.


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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Games and gamification are excellent at showing how to motivate. For example several games makes sure there are several difficulty levels when you enter. Empowering the pupil to make the choice. This in itself could be motivating. Most games are also very good at linking progression and rewards. This helps the pupils motivation and builds a stronger sense of mastery in the subjects.- jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Sep 17, 2013 - Liv.Dahlin Liv.Dahlin Sep 22, 2013
  • New cost effektiv plattforms for developing software, makes games relatated too learning more accesible for pupils and schools.- oystein.nilsen oystein.nilsen Sep 19, 2013
  • - sven.o.brekke sven.o.brekke Sep 8, 2013 I work in secondary school in Norway with pupils from 13-16 years old. I also have four sons between 13 and 19 years old. As a teacher and school-leader i have been disappointed on behalf of the Norwegian teachers regarding gaming. Disappointed because I find that far to many just vraise their finger and point out the problems connected with games. i am not saying that we should not take problems like Gaming as an addiction, and the fact that many children develops health issues due to too many hours in front of the screen, seriously. Nevertheless I do think professional teachers to a larger extent should find it very interesting that these games manage to pull the children through level after level and I found the article "A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool" by Judy Willies, very interesting indeed. Maybe this Dopamin rush can explain why the youngsters stick to their gaming for hours and hours. What if we could make learning paths in such a way, where the evaluation of the pupils progress, came immediately after giving the correct answer, triggering her to carry on. I am absolutely certain that there are huge benefits to traditional learning if we could provide schools with games like that.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Games are generally very good at linking the progression of difficulty with incentives and rewards. - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Sep 17, 2013
  • Gaming activities needs to be related to learning objectives. Talking together is important and here the teacher is critical - ingvill.rasmussen ingvill.rasmussen Sep 17, 2013
  • It is a well know fact that most games need powerful computers, not exactly what students use in schools in Norway. - Ann.Sorum.Michaelsen Ann.Sorum.Michaelsen Sep 20, 2013
  • - sven.o.brekke sven.o.brekke Sep 8, 2013 My school represented Norway in The European and Global forum Partners in Learning, hosted by Microsoft in Lisabon and Prague. Our project was called Trouble. http://youtu.be/uuMipzZ1kEA It included the use of the Xbox game "Guitar Hero". Many of the pupils couldnt play the real instrument but had great fun playing the melodies on the xbox game.(Some started out on the guitar hero and progressed into real instruments too) The teachers could play the tunes on real instruments, but not on the xbox. In the video you will see a scene where the teachers are playing on the Guitar Hero instruments. An important point to make, and that theme is missing, is the fact that something interesting happens when the teacher dare to engage in the pupils world! He dares to show the pupils that in this field I suck! Show me how to do this my dear pupils. Something very positive happens in the relationship between the teacher and the pupil. This is interesting and very important since the relationship between teacher and pupil is essential to the learning-process.
  • Missing research and systemic knowledge: The role of games in teaching and learning is a source of debate among many educators, researchers and in the popular press. Detractors and advocates have been discussing the influences and the potentials of games for quite some time, and we feel that sound evidence and informed advice on these topics is still very much needed. From new report from Futurelab: Key Findings: -The literature was split on the extent to which games can impact upon overall academic performance. -The studies consistently found that video games can impact positively on problem solving skills, motivation and engagement. However, it was unclear whether this impact could be sustained over time. -Despite some promising results, the current literature does not evidence adequately the presumed link between motivation, attitude to learning and learning outcomes. Overall, the strength of the evidence was often affected by the research design or lack of information about the research design.(ref: Perrotta, C., Featherstone, G., Aston, H. and Houghton, E. (2013). Game-based Learning: Latest Evidence and Future Directions (NFER Research Programme: Innovation in Education). Slough: NFER.) - morten.soby morten.soby Sep 25, 2013

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on Norwegian K-12 education?

  • Upper secondary schools are struggling with a high rate of drop-outs. Often the reason for dropping out is lack of motivation and having struggled for several years they don´t have the necessary knowledge to understand what they are taught. Giving them a chance to acquire that knowledge and at the same time giving them a sense of accomplishment and mastery would lower the rate of drop-outs. Games and gamification could be a way to do that. - jostein.kvisteroy jostein.kvisteroy Sep 17, 2013
  • Our students wrote a whole chapter about gaming to learn and there is now doubt it has a huge potential in motivating students and helping to create a more exciting learning environment. There are a lot of games for learning about social skills, historical events and teambuilding. - Ann.Sorum.Michaelsen Ann.Sorum.Michaelsen Sep 20, 2013 - Liv.Dahlin Liv.Dahlin Sep 22, 2013
  • add your response here

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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