I casually mentioned to my husband tonight that I needed a quest log for my course work. I play a couple of video games (mostly Skyrim and World of Warcraft) and I love completing tasks and earning achievements—I thrive on it. Just one more quest… I can’t say I have the same enthusiasm for the numerous readings, assignments, and various other components of my classes (did I really just admit that on my blog for one of these said classes?).

He told me that I should look up gamification of homework. Apparently, gamification is a real thing and has been since 2002 when the term was coined by Nick Pelling.

Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, ROI, data quality, timeliness, and learning (Gamification, 2013).

Seth Priebatsch, head of SCVNGR, gave an interesting TED Talk about the game layer back in 2010. He suggests that the last decade was all about the social. There is still a lot to explore, but the basic framework is there. The social layer is about connections. This next decade is about the game layer. The game layer is about influence.

He also talked about four elements of gaming:

  1. The appointment: having to do something at a predefined time, in a predefined place to get a reward(example: happy hour)
  2. Influence and status (example: badges)
  3. Progression dynamic (being only 75% of a full person in LinkedIn)
  4. Communal discoveries: everyone works together to discover something (Digg)

This is something I want to come back to and explore with more of a library professional perspective. I think there are merits to gamifying the library and other organizations and it is worth exploring. For now, excuse me while I go gamify my homework.

Read more on Gamification:

Gamification (2013). In Wikipedia Retrieved February 16, 2013, from

5 responses to “Gamification

  1. Lindsey Krabbenhoft

    I just attended the iSchool Conference down in Fort Worth, Texas and learned all about gamification there. I too had no idea what it was when I first heard the term! One really interesting project presented at the Social Media Expo came from the Singapore Management University where a team of students combined “social media together with gamification to promote Korean culture.” They created an app which allows users to use gamification to learn the Korean language. Just imagine listening and singing along to Psy’s Gangnam Style and then being scored on your pronunciation and pitch. Here is a link (let me know if it doesn’t work) to their abstract and submission video:

    • Thanks for the link, Lindsey! It was really enjoyed their video explanation. It also ties into the practice of watching movies and listening to music to learn a language, which I think is interesting in and of itself.

  2. I had never heard about gamification before. I wish I could use it to make some tasks more interesting, but I don’t like video games either. Is there something like “moviefication”? I could really use something like that!

  3. I’ve never heard of the term before either, but it seems like great concept! I think homework is going to become a lot more rewarding now….I’ll have to try and gamify it a bit.

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