In my research into applications of gamification I recently read this:
On its surface, gamification si simply the use of game mechanics to make learning and instruction more fun. It seems “fake” artificial or like a shortcut. It’s not. Underneath the surface is the idea of engagement, story, autonomy, and meaning. Games give experience meaning, they provide a set of boundaries within a “safe” environment to explore, think and “try things out.” Games Provide motivation to succeed and reduce the sting of failure.
Despite the many grammatical flaws in the quotation, the central point remains valid. Gamification reflects a fundamental change in how people are understanding their environments. We no longer tolerate unstructured environments, instead we demand a goal, and tools to approach that goal. Gamification is about making the process of achieving that goal useful.
Gamification is all about giving people a goal, and the tools to proceed towards that goal. When it is abused we see credit card companies getting people to pursue points, when it is used judiciously we see people coming to love the adventure of learning.
"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work."Richard Bach