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Gamification for a better world!

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March 15, 2020

1+1=2

However, the Greek philosopher Aristotle supported that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

For example, in the following picture there are several dots. These dots make great sense when they are connected. Individually they are just spots.

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Here is another example. In the following sketch we can see some mechanical pieces. These pieces make a more detailed image when they are together. Separately, they are only a bunch of screws and gears.

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In my opinion this principle applies also in Gamification too.

Gamification is not just entertainment + traditional education.

Gamification is much more than this.

  • Gamification is about participating in an activity and being excited about it.
  • Gamification is about immersing yourself to this activity and lose the sense of time and space.
  • Gamification is a package of different things. Engagement, fun, excitement, challenge, rewards, all are components of gamification.

Today, though, I would like to speak for a specific application of gamification.

How we can make good use of gamification in order to improve ourselves and change the world.

Gamification has been greatly adopted the last years by educational institutions and the corporate world. However, wouldn’t it be great to embrace gamification for other good purposes?

Here is a list of some good practices. The inspirers of the following projects motivated people to participate using elements of gamification:

  • The Speed Camera Lottery is a project implemented in Stockholm in order to prevent drivers from exceed the speed limit. The concept is that drivers who obey the speed limit enter into a lottery and win money. The money from this project is raised by fines which were given to drivers who exceeded the limit.
  • Many energy companies have developed applications with which customers can measure their energy consumption. Using these applications, clients can track down their consumption, compare it with others and gain benefits while saving energy.
  • Other companies implemented same practices in order to invite citizens to recycle, gain rewarding points and redeem them for goods.
  • The website Zamzee invites children to be more physical active, preventing them from obesity. Kids who participate in Zamzee use a tracker to record their steps and their activity gets rewarded. Similar projects motivate adults to work out.
  • A Canada-based agency developed the Pain Squad Mobile App. This app helps kids with cancer record their pain while providing valuable data to the researchers of the hospital.

I don’t know to what extent all these practices are successful in order to change our world. However, I guess that we can start from small changes to end up eventually in huge results.

Change the world may doesn’t sound easy, but I suppose this would be easier if we had a little fun!

Please share other good practices of gamification that you may know or ideas about how we could make the world a better place by embracing gamification.

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IFIGENEIA TSOLAKI
France

Hi! My name is Ifigeneia and I am an instructional designer and e-learning expert. I have been working for a variety of fields and projects, including academia, formal education, lifelong learning and HR trainings. Coming from a creative background, with a rich experience on puppetry, stop-motion and game design, I advocate for creative and intrinsically motivating learning experiences in every project I work on.