The use of the tools which gamification puts within our reach allows for a fun way of learning, an enhanced management of complexity and creates loyalty among our users.

You can follow the previous articles in this series on gamification in Oscar Garcia-Pañellas blog. Together with us, discover the exciting use of the tools this process provides us.

2500 XP. Let’s see what some outstanding Game Masters (researchers) have to say about gamification and the mechanics of play:

Melinda Jackson claims that the use of these kinds of tools allows us to learn faster (it transfers the knowledge to us directly) since we are able to extract meaning from complex data sets, in addition to being able to manipulate and touch them.

According to the Game Designer Ian Schreiber, the rules for a “fun way of learning” or fun stuff are the possibility of exploring (in our virtual world), the guarantee that a social experience is provided, the existence of an inventory (collections of objects that serve a purpose), the possibility of perceiving some kind of physical sensation, solving puzzles (active learning, brain stimulation) and the possibility to compete (we like to stand out) and improve our wealth (albeit virtual).

According to Kurt Squire, different gaming experiences with different “playabilities” allow players (users /pupils) to learn to manage complexity. The person immersed in the simulation experience continually monitors his or her environment and decides (reassigns) the goals to be addressed in real time, depending on the signals received from the environment. Patterns are detected and times evaluated, again in real time, thanks to the signals received (causing emotional responses in the player).

Clark Aldrich, guru creator of the world’s first leadership simulator (Virtual Leader) says that a good simulator is essentially an educational tool. The rules of “playability” don’t necessarily have to be linear and will depend on the decisions of each user at every moment. All in real time, facilitating the existence of groups, making it possible to customize the content and ensuring that the user, sorry, the player, practices it by himself. Pure learning by doing.

I am concluding with Jesse Schell, who I have referred to in a previous blog. Undoubtedly, a simulator is a video game, or the latter, a particular case of the former, which should be enjoyed at will by all users (we could call them players). In it, you will find a set of goals to be resolved via the presentation of a given conflict (historical, learning, skill, social) always applying the set of rules defined a priori.

These goals can be achieved, or not (winning as opposed to losing), and always interactively (communication is a two-way cyclic process in which two entities speak-think-listen repeatedly, as Chris Crawford, who was at Atari for quite a few years, so aptly puts it). The challenges will facilitate loyalty among our users thanks to the clearly endogenous nature of the virtual world to be designed. That is to say, the virtual world in which I am immersed has meaning and coherence in itself and gives me the opportunity to enjoy another role and to strive to achieve certain goals.

4000 XP. Many games, such as Risk or Monopoly, and video games, like Civilization Revolution, Battlefield 3, The Sims 3: Vaya Fauna or AfterZoom, which, by the way, is a Spanish title, can also be used as potent simulators to teach math, history, chemistry or operational planning. We also have serious games that were created in that spirit. They tend to be allocated a lower budget because the market is growing but is still somewhat uncertain. Examples include Math Blaster, by Knowledge Adventure, Inc (math), Re-Mission, by Pamela Kato (it helps in the recovery from childhood cancer), Medieval Dublin: From Vikings to Tudors by Dublinia (culture and history), or the simulator by Siqur, created in our country (risk prevention).

This text forms part of the article Mission: I gamify, you gamify, she gamifies published by Dr. Oscar García Pañella, Senior Gamification Consultant at Cookie Box, for the journal  CatEconòmica nº515 .