Is It Dangerous?

In our July 9 post we introduced the idea of gamification as a form of manipulation.

This time we ponder: Is gamification always a good thing?

In her blog post “Gamification Can Kill,” blogger Nicole Lazzaro — founder & president of XEODesign, Inc., and player experience design expert —  wrote that gamification can kill the intended positive outcome.  She describes a gamification attempt to shape driver behavior on the Bay Bridge that produced unintended negative consequences.

Throwing game elements at a process or task doesn’t always work as expected.  As educators we have to think through some of the latest instructional strategies that purport to make learning “fun” to ensure that learning goals are met.  Or at lease experiment with these new strategies to find out if they actually help our learners.  Students can recognize the difference between an engaging game and a learning exercise that is dressed in game clothing.  If if the game is poorly conceived, it wastes everyone’s time and educates no one.

Gamification should be used responsibly — or not used at all.

Your thoughts?