What are Gaming and Gamification?


The gaming culture is growing to include a substantial sector of the world’s population, with the age of the average gamer lowering each passing year. A 2012 survey conducted by the Entertainment Software Association showed that the age demographic of game players in the U.S. is split in almost equal thirds with people ages 18-35 representing 31% of gamers. As tablets and smartphones have proliferated, desktop and laptop computers, television sets, and gaming consoles are no longer the only way to connect with competitors online, making game-play a portable activity that can happen in a diverse array of settings. Gaming has traversed the realm of recreation and has infiltrated the worlds of commerce, productivity, and education, proving to be a useful training and motivation tool. While a growing number of educational institutions and programs are experimenting with game-play, there has also been increased attention surrounding gamification — the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios. Businesses have largely embraced gamification to design work incentive programs and mobile apps that engage employees through rewards, leader boards, and badges. Although still in its nascent stages, the gamification of education is gaining further support among researchers and educators who recognize that games stimulate productivity and creative inquiry among learners.



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