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game mechanics: make it fun!

on May 17th, 2010 at 8:12:05 PM
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Screenshot of Icon Buffet

Oh I played IconBuffet, oh I did! I love it. Anyone wanna swap me for Mallow Menagerie? It really appealed to the completionist collector in me. But I don't even know why I was collecting all those icons- I couldn't possibly use them all. I did fork over for a pro account to get some extra tokens. Read more about How to Build a Community with Icons. IconBuffet is from Firewheel Design which spawned Alamofire.

It seems now that everything doesn't have to be so serious. It's OK to have fun. GigaOm posits the popularity of games like Warcraft have made games a larger part of our culture. Huffington Post is offering reader badges based on activity on their site. Mashable points out that even Mint.com makes finances social and FUN. Fun? http://www.mint.com/features/graphs/

In a recent article in Mashable: Top 5 Ways to Make Your Site More Fun the author, Gabe Zichermann, describes five different game ideas used online:

  1. Points
  2. Leaderboards
  3. Badges
  4. Challenges
  5. Levels

Game modules in Drupal

on Drupal Everything Create User Behavior lists some modules which can be used for gaming your site or service:

Motivating learners with game mechanics

Companies are looking at game mechanics to drive "loyalty and engagement". But could it be used in the learning environment? A group of researcher/professors at NC State University are developing an environment to teach programming. Students earn points on code submissions according to coding standards which are peer-reviewed; and give points on the quality of the reviews. A third party rates both the submissions and reviews. Now they're developing a leaderboard. The system they're developing is called Expertiza. [1] This is a good example where the game mechanics are used to promote behavior: in this case, coding to standards, and giivng good reviews.

[1] Gehringer, E. F., Droujkova, M., Gummadi, A., and Nallapeta, M. 2009. Work in progress - game mechanics and social networking for co-production of course materials. In Proceedings of the 39th IEEE international Conference on Frontiers in Education Conference (San Antonio, Texas, USA, October 18 - 21, 2009). IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, 1456-1457.