Four Articles & Papers Defining this thing called #Gamification

Here are four papers, articles, and/or chapters that discuss various aspects of gamification and what it means to education, learning and the public in general. WARNING–There is not a general consensus among these articles…that’s exactly why I collected these different views.

The first article is from an online journal called GAME. Here is a description of the journal– “G|A|M|E is a journal dedicated to a comparative, critical and theoretical analysis of videogames”

The article from this journal is called +10! Gamification and deGamification

In the article, the authors provide insight into several different ways in which individuals and organizations have defined “Gamification”. The author, Ivan Mosca (Università di Torino), writes

…some authors define gamification as A) a process of market expansion, which transforms non-players in players (or non-gamers in gamers) and non-games in games. According to others, gamification is B) the expansion of a ludic property, the so-called pointsification, toward non-ludic contexts. Finally, there are those who define gamification as C) a broad cultural phenomenon that can criticize consumerism by promoting it (McGonigal, 2011).

The second article is From Game Design Elements to Gamefulness: Defining “Gamification” by Sebastian Deterding, Dan Dixon, Rilla Khaled, and Lennart Nacke. This article does a nice job of distinguishing between serious games, toys, playful design and gamification. I think Figure 1 and Figure 2 in the article are helpful for thinking about gamification vs. other game-like experiences.

The third paper is Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother? and was written by Joey J. Lee and Jessica Hammer. This paper, focused on games and gamification in schools, tackles the question how can gamification encourage student motivation and engagment? Does gamification provide an opportunity to help schools solve difficult problems related to motivation and engagement.

The fourth item is the first chapter in The Gamification of Learning and Instruction. This chapter provides a broad definition of gamification and argues that gamification and serious games are not that different. Chapter One: What is Gamification.

Posted in: Design, Games

Leave a Comment (7) ↓


  1. karlkapp October 13, 2012

    The MOOC Gamification by Prof Werbach was an awesome course, very well done. And if you look on his bookshelf really close, you can see a copy of my “The Gamification of Learning and Instruction” exciting!

  2. Stephen October 13, 2012

    Just completed the Gamification course on that was run by Prof Keven Werbach. Great course and worth doing when it is available again.

  3. Jorge October 13, 2012

    Hi Karl, Thanks for another bright contribution to this interesting subject. Also thanks to Alex for the guide. I have been collecting gamification definitions for my research in gamification of education. Your last book is very important for this research. I have a list of several definitions and a survey running to find the prefered ones:

  4. Online Diploma October 13, 2012

    great information and inspiration, Also like to admire the time and effort you put into your blog.nice written and almost all significant information. I would like to see more posts like this.thanks

  5. Achint October 12, 2012

    Thanks Sir, for the interesting articles, they will help in deepening my knowledge in this field.
    I want to thank Alex, also for sharing the guide.

  6. karlkapp October 12, 2012

    Thanks, that guide looks very interesting, I’ll be downloading it and read through it. Thanks for the link, the free download and your work in compiling the information.

  7. Alex Reeve October 12, 2012

    Hi Karl. I’ve written a guide to game-based learning design which I thought you and your readers might find useful. This guide features lots of great GBL examples from the corporate and education sectors, and examines the use of avatars, virtual role-play, immersive environments, mobile games, reward systems and leader boards. It’s free to download from:

Karl Kapp
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