The difference between games and gamification

I have a difficult time with the term “gamification” unless it’s used in the proper context. This article from MindShift does a great job defining gamification and outlining the differences between video games and gamification.

Games, like simulations, are rule-based. But more so than gamified activities and simulations, there’s usually a strong emphasis on beating the game: that is, playing and winning.

“You, as the user, are intrinsically interested in the play experience. If you are engaged at that level, all games have the potential to teach,” notes 360KID’s Traylor. “Good play equals good learning. One example of where learning games tend to go wrong is when game developers apply an A-B-A-B approach to gaming. First you start off by offering some engaging gaming content (A), then you switch to some educational content you must get through in order to return to the game (B).

“That’s the chocolate-and-broccoli approach to gaming. Successful learning games seamlessly integrate learning content into the gaming experience,” he says.

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