Third, a game that is organization-centered rather than user-centered can be worse than no game at all. A game with organization-centered design uses external rewards to increase the organization’s bottom line in the short term.3 Games designed this way attempt to control behavior with rewards. Once users feel the game is playing them rather than they are playing the game, however, they are likely to have a negative feeling towards the game and the organization.
In this early stage of gamification, it will be useful to remember that gamification doesn’t necessarily require complicated technology or huge investment. For example, you can run a successful game in your library instruction class with a pencil and paper. How about rewarding your library patrons who write to your library’s Facebook page and get most “likes” by other patrons? Or perhaps, a library can surprise and delight the first library patron who checks in your library’s Foursquare or Yelp page by offering a free coffee coupon at the library coffeeshop or simply awarding the Early-Bird badge? In gamification, imagination and creativity can go a long way
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To her, the equipment was nothing much more than a set of new tools to support questioning, exploring and creating. She fully expected that her students would make great gains on the tests recently introduced and causing panic across her state.
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So we slowly encouraged him to participate in creating content around games. He began writing game reviews and learned how to build new levels for games. He started creating a real community around games and contributing to that knowledge space. He was blogging about games but also challenged himself to become a better writer. He was part of a group of gamers that decided they wanted to design and build a prototype game controller, and by working with our mentors, they learned about the principles of design and actually built a prototype.
We wanted a space that had a real curriculum. Even little things like having food in the space were so important in the design. It’s their space and they are not shy about talking to us about the resources they want to see. They drive what we do. Just recently we changed the way we designed the geeking out part of YOUmedia -- the more formal learning opportunities -- to make it fit what the youth were interested in instead of what we thought they were interested in. We offer project-based workshops to provide context for the work, but it’s up to them on how they decide to enter into those projects.
It turns to another conversation we were just having about how we balance a kid who's spending every night in YOUmedia with needing to get his homework done. Clearly he wants to learn in the way he is learning in YOUmedia. I think it is up to us to work with our schools so we can think of new ways to illustrate achievement and skills. Working on things such as a badge system could help make that connection back to the classroom.
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While reading Toni Morrison’s book, A Mercy, we had the designers redesign the book jacket; we had the musicians make beats and spoken word artists put a piece behind that music; and we had photographers reimagine scenes in the book that were meaningful to them. We took this model and made a curriculum around it. Kids talk about how they worked collaboratively to create really beautiful pieces of art around the themes in the book