The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation just announced a recent round of inestments with a larg portion of the US$20 million going towards developing learning tools. The Gates Foundation is partnering with The Pearson Foundation, Digital Youth Network, and many otheres to develop gamified learning experiences for children.
In response to an earlier article in Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera’s The Stream interviewed Jane McGonigal with a discussion on terrorism and gamification. Gamification is fundamentally a process of including game-elements outside of games, “when you start using this for bad, the implications… can be extraordinary.” Jane McGonigal is not excited about having “more motivated, more optimistic, and more engaged people thinking about terrorism.” The conclusion is that we must be thoughtful and ethical in everything we do, including gamification.
With the Gates Foundation and programs like the Khan Academy giving their attention to educating children through gamification, advertisers are also following the pack. A recent New York Times article by Matt Richtel took a comprehensive look at advergaming aimed at children, and here Libe Goad of ZDNet asks whether this is an example of gamification gone wrong. “Is it OK for children, who might not understand the difference between a cool game experience and advertising, to be the target of such effective marketing?”
Gamification and the science of engagement are beginning to go mainstream as the Enterprise Engagement Alliance (EEA) plans to launch a formal curriculum and certification program. “EEA designed the program specifically to help individuals and organizations create actionable engagement strategies and will address economics and metrics, critical implementation steps, and required tools for engagement strategies.” The EEA has been working in customer and employee engagement for a while now. It will be interesting to see how it engages with gamification.
Working through my own emails have been a pain. Luckily there is a solution: FastCo Design covers “The Email Game” that transforms the process of working through your incoming email list into “something more adrenalizing, like speed chess”. The more emails you knock down, the more points you earn. FastCo is a fan, and we are excited to try it out.
From Gamification.Co this week we announced our upcoming Gamification Summit here in New York, also Gabe Zichermann’s article on the “Purpose of gamificaiton” has been buzzing. Although we covered it earlier, it continues to be a hot topic. If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to take a look.
Also on the radar: What Can Terrorists Learn from Video Games?,