This week on the Gamification Roundup, we have news on gamification as a means of growth (and decline) in a number of different topics: “Healthy Competition” is taking on a whole new meaning as companies pit employees against themselves for health, Sandra Day ‘O Connor creates a SimCity-like game to teach local government, Striiv addicts you to gaming for your own health and for charity, AJ Sweatt talks about how gamification can improve the state of the manufacturing industry, and one school’s experience with Operation Lapis explains how game-based learning isn’t always so good. Read the full roundup after the jump.
Taking “Healthy Competition” to the Next Level – Wall Street Journal, May 1
The WSJ has an excellent article outlining a number of ways companies and health insurers are incentivizing healthy actions by pitting employees against each other in health competitions. Citing examples from Aetna, Monsanto, AOL, and many more, the article goes through the myriad of successes that have been achieved through this competition strategy. It’s not all good though: the article warns that forced competition could make employees feel like they are being manipulated.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Creates an Education Game – TheHill, May 3
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day ‘O Connor has created an educational game about local government with the help of her iCivics group and the National Association of Counties. Called Counties Work, the game is a SimCity like town-simulation in which kids have to allocate resources and use the correct government agencies to keep the town running and under control. Designed for kids in grades 6 through 12, the game has already won the American Society of Association Executives’ 2012 Gold Circle Award for Innovative Communications
Striiv: a Game you Want to Be Addicted to – Fast Company, April 30
Striiv is a standalone tic-tac box sized device containing a very addictive game similar to FarmVille. In order to play and use currency in the game, the user must walk and earn points based on the number of steps he/she takes as measured by the onboard pedometer. The user also has the option of putting their acquired currency towards charities, like rainforest conservation in Tanzania or polio immunization for kids around the world. Awesome little device for those looking for more than just data as a means of motivation.
Improving Manufacturing with Gamification – AJSweatt Blog, May 1
I’ve yet to see much about gamification in the manufacturing world but AJ Sweatt has come up with a list of 5 ways gamification can help the state of the manufacturing industry. Other than the standard gains gamification can bring to productivity and marketing, Sweatt proposes that gamification can assist in greatly improving science and math education, making employees more skilled, and even promoting the image of the manufacturing industry.
Potential Downfalls of Game-Based Learning – MindShift, May 3
We all want to believe that games make learning more fun and engaging but it would be blind to not consider how it can fail. MindShift looks at one school’s experience of using Operation Lapis to teach Latin. Some teachers reported success but others found that dealing with the game actually resulted in more work to be done. Some students failed out of the class because of an unwillingness to participate and other classes found the difficulty to be inconsistent with the students’ learning level. Other problems included teacher’s difficulty with grading assignments due to technical hindrances and difficulty keeping up with how much more work the game generated. Do the benefits outweigh the negatives?
Image (CC) - StephenMitchell