Summary: Gamification describes the process of applying game-related principles — particularly those relating to user experience and engagement — to non-game contexts such as education.
Originators and Key Contributors: In 1980, Thomas Malone published the study “What Makes Things to Learn: A Study of Intrinsically Motivating Computer Games.” Later, in 2002, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, based in Washington D.C., established the Serious Games Initiative to explore the application of game principles to public policy issues. From that initiative, gamification for education emerged and gradually evolved into a field of study. The term gamification was coined in 2003 by Nick Pelling. Today, many game researchers including Katie Salen, founder of the Quest to Learn public school, Jane McGonigal, Director of Game Research and Development at the Institute for the Future, and Joey J. Lee, Director of the Games Research Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University, have extended serious advancements in the application of gamification (or “gameful thinking”) to educational contexts.
Keywords: gamification, education, learning, classroom, engagement, motivation