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Some may wonder: "What exactly is gamification?" That's a good question and in a nutshell it is using game design techniques and mechanics for non-game ends. Gamification is "interactive online design that plays on people's competitive instincts and often incorporates the use of rewards to drive action." These rewards are often virtual points, payments, badges, discounts, "free" gifts or status indicators. The phenomenon of gamification is on the rise, and this research report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project explores this rather interesting trend. Released in May 2012, the report, authored by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie, uses a range of survey questions and studies to look into how this trend may positively affect education, health, business, and training. The report also quotes experts and study participants to better understand how gamification may also lead to "invisible, insidious behavioral manipulation."
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