The Playful Educator

Gamification 2.0 and Game-Based Learning Design

Gamification is no longer just a buzzword; when our learners have easy access to digital entertainment and bite-sized content, we have to first compete for their attention before we can achieve retention, growth and development. And surely gamification should mean something more sophisticated than points, leaderboards and badges?

Thankfully, we have the best inspirations for us to reference - actual games and interactive media! When these mediums are designed to maximize engagement and enjoyment, they also provide the best source material for us to study - because as it turns out, player agency and student agency are almost one and the same!

Join us on a three-session adventure through the world of games, gamification and learning through play, and come out with a vision for your own teaching and working prototypes that you can take into your classroom!


  • Session 1

    Players vs. World

    “It should be the experience that is touching. What I strive for is to make the person playing the game the director.” - Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario Brothers

    We start our odyssey by going through some foundational principles in gamification and game design - player agency, player psychology, feedback loops and more - to understand the core of what drives players, and to draw some universal parallels between players and learners.

  • Session 2

    Theme vs. Mechanics

    “The golden rule of game design - finish your first level last.” - John Romero, Quake and Doom

    Just like good game design seamlessly guides players from the tutorial to taking down the final boss, good learning experience design is scaffolded and incorporates both intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation. In session two, we get hands on and start constructing our “levels” for learning.

  • Session 3

    Analogue vs. Digital

    "Our approach to making games is to find the fun first and then use the technology to enhance the fun." - Sid Meier, Civilization

    Process, tools, delivery. Now that we’ve set our visions, objectives and foundations, it’s time to start thinking about how to execute on our ideas. The best part? There are solutions and possibilities for everyone, regardless of digital proficiency. No one ever said all games have to be digital!

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