2014 Horizon reports that the culture around digital games is growing to encompass a substantial proportion of the world’s population, with the age of the average gamer increasing every year. The gaming industry is producing a steady stream of games that continue to expand in their nature and impact — they can be artistic, social, and collaborative, with many allowing massive numbers of people from all over the world to participate simultaneously.
“Game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail, and problem-solving, all behaviors that ideally would be regularly demonstrated in school.”- The Education Arcade at MIT
1.2 Million Students in the U.S. fail to graduate from high school every year. According to Joey Lee and Jessica Hammer at Columbia Teachers College, “the default environment of school often results in undesirable outcomes such as disengagement, cheating, learned helplessness, and dropping out.” So, the question is: What kind of elements of gaming can we harness for educational purpose? How can gamification improve learning?
Games and Culture:
With the advent of video games, games have returned in full force as a cultural product, with more people in North America consuming video games than movies and music. In fact, 58% of Americans play video games, 45% of gamers are women, and 58% of parents play video games with their kids as a way to socialize with them (2). Games are part of the cultural landscape, and they aren’t going anywhere. An example is Classcraft. While not a video game, it is inspired by them, and its power on learning is very similar.