Welcome to the Gamification Wikia!Edit

"Gamification motivates fans to participate in community." -Marta Rauch

Note: This wiki was created for a technical communication class. Please refrain from contributing content until after December 5, 2013

History of GamificationEdit

Gamification is a growing trend, causing a buzz among online bloggers and practitioners. What is gamification? How is it used? Is it effective? Do you know if you have ever encountered gamification? With the demand for gamification growing rapidly, there is no doubt that gamification will become essential to the ways in which users learn and retain information.

Before we begin, what exactly is gamification? Gamification is defined as "the use of game design elements in non-game contexts". Simply put, gamification is the act of applying the mechanics that are commonly found in games, such as level ups, achievements, and challenges to non-conventional mediums to increase user experience, retention, and engagement. The idea of gamification is to present learning materials in the form of game design. If applied effectively gamification has the ability to motivate individuals and drive behavior.

Currently, gamification can be found online across a number of mediums. One of gamification's most infamous examples is foursquare. Within foursquare, users are rewarded with "virtual badges" for visiting locations; these virtual badges are used as an incentive for customers to visit local businesses. Along with the use of badges, businesses partner with foursquare to run promotions for the users that check into their location. These promotions can include anything from coupons to discounts for their visit. Earlier examples of gamification includes airline companies frequent flyer programs, in which points were awarded for travelling and those points could later be redeemed for prizes. This incentive alone encouraged customers to fly more often. The growing popularity of gamification represents the fusion of four market trends: social media, mobile, data, and the emergence of computing.

Recently, gamification has been found to be incorporated into Help Desk software.

Gamification and the MarketEdit

Currently, gamification has been incorporated into schools and is currently practiced in e-Learning. Incorporating gamification within the curriculum and making learning more similar to video games will increase the interest among students to read text books. While this idea does sound unconventional to traditional students, this has proven to be effective. Students encounter gamification daily in a variety of mediums, including social media and even television. Applying these concepts that students encounter regularly can be effective in increasing eagerness to want to learn, along with retaining the information that is provided. Along with the ability to retain easier, students will be able to recall information with ease. Many experts argue that gamification provides motivational aspects that textbooks currently lack for students. Gamification addresses the motivational concerns that aren't stimulated through text-based learning materials, such as traditional learning mediums. While the idea of using incentives in order to engage students is not a new idea, the incorporation of gaming mechanics in learning is revolutionary.

Marta Rauch, a prominent figure in the field of technical communication, stresses that gamification is a growing market. According to her gamification will be crucial to motivating millennials in the near future. Rauch states that by the time millennials are 21, they will have logged in 10,000 hours of game time. Millennials currently make up 25% of the workforce, and by the year 2020 will make up 46% of the workforce. Rauch also states that within the marketplace there are three techniques that are used while gamifying. Those techniques include: game dynamics to motivate behavior, game mechanics to help achieve goals, and game components to track progress.

Currently, gamification on the marketplace outside of academia can be found in productions from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Endowment for the Arts, National Park Service, US Army, and NASA. These are just a few examples of government agencies adopting gamification.

Gamification and the Future of Technical CommEdit

This idea of the incentive that is associated with gamification applies in regards to technical communication. Currently, one medium of the clash of gamification and technical communication exists on the world wide web-- blogging. Blogging can be found all over the web on a variety of topics. Regardless, the outcome is still the same. Blogging is a way in which gamification has made writing "more fun". Bloggers are able to create a piece of writing, post the piece of writing on the web in real time, and receive comments from users who follow the blog in real time. The feedback and interactivity makes the writing enjoyable for writer and the commenter. One example of a current technical communicator who displays the collaboration of gamification and writing is Tom Johnson in his blog I'd Rather Be Writing.

Considering that gamification is becoming more and more prevalent among millennials, it is vital as a technical communicator to understand ways in which to gain an attention span that is continuously decreasing as technology increases.

These same levels of feedback and interactivity can be applied to e-Learning, wikis, and online tutorials. Gamification applied to these mediums increases the customers overall experience and improve the retention of the information that is being provided. If technical communicators gamify their products or writing through game design, users can become inspired.

Along with gamification receiving much praise among professionals and practioners there are also those who believe that gamification is only a fad and not the permanent fix for engaging and retention needs. Some experts believe that gamification relies on intrinsic motivation and stress the importance to design in the same manner as games, otherwise technical communicators risk creating gimmicky documents.

Gamification provides the opportunity to motivate users. With gamification being a growing field both inside and outside of technical communication it is important to address the millennials and how they will effectively use gamification. Including gamification among all aspects of technical communication will be accompanied by technical communicators learning to properly and effectively gamify their writing with the end user's best interest in mind.

Below we have conveniently provided supporting links on gamification for your enjoyment!

Gamification Wiki   Marta Rauch Gamification Presentation