New book: The Gamification of Training by Karl Kapp

There’s a new book being released May 2012 which, judging by the first chapter excerpt, looks to be a very interesting read for anyone keen on understanding and using gamification in learning environments. The book is entitled The Gamification of Training: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Learning and Instruction and is by Karl Kapp.

The first chapter excerpt provides a nice overview of the word gamification and draws from game literature (notably Salen and Zimmerman) as a way to link the definition of game to the concept of gamification. It provides a number of examples which help illustrate the concept further which include the Piano Staircase and the new iPhone application Zombies Run. Although I’ve used the piano staircase I personally feel that it is more of an example of playful design than it is gamified design simply because it lacks distinct qualities that make up a game (such as structured rules and goals). It is however a great example to use for introducing the concept of playful design and to share the notion that play can be persuading.

The discussion around gamification versus serious games later in the chapter is interesting, the author states that in the book “the use of serious games will be considered a form of gamification because serious games are a specific sub-set of the meta-concept of gamification. I understand this way of thinking where gamification is an all encompassing term and anything game-like can be classified underneath it in more detail. I might be wrong but I don’t think this is a very useful way of thinking about the difference between the two I know there is a distinction made between Gamification and Serious Games in the paper Gamificaiton: Toward a definition and I still think this distinction needs more discussion and clarity.

I notice as well that the author states that gamification is not “Badges, Points and Rewards” which is great. It goes to show that the concept of gamification is breaking free from this stereotype.

All in all it looks like a good read with some interesting chapters by other authors. If you want more information see the Wiley website.

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