Gamification is a highly used word nowadays in many different fields. The word comes from the word “game”, , which is linked to amusement, plus the ending “-ion” which is typically linked to action. Hence, what does “gamification” mean? 

Gamification is defined as the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. The objective of gamification is usually to engage the users in a particular activity, providing a more interesting way of achieving its original goal. Gamification can occur in two ways. The first way is to exploit the act of playing a video game, using the engagement produced to motivate users to perform other activities. The second way is to use game elements to make non-games more fun. 

Not surprisingly, gamification has become one of the main tools for modernizing education. Dmitri Mendeleev, was one of the first to use gamification for facilitating the learning. He created the periodic table classifying the elements based on a card game and therefore, applying the principles of gaming into chemistry. This is an exemplary story of the benefits of gamification and the impact it can have on learning. 

From here the Smithsonian Science Education Center lists the five benefits. Gamification…

  1. Helps cognitive development.

Gamification helps cognitive development because it increases the brain’s activity. There are some games called “games for the brain” whose main objective is to stimulate cognitive development through questions and problems to be solved improving the speed at which the brain processes and stores information.

  1. Supports physical development.

Doing physical activity through an interactive game is as useful as normal physical activity. This is especially important for young people who do not enjoy doing sport.

  1. Increases the level of engagement in the classroom.

Scientists conducted a study which showed that the gaming atmosphere increased the productivity of the students in the classroom.

  1. Makes learning more accessible.

Several studies have shown how gamification can be used as an effective teaching tool even in cases of autism or forms of disability.

  1. Is not limited to the classroom.

Gamification can be extended outside the classroom. For instance, gamification applied to homework turns out to be one of the best ways of engaging students and parents into school activities at home.

To end up, it is important to highlight that gamification’s benefits apply to all levels and ages, from school to adulthood. After all, this has been around for over a century and the previous short story about Mendeleev and his periodic table are proof that turning study into play brings great results.

Petit Pas team

Sources: 

  1. https://www.feltrinellieducation.it/magazine/cinque-benefici-della-gamification-per-l-apprendimento?fbclid=IwAR3q7TINNKLfv35oBnqC7w9vG5xuuPwjiXn-93FJxUM5TFnYVFdUdBudgEY
  2. https://www.gamification.it/gamification/introduzione-alla-gamification/
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