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Game Theory and Gamification

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Corbin Zerr

on 11 May 2015

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Transcript of Game Theory and Gamification

What is Gamification?
Gamification is the application of game-play mechanics, thinking, and dynamics in non-game settings to engage people and solve problems.
These events often add into points, badges, and/or leadership boards.

What is Game Theory?
Game Theory and Gamification

According to Zhong, game theory is "the study of how people behave in strategic situations" (par. 1).
In this case, game implies two or more players and a set of rules.
Strategic game theories often involve three important aspects: players, strategies, and payoffs.
players--individuals who make suitable choices
strategies--rules how individuals play the game
payoffs--rewards at the end of the game, related to all players
Users of Game Theory and Gamification
Today, nearly everyone is using game theory and gamification. This is definitely with the help of growing technology, especially smartphones.
There are game applications for literally everything from completing a to-do list to recovering from an illness. Upon list completion or recovery, an individual receives motivation from their device to strive for rewards or points.
People love to complete and feel accomplished; therefore, everything is being gamified for anyone who has internet access.
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Farkas, Meredith. “Just a Game? Library gamification encourages engagement and learning.”
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Gee, James Paul1. "Digital Games And Libraries."
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Spina, Carli. "Gamification: Is It Right For Your Library?."
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Pros of Gamification and Game Theory
These techniques provide immediate and detailed feedback.
Students have begun to develop greater abilities in online learning with the expectation of learning on-demand.
Visual representation is encouraged and activates student's imagination to stimulate the learning environment.
Most of the applications have avatars, which encourages students to collaborate with their peers and develop higher levels of learning.
Gamification helps students who do not react well in conventional settings.
History of Game Theory
Game theory concepts can be traced to philosophical and political works such as Plato's Republic.
However, John von Nuemann is considered to be the founder of game theory because of the development, which began with the definition of focusing on math and economics.
Von Nuemann also developed the "minimax" theorem, which is a way of minimizing the maximum possible loss and contributed to game theory.
History of Gamification
Although gamification sounds like a relatively new term, gamification, like game theory, has been around for quite some time; rewards-based incentive programs have existed for years.
It was not until 2002 that the "serious games" movement really took off because of social media sites and smartphone applications.
Game partners and video designers started to work alongside educators, the military, the medical field and corporations to develop and embrace players in their respective focus area.
In the last 10 years, the gaming industry has boomed tremendously; however, not all the the boom has been for educational purposes.
by Corbin Zerr
LMIS 470

12 May 2014
Cons of Gamification and Game Theory
Many individuals argue that gamifying everything will not help students in the future.
Gamification runs the risk of actually decreasing motivation if it focuses strictly on a rewards system to encourage participation and the reward system fails.
Another common concern about the many uses of gamification is that they invade user's privacy. In most cases, the individuals track the participant's points and achievements, which broadcasts their activity.
Gamification provides issue to less-fortunate individuals who do not have a smart phone or internet access outside of the library; therefore, less-fortunate individuals do not benefit as much as well-off students.
Others argue that students must have a strong mentorship at home or at the library to know how to properly use and not abuse these resources.
Game Theory and Gamification in the Library
Game theory and gamification can be incorporated in the library setting in many different ways such as using apps called Lemontree and Orangetree. These apps are connected to the library system to collect information about patron usage so they can reward them for the activities. One earns points by library visits or at unusual times. This is used with the hopes of encouraging library use and inviting friends to come as well.
Passport allows educators to customize challenges and design badges when students develop new skills. This also allows students to "replay" difficult levels and for teachers to integrate the results into their grading scheme.
Gamification allows the ability to have virtual library tours and scavenger hunts afterward, a huge plus for colleges.
Game Theory and Gamification in the Library cont.
Before gamifying the library, two questions individuals should ask themselves: 1. What are the goals of the project? 2. How will gamification help me achieve this goal?
Below, the video further discusses gamification in education. Although most of the it pertains to classrooms, libraries can definitely receive important information on the advantages or disadvantages to adding gamification to the library.
One of the most well-known examples of gamification is the application, Foursquare. It allows individuals to check in at various places to earn points.
The video on the right, gives further background information on gamification in society.
Full transcript