Gamification in E-Learning

Gamification in E-Learning

Murat Topal (Sakarya University, Turkey) and Ozan Karaca (Ege University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5011-2.ch004
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This chapter is structured to help give readers a general impression about gamification and its relationship with e-learning from the perspective of basic sources of gamification. Gamification is important for e-learning, which can share the same digital environment with digital game components because it has the potential to increase the engagement of the learners in digital environment. This chapter on gamification has primarily tried to explain the reasons for prompting people to play and the kinds of actions of the players after defining the game and gamification. Afterwards, explaining the components of the gamification design models, some gamification applications are stated as successful examples that can be used in e-learning. The chapter concludes by giving information about the limits, criticism, and future of gamification.
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Gamification: What It Is And What It Is Not?

Gamification is a concept that is difficult to limit due to several associated terms such as game-based education/marketing, serious games, etc. In order to have a clear definition, we need to approach the subject etymologically and start with the term “game”.

Suits (1967) explained gaming as risking certain unnecessary obstacles and voluntarily overcoming these obstacles with a philosophical approach, and defined its basic characteristics as the presence of an objective, rules and a gamer attitude.

Well, why do people like to play games? Zichermann and Cunningham (2011) argued that there are four basic reasons why a person would want to play that could be observed together or separately along with individual motivation; to become a master, to let off steam, to have fun and to socialize. Lazzaro (2004), an expert on the emotions created by games and the games, defined the inner motivation of an individual about playing games with four different types of entertainment: competition based hard entertainment, easy entertainment based on discovering how a game is played and the system of the game, entertainment that changes the player's feelings positively and social entertainment that enables interaction with other players. Based on these definitions, people play games because they have a good time, they learn by motivation and they have fun.

Gamification is the learning method that motivates the mind the most and where the individual feels good. Although the history of the use of games for educational purposes is really old, the concept of gamification was first mentioned by Nick Pelling in 2002 (Marczewski, 2013). Gamification was referred to in documents back in 2008, and it became popular in the second half of 2010 with the impact of conferences and the players (Deterding, Khaled, Nacke, & Dixon, 2011). According to Zichermann and Cunningham (2011), there are three different views on gamification:

  • Utilization of games directly for marketing of goods and services,

  • Creation of 3D virtual worlds for acquisitions of behavior,

  • Providing a method to train users in complex environments.

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