We live in a modern world where such questions as, ‘did you [legally] download the latest Walking Dead episode?’ and ‘have you checked out that Kim Kardashian photo?’ echo through the walls of offices like Bat signals. Generation Z, the current generation (what comes after Z?), is riding the wave of a digital revolution and the ones surfing that wave with the biggest kahunas are revolutionaries. Unlike George Washington and friends, the new revolutionaries don’t sit on horses, but in cubicles wearing funny t-shirts, not funny wigs and designing interactive stories, not battle plans: they are videogame designers.
It is important for teachers to keep up with the latest global trends, especially if they’re teaching a younger age group. Why? As presenters must know their audiences, teachers must know their students. While it would be a stretch longer than Route 66 to expect them to follow the newest fashions, staying on top of breaking new technologies can be considered a relatively straightforward drive by comparison. One field, in particular, has been mowed down to connect teachers to Generation Z students and that is ‘gamification’.
What is gamification? Some kind of videogame thing? It is a new area to explore; so far a little research has been done on it, but it has applications not only for education, but business. Gamification can be seen as asking ‘what makes videogames successful?’, learning the techniques and then plugging those techniques into different non-game settings. In this article we will take some of the best ideas in videogames and attempt to use them in our classrooms. Press play to continue. Coins not required.