Gamification, the danger of life turned into a game
What if we made everything we work hard like a game? Do our motivated kids learn better? Do they work more? But if we make their life like a game, what happens when they come to the real world? The debate on Gamification is served.
latest remake of famous Jumanji It may not go down in history as one of the great Hollywood movies. But it hides some interesting pearls that can help parents understand how The world of video games has changed the mindset of our children And how does it affect your day to day?
At one point in the adventure’s plot, one of the characters raises an underlying concern: it’s easy to be brave when you have many lives, but very difficult when you only have one. It seems obvious, but in the world of videogames, in gamified systems PlayGames) For our children, nothing happens when things go wrong, when they are not able to do the right thing. Even if they ‘die’ on screen, they can always start fresh. And no matter how little they do, they will get a lot of stars and points that can be exchanged for new lives, for superpowers or for the most effective weapons.
No need to pretend. Our generation also used to video games and it has not been serious. Although it is true that after Game over had come insert CoinWhich was like the inevitable end when the pocket was already empty.
Gamification Applied to Pedagogy
But this isolated view of life in video games allows us to understand the pros and cons of motivating children and teens using techniques similar to those used by the entertainment industry.
The idea of simplification as applied to pedagogy is twofold. On the one hand, it involves treating the acquisition of knowledge as a game, that is, applying precepts that make the material more attractive. On the other hand, it implies implement a reward system To encourage students to do more and reward their achievements.
The concept of gamification applied to learning is not new by any means. The difference in the 21st century is the disintegration of technologies and perhaps, along with this process, an overuse that confuses students in two ways: both with regard to what is expected of them and the reason for the effort put in.
In fact, as explained by Marisa Clares, educational psychologist and primary education teacher at the Alameda de Osuna school in Madrid, the use of gamification has as many disadvantages as there are advantages. “The fact that learning is carried out in the form of a game and its reward in the short or long term is motivating”, but we “run the risk of accustoming them to the fact that every achievement must be rewarded”, Claire explains. And this is not always the case in life.
Using games, group dynamics or audiovisual and interactive tools in the classroom on tablets, computers and digital whiteboards allows “students to be more participatory, more motivated”. But there comes a point when they get used to it and once the ‘wow factor’ wears off, the motivation wanes. In addition, he gets used to receiving rewards, rewards for any achievements.
This is the moment gamification ceases to be an educational ally because the student forgets the real reason he or she is doing the work – to learn, to do better, to help others – and to put it somewhere else. Replaces it with a more immediate goal, but less satisfying in the long term. Duration: Reward. “They need to learn to work responsibly, not just for the rewards they get,” says Clares.
There is another problem that can arise as a result of gamification. Professor Escribano deserves this ‘Gambling’, the dictatorship of entertainment. The question that lurks is whether all forms of learning should be enjoyable or whether there is no problem that boredom, effort or sacrifice lead to the path of knowledge.
Although labeled as ‘politically incorrect’, critical voices are beginning to emerge against an educational model that is based on the idea of motivation. Proponents of Gamification Explain Why It’s Important So-called ‘serious games’ are used in teaching. Other authors, however, believe that we live in an environment characterized by ‘Homo Ludens’, obsessed with avoiding all forms of boredom.
If everything has to be gratifying and that gratification must be immediate, what happens when those children and adolescents who are brought up in the environment of play approach the adult world? It is perhaps the background factor that compels us to view gamification with caution. Because not everything in real life is fun, you don’t get rewarded for what you do and there aren’t always more chances – more lives – to try again.
To avoid falling into these errors, we have to get maximum satisfaction from our children in the work assigned to them. it’s not a material prize -As a gift, a little star or a happy face- but the satisfaction of fulfilling my responsibilities, And more than that, their satisfaction should come from the good they have done to others through their actions. Then Gamification would make sense.
Gamification to change behavior
It is common practice to use point systems to promote the acquisition of habits in children, both in the classroom and at home. A goal is established to accomplish and its progress is assessed using little stars, colored stickers, happy faces, stamps or any other element that makes an approach quantifiable.
educational risk This practice implies that the child forgets why the game and the uniform reward system are in motion and only cares about the reward, as if the objective was to get a good grade and behave correctly. did not have to.
The first is the obvious risk, which consists in the fact that Child becomes ‘addicted’ on reward system: When it apparently manages to acquire the desired habit, we remove the gamified system and then it misbehaves again because it didn’t understand the purpose of the game.
In addition, there is another long-term problem if these systems are abused: children’s self-esteem is no longer based on what they have achieved, resulting in them feeling loved and valued.
To prevent this from happening, in addition to making balanced use of these resources, Marissa Clares, educational psychologist and teacher at the Alameda de Osuna School in Madrid, gives us the following guidelines: “child” so that you do not confuse it with satisfaction. Also, they need very specific objectives. And that gives us an example. If we tell a child something as general as that he has to behave well, he won’t know what we mean, or If it’s the same under all circumstances. You can’t run in the classroom, but there’s nothing wrong with running in the playground.”
One last tip is that we do not move on to the next objective until we have verified that the previous one has been achieved.
Belen Martin Cabidades, Master in Neuropsychology and Education
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