Technology has emerged as a key educational tool in the modern world, accelerating the speed at which people can learn. In schools and universities, educators have adopted numerous cutting-edge tools, and gamification is chief among them, helping to motivate their students, increase engagement, foster collaboration and educate people more efficiently.
Gamification refers to the application of game elements in learning experiences, and helps to make the process more engaging for learners. It’s beneficial because games are known to teach important skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, cooperation, collaboration and social awareness, among others. By using games to teach knowledge, it’s possible to get learners more interested and reduce the rate of attrition.
The Science Of Gamification
The science of gamification is focused on understanding how human behavior is influenced by gaming methods. Various studies have demonstrated that the human brain becomes more engaged when there are gamification elements. Games promote the release of dopamine, which boosts motivation and enjoyment.
One advantage of gamification is that it helps to connect people with the topic in question on an emotional level. People become emotionally invested in the subject, and this has been shown to increase their ability to learn and retain information. It can also help to increase the attention span of an individual, which makes them more eager to learn and understand.
Scientists believe that the hippocampus is the section of the brain that controls the information people can recall and remember. Gamification has the effect of stimulating the hippocampus, promoting the storage of new information within people’s long-term memories. So students will be able to recall what they have learned better if it comes from a gaming environment. Moreover, dopamine is also released by the hippocampus, helping learners to stay focused.
At the same time, it has been demonstrated in many individuals that stories are easier to remember than a list of facts. If the facts are presented in a story format, the learner will retain more of the information relayed. This makes games extremely useful in education, as they often feature background stories, plot twists, character information and so on.
Gaming also promotes the release of endorphins into the brain. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkiller and can help people to keep calm, relax and remain focused. At the same time, they encourage something called neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain’s response to new kinds of stimuli. Due to this, gamification can improve neural pathways, boost cognitive skills and enhance our problem-solving ability and creativity.
Examples of Gamified Learning
Gamification can be applied to almost any topic, and one of the biggest industries to benefit from this has been the blockchain industry. With blockchain, gamification can leverage technologies such as NFTs and crypto to provide greater incentives to learners, and there are dozens of excellent examples of this in action.
Lava Games’ Banksters is an NFT crypto trading game that simulates the experience of buying and selling cryptocurrencies for profit. By gamifying the trading experience, the various techniques required to trade profitably can be taught to learners in more digestible, bite-sized chunks.
The game is a simulation based on real-life crypto market movements and events, with the NFTs acting as playable characters with their own, unique attributes and abilities. This provides a way for players to capitalize on the real-world market conditions, adding to the excitement. The game teaches players how to react to the volatility of the crypto market, improves their financial literacy and helps them to become smarter traders. It’s a competitive game too, with players required to compete against other humans for valuable crypto rewards that can be sold for real-life money, increasing the incentive to learn and win.
Available on Android, iOS and the Web, Banksters is an entertaining educational tool to learn the ins and outs of crypto trading, so those skills can later be applied in the real world.
Yellow Duckies is another NFT-based game that employs gamification to teach players about its Layer-3 blockchain network, called Yellow Network. It’s so popular that the game has been officially established as Yellow’s canary network, meaning it serves as a proving ground for new features and functionality that arrive in the game first before becoming more widely available. In this way, players can learn about the latest, cutting-edge features in Yellow Network ahead of their official launch.
The game provides an incentive for people to test these new features. Players are tasked with collecting NFT-based Duckies, with each one boasting its own traits, abilities and artwork. The Duckies can be combined with others to create rarer, and sometimes even mutated Duckies that can be extraordinarily valuable, keeping users engaged. Besides learning, Yellow Duckies also fosters a strong community by encouraging discussion of the network’s new features.
How Far Can Gamification Go?
Gamified learning strategies have been around for years, and they’re highly valued by educators for their ability to motivate people to learn more effectively. Web3 capabilities like NFTs and crypto enhance gamification with additional real-world incentives that encourage even more rapid learning. As these technologies become more widespread, they can further accelerate the learning process.
There’s little doubt that gamification can be extremely beneficial, making learning more fun, more engaging and more rewarding than ever before.