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What Happened to Cyberpunk?

What Happened to Cyberpunk? | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Cyberpunk writing was “not outside us, but next to us. Under our skin; often, inside our minds.”
Ana Cristina Pratas's insight:

In a sense, it’s a generational thing. In 1980, the writer Bruce Bethke – whose short story “Cyberpunk” inadvertently christened the genre – was working at a Radio Shack in Wisconsin, selling TRS-80 microcomputers. One day, a group of teenagers waltzed in and hacked one of the store machines, and Bethke, who’d imagined himself a tech wiz, couldn’t figure out how to fix it. It was after this incident that he realized something: these teenaged hackers were going to sire kids of their own someday, and those kids were going to have a technological fluency that he could only guess at. They, he writes, were going to truly “speak computer.” And, like teenagers of any era, they were going to be selfish, morally vacuous, and cynical.


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Avatar Creators - Web tools for kids

Avatar Creators - Web tools for kids | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Ana Cristina Pratas's insight:

From monsters to talking avatars, a range of avatar makers to choose from. 

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Sandra Carswell's curator insight, March 17, 9:04 PM

Always looking for good avatar creators for students to use on their edmodo accounts. 

Profesor Mills's comment, March 20, 3:33 PM
Most of these link to advertisements for commercial brands or websites that no longer exist
john dimitriou's curator insight, March 26, 3:58 AM

Asking students to create or identify themselves through an avatar to explain how something works or how it is made allows students to package information in a way that it helps them to unpack knowledge. Becoming personally and emotionally invested helps to engage learners. They take ownership.

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The Irony of Gamification

The Irony of Gamification | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
This appeared in issue 3 of the British Council's IED magazinePerhaps I’m
living in an echo chamber. On examination, my PLN does appear to be
worryingly comprised of mostly like-minded peers and my RSS aggregators do
a pretty decent job of trimming the fat by carefully curating the news and
articles I encounter. Even taking that into consideration, over time
I found myself secretly hoping that gamifiction was just a faddish
neologism, but if it is, it’s proving to be an extremely stubborn one.

Don’t get me wrong, I love games. Board games, word games, card games,
pervasive games, digital games — I study them, play them and have even
designed a few. I also frequently use games in my classes. But we’re not
talking about games here, we’re talking about “ifying” something that is
not a game. To “ify” something (apologies to any hardline grammarians out
there for contorting a suffix into a verb), is, according to the Cambridge
online dictionary, “to cause an increase in the stated quality”. So, to
gamify is to make a non-game more game-like by suffusing it with game-like
qualities.

It’s not hard to understand why one would want to do this, especially in
the field of education. Games are fun, intensely engaging and highly
motivational systems. They can also be extremely complex, challenging and
rewarding experiences. Modern video games can often take tens or even
hundreds of hours to complete. They involve actively acquiring new skills,
making difficult choices, digesting huge amounts of contextually situated
information and repeatedly applying critical problem solving skills to
overcome what may at first appear to be overwhelming obstacles. Gamers do
all of these things routinely, voluntarily and enthusiastically. Many games
are also extremely collaborative and social, with communities of practice
spanning thousands of blogs, wikis and forums produced by and dedicated to
players who want to share what they know and learn from others. What
teacher wouldn’t want to imbue their lessons with more of these
qualities? This is the siren-song appeal of gamification.

As with most things though, the proof of the pudding is to be found in the
eating. And, to risk stretching the metaphor to breaking point, with the
pudding of gamification, the problem lies in the ingredients used, the
cooking technique applied and the chef on duty. Examples of gamified
systems can be found all around us. Department stores and supermarkets have
long co-opted the psychological power of the points and rewards game
mechanic to promote customer loyalty and increased sales. Fast food
restaurants routinely offer tokens and scratch cards which can be traded
for fries and burgers and more recently location-based social networks like
Gowalla and Fouresquare, which allow you to “check in” to specific
real-world locations and earn virtual badges, have been used as promotional
tools by shops and restaurants who offer discounts to frequent visitors.
Arookoo, and many similar mobile apps, even turn the act of walking into a
game by rewarding users with points and badges for the distance they cover
while being tracked by the GPS in their phones.

Schools and universities all over the world are jumping on the gamification
wagon to seemingly great effect. Back in 2010 I heard a radio interview
with the headmaster of a school here in northern Portugal. They were in the
second term of a trial which involved dishing out points, badges and
rewards to their students for everything from good behaviour to test
results and attendance. Classes were pitted against each other to
accumulate the highest number of points and win rewards such as trips and
prizes. This encouraged students to put pressure on anyone who appeared to
be slacking, so as to boost the class average. The headmaster was enthused
by the project and cited bucket loads of statistics revealing attendance
improvements and test scores.

Another apparent “win” for gamification was the focus of an article in
Forbes magazine earlier this year. The article, entitled “Education Meets
World Of Warcraft” describes a polytechnic teacher who begins the academic
year by informing his students that they all have an F, quickly calming the
ensuing panic by adding that they can “level up”. According to the article
he then, “...divides the class into small groups called “guilds,” which
complete quests such as taking tests and making presentations to earn
points and then advance to a new level. At the end of the course, he
determines the grade by points and skill level.” Like the Portuguese
experiment, gamifying the course led to significant performance
improvements: “Ever since I turned education into a game”, he says, “the
average letter grade in the class went from a C to a B, and attendance is
almost perfect.”

The thing is, although many games use such points and rewards systems to
track player progress, they are only the most superficial components and
not fundamental to the experience of what a game is. They are but one of
many ways of providing feedback to players about how close they are to
achieving their goals. Of course, feedback is essential to learning as it
helps you to keep on track and enables you to try out new strategies and
see how well they work. Games of all kinds are great at providing
immediate, frequent and intense feedback in multiple ways which are not
always possible or practical in traditional learning environments. This
rich feedback may be in the form of audio, video, haptics, social
interaction or narrative progression among others. Furthermore, because the
feedback is usually immediate, it is strongly situated in the context in
which the action took place. Games are complex systems, a point which seems
to currently be ignored by the majority of gamification proponents.

With most gamified systems and processes the feedback is provided in the
form of a simple, superficial layer of points, badges and other rewards
that are not contextually integral to the activity itself. In the field of
education, this is compounded by the fact that we have already introduced
such a feedback layer in the form of test scores, grade averages and
certificates, so in essence we are rewarding the rewards, much in the same
way as parents who give material gifts in return for As. I’ll leave that
argument for another time.

Over the short term this approach may lead to measurable outcomes as
students make an effort to perform better in order to achieve better
results, or more attendance points. The unintended consequence of this is
that it frames learning as being an action of accumulation, about gaining
or having either material or virtual capital. The rhetoric is that of the
age-old carrot and stick metaphor in which learners are conditioned to act
and behave in certain ways in order to gain certain rewards. This is the
classical operant conditioning model which externalizes motivation through
the promise of extrinsic reward.

Students want to “have a degree” and “get a good grade” rather than be
 learners and it then becomes logical for them to ask questions such as
“will this be in the test?”, in order to avoid wasting effort on unrewarded
content (for more on the whole having vs being debate I highly recommend
Fromm’s “To Have or to Be”). This attitude is precisely the opposite of
what we should be encouraging if we want to produce a society of
self-motivated and reflective lifelong learners. To make matters worse,
although renaming classes as “guilds”, grades as “levels” and better marks
as “leveling up” may manipulate learners into modifying their behaviour, it
does so by reinforcing and perpetuating an anachronistic industrial model
of education through concealment and thwarting intrinsic motivation.
Prepackaged web 2.0 services like Class Dojo promise to enable teachers to:

"Create an engaging classroom in minutes” by providing “instant visual
notifications for your students (‘Well done Josh! +1 for teamwork!’) with a
whole host of game mechanics: think level-ups, badges and achievements to
unlock, in-classroom games, avatars and leaderboards.

Similar gamification platforms are popping up every day, their brightly
coloured, cutesy vector graphics thinly concealing the underlying rhetoric
of increasing reward dependency and undermining intrinsic motivation.

Dewey expresses this nicely in chapter seven of The School and Society:

If there is not an inherent attracting power in the material, then
(according to his temperament and training, and the precedents and
expectations of the school) the teacher will either attempt to surround the
material with foreign attractiveness, making a bid or offering a bribe for
attention by "making the lesson interesting"; or else will resort to
counterirritants (low marks, threats of non-promotion, staying after
school, personal disapprobation, expressed in a great variety of ways,
naggings, continuous calling upon the child to "pay attention," etc.); or,
probably, will use some of both means.

...But the attention thus gained is never more than partial, or divided;
and it always remains dependent upon something external —hence, when the
attraction ceases or the pressure lets up, there is little or no gain in
inner or intellectual control.

Such instrumental learning may be easy to implement and convenient for
administrators to tidily quantify into grades and statistics, but we need
real change in education, not merely a shift in perceptions. Games can help
us achieve this if we respect and embrace their complexity and refrain from
stripping them of their intrinsic power to motivate and engage learners on
multiple levels. Educators can and should use games and game mechanics in
different contexts, but they should do so reflectively and unravel their
underlying rhetoric. Games can serve as excellent examples of how active
and stimulating learning environments can be created for the purpose of
learning, as good games already embody many of the characteristics of good
learning principles (see James Gee for more on this and John Hunter’s World
Peace Game for a real-world example of a gamified learning program that
embraces the rich complexity of game dynamics).

So the problem of gamification is, somewhat ironically, that in the
majority of its current implementations, it is not game-like enough. By
overlooking the depth and breadth of the potential games have to empower
and motivate learners and create meaningful experiences, and instead
employing only a myopic and superficial game mechanic,
popular gamification is doing a disservice to both learners and educators.
Completing tasks in order to achieve an extrinsic reward is more akin to
how we describe work in its most alienating form. One of the many things
commonly missing from gamification is playful freedom. Playful freedom
allows learners to take risks and test new strategies in an environment
protected within the “magic circle” of gameplay, that is safe from real
world consequences. An environment in which failing at challenging tasks is
as integral a part of learning as succeeding, and the reward is the
learning that takes place between the two, and what that skill or knowledge
might empower you to do or be in the future. 
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Infographic: The Gamfication of Education

Infographic: The Gamfication of Education | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Gamification has tremendous potential in the education space. How can we use it to deliver truly meaningful experiences to students? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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9 Techniques For Online Educators To Gamify Their Digital Classrooms

9 Techniques For Online Educators To Gamify Their Digital Classrooms | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Involve and motivate your students into the process of online learning with the help of gamification. Check what gamification is, and what gamification techniques you can use as online educator to make your digital classroom more interesting for your online students. Check the following 9 techniques that will help you gamify your digital classroom.
Ana Cristina Pratas's insight:

Many of these "techniques" have been used by language teachers for a long time; however, interesting to see transposed to the online learning setting. 

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10 Best Practices for Implementing Gamification

10 Best Practices for Implementing Gamification | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
In the second installment of the blog series on gamifying your learning, Karl Kapp outlines best practices in gamification implementations.
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Martin (Marty) Smith's curator insight, March 22, 1:37 PM

Going through these now.

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8 Principles of Productive Gamification

8 Principles of Productive Gamification | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Using games to promote learning isn't a new idea. But the widespread use of game-based adaptive learning systems, the explosion of mobile learning applications, and the growing use of game-based strategies makes gamification one of the most important education trends of this decade.
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James Gee on Why the Power of Games to Teach Remains Unrealized

James Gee on Why the Power of Games to Teach Remains Unrealized | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
For more than a decade, James Paul Gee has been writing about the potential power of games and game mechanics to change the way we learn, to create new “deep”... more »
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Use of Challenge in Gamification and Learning Design

Use of Challenge in Gamification and Learning Design | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Ana Cristina Pratas's insight:

"Challenges should be used in gamification to initially engage learners to start learning a task and to encourage learners who are reluctant to start to learn content. Often learners who are reluctant to learn content can be persuaded to begin the process by being challenged. This requires a careful balance as, in cases where a learner is overwhelmed with the content or feels that it is too difficult to even begin to learn, other methods need to be employed to engage the learner. These methods could include the use of story or the employing of spaced practice or the development of a sense of mystery."

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Mini Mizer (Avatar Creator)

Mini Mizer (Avatar Creator) | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
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Pickaface - Create an Avatar

Pickaface - Create an Avatar | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Pickaface.net - free online avatar creator.
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Michelle Gilstrap's curator insight, January 31, 10:45 AM

Have you wanted to create an avatar? This is a neat free online avatar creator.

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The Beginner's Guide To Augmented Reality

The Beginner's Guide To Augmented Reality | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
I was having a discussion recently with someone about trends in education, and the topic of augmented reality came up.
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niftyjock's curator insight, December 8, 2013 5:30 PM

gimme gimmee gimmee

Begoña Iturgaitz's curator insight, December 10, 2013 3:47 AM

Gure #B08Leioa- n  egindako prestakuntzaren osagarri........ http://b08leioa.com/jardunaldi-digitalak-2013/

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ARIS - Mobile Learning Experiences - Creating educational games on the iPhone

ARIS - Mobile Learning Experiences - Creating educational games on the iPhone | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
ARIS is a open-source tool for creating mobile learning games, stories, documentaries, place-based learning activities, citizen science and citizen journalism activities.
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Lori Wilk's curator insight, December 27, 2013 9:20 AM

This article was my introduction to ARIS open-source tool for creating mobile learning games.

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NAO Robot Speaks With a Unique Voice, More Languages

NAO Robot Speaks With a Unique Voice, More Languages | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Alebaran’s NAO human interaction robot is using cloud-based language systems from Nuance to speak and understand 19 new languages.
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Viljenka Savli's curator insight, November 22, 2013 2:34 AM

Ne, ne, ne bodo nas nadomestili :))), so pa lahko uporabni, kajne?

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4 Ways Serious Games Link to Learning (Free Download) -

4 Ways Serious Games Link to Learning (Free Download) - | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
A growing body of research supports the use of serious games in the workplace. And thanks to a year of successful implementations in corporate settings, some great case studies now point the way for organizations ready to use games for learning. Whether you want to use a true serious game, a gamified solution, or a combination of the two… it’s a great time to do so. While research shows that people learn more from games than other learning solutions, many L&D practicioners still do not know why games work… so they avoid using games entirely. If you think you want to use a game for learning, you first must become familiar with the types of “fun” in games, what’s required for real learning to happen, and the ways games can link the two. We’ve created a new guide to help you accomplish this. The content, researched and written by Knowledge Guru creator (and BLP president) Sharon Boller, takes the mystery out of using serious games in the enterprise. It’s a simple thing, really: become familiar with the ways people have fun in games, identify the common principles all effective learning solutions share, and then carefully map the two together. And once  you map the “fun” elements of your serious game to the elements needed for learning, you’ll also want to employ some research-based learning principles to actually help people remember the content after they’ve learned it. Are your game mechanics and game elements actually mapped to the cognitive tasks learners need to perform on the job? Are you taking advantage of the latest research on how the human brain best commits knowledge to long-term memory? The guide, titled 4 Ways Serious Games Link to Learning, is available as a free download.
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niftyjock's curator insight, April 14, 12:11 AM

Is the knowledge transferable? 

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The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning

The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning
Ana Cristina Pratas's insight:

"Gamification is first and foremost about encouragement mechanics and the system that promotes them, while game-based learning is first and foremost about the game and its cognitive residue (whether from the game’s content, or academic content)."

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Special Issue on "Game Based Learning for 21st Century Transferable Skills: Challenges and Opportunities"

Special Issue on "Game Based Learning for 21st Century Transferable Skills: Challenges and Opportunities" | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
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Special edition by the Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 2014
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 24, 10:36 AM

This looks like an interesting issue.

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Overcoming the User Engagement Crisis with Gamification

Overcoming the User Engagement Crisis with Gamification | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
In its simplest sense, gamification is showing users how to do something and rewarding them for doing it right or figuring out the problem.
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Getting Started With Gamification

Getting Started With Gamification | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Karl Kapp addresses the question: How do you begin to think about using game-elements and game-thinking to create instruction that is engaging?
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From Game Design Elements to Gamefulness: Defining “Gamification”

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niftyjock's curator insight, February 13, 7:59 PM

"Serious games, pervasive games, alternate reality games, or playful design". What is gamification exactly?

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Gamification Roadmap [INFOGRAPHIC] |

Gamification Roadmap [INFOGRAPHIC] | | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
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Guidelines for an effective design of serious games

Guidelines for an effective design of serious games | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Guidelines for an effective design of serious games
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Abstract


There is an increasing awareness about the potential of serious games for education and training in many disciplines. However, research still witnesses a lack of methodologies, guidelines and best
practices on how to develop effective serious games and how to integrate them in the actual learning and training processes. The process of integration heavily depends on providing and spreading
evidence of the effectiveness of serious games. In this paper we present an overview on the factors that make serious games effective in the perspective of maximizing the learning impact, and discuss the current efforts in evaluating such impact. Such recommendations are the result of an extensive surveyof the current proposition of serious games in different application domains.

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niftyjock's curator insight, February 9, 10:46 PM

serious games and fun games. aren't they the same thing?

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Gamification, Game-based Learning, Serious Games: Any Difference?

Gamification, Game-based Learning, Serious Games: Any Difference? | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
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niftyjock's curator insight, February 5, 1:12 PM

I always find it hard to define what a game is so I think of it like this - if it looks like a game then that's what it is. (if it quacks like a duck it's a duck)

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What is eLearning Gamification?

What is eLearning Gamification? | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
You know you have become an eLearning nerd when watching a movie all you think about is eLearning gamification and instructional design.
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Using Augmented Reality for Contextual Mobile Learning by Jason Haag

Using Augmented Reality for Contextual Mobile Learning by Jason  Haag | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Ana Cristina Pratas's insight:

“Mobile augmented reality provides learning designers and educators with a new opportunity to start thinking more deeply about the mobile learner’s context and situation. AR technologies can take any situation, location, environment, or experience to a whole new level of meaning and understanding. AR is uniquely changing the way people learn with mobile devices.”

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niftyjock's curator insight, December 2, 2013 1:09 PM

I just love the whole idea of google glass, but I think we are still in the learning beta phase of testing and we wont reaqlly understand the uimpact it will have on learning untill innovative teachers get their hands on it. 

Gamescademy's curator insight, December 7, 2013 7:29 AM

מציאות מועצבת רבודה - רואים שקוף רואים למידה 

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The Hobbit: A Journey Through Middle-Earth

The Hobbit: A Journey Through Middle-Earth | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Explore the world of #TheHobbit The Desolation of Smaug with A Journey Through Middle-earth, a Chrome Experiment.
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