Understanding Gamification

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Library Technology Reports, March 2015 (51:2)

Though gamification is not new, the rapid adoption of smartphones and the growing mobile web and app universe has made it ubiquitous, social, and seamlessly woven into reality in ways we couldn't have imagined even ten years ago. And it's extremely popular. Gamification, when done right, will engage your library's users, and better yet, help them learn. In this issue of Library Technology Reports, Kim will clarify your understanding of gamification with a range of examples from social causes, education, and libraries. She points out the gaming elements of apps you may have used, like Foursquare or Waze, and explores game mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics. This Report also covers such topics as:

  • What distinguishes gamification from related concepts such as games, toys, and playful design
  • How the Canton Public Library used a Drupal website and a "User Badge" module for its summer reading program
  • North Carolina State University's mobile scavenger hunt
  • Portland State University's digital badge program certifying critical thinking skills
  • 7 types of knowledge and associated gamification elements
  • Navigating the debate over external rewards and intrinsic motivation
  • What makes the Bottle Bank Arcade Game effective in promoting recycling

Bohyun Kim

Bohyun Kim?is associate director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences and Human Services Library. She is the author of?The Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations, a previous issue of?Library Technology Reports, and editor of the?ACRL TechConnect blog. Follow her on Twitter at?@bohyunkim.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.