Episode I – Why Gamify?

GameBytes Episode 1 provides a broad overview of Gamification’s history and explains what it is. We then delve into the crisis in education.

What is gamification? This powerful method of thinking can offer solutions for the steadily-rising frustrations with distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today we’ll discuss some history, explore the current issues at hand, and then why applying techniques games have taught us could help address them.

In this episode, we discuss:

“Gamification is the process of applying learning from games, such as mechanics and understandings about how and why they motivate us, to non-game situations.” (1:40)

“It’s this power to motivate people to do things they might not otherwise want to do that gamification taps into.” (6:14)

“If we can better engage our students, there’s a chance that the spring semester may be more successful than the fall.” (12:48)


The introduction and ending music for this podcast was composed by Hans Hylkema. It is used under a Creative Commons Attribution License. You can view the text and terms of the license here.

Resource Links

These resources helped me research and write this podcast. If you’re interested in learning more or doing your own research about gamification, they’re a fantastic place to start.

Articles & Webpages:
The History of Gamification: From the Very Beginning to Right Now – Growth Engineering
The (short) prehistory of “gamification” – Nick Pelling
The Truth About Gamification (The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly) – Bryan Naas, SalesHacker
Lessons from Pokemon GO 2016, success through game design reverse engineering – Dr. Flavio Escribano
My Coverage of Lobby of the Social Gaming Summit – Bret Terrill
The Future of Gamification – Pew Research Center
Missing: Millions of Students – Nicole Gaudiano, Politico
Seattle Public Schools extends remote education to January – Taylor Soper, GeekWire

Gamifying Education – How to Make Your Classroom Truly Engaging by Extra Credits
Gaming Can Make a Better World – Jane McGonigal, TED2010

Actionable Gamification by Yu-Kai Chou – A fantastic book that kicked off this entire project. It discusses what drives human behavior in a way that is easy to understand while still being incredibly in-depth.
The Gamified Classroom by James Abela – A new release- this down-to-earth book offers a lot of interesting perspective on actually gamifying the classroom.

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