Just a quick one to share what I’m thinking about at the moment …
There are many definition of game mechanics out there – including ideas on game mechanics constraining the game play experience, motivating /engaging people to play, controlling the ‘flow’ of the game, that they are the foundations of a rule based system – and the list continues … For the purposes of my research I currently working from the following starting point:
Game mechanics are elements within games that engage and motivate people to play, this may be through intrinsic motivation, (sense of achievement) or extrinsic motivation (earning points).
Right now I’m interested in the effectiveness of intrinsic / extrinsic motivations and the impact these can have on learning patterns if implemented over a period of time. A paper I’ve come across very recently that addresses this subject is Scott Nicholson’s ‘A User-Centered Theoretical Framework for Meaningful Gamification‘ (which can be found along with other interesting articles & presentations at the blog of ‘Because Games Matter’ (A game lab in the iSchool at Syracuse University).
Next step is to go have a look on the different types of motivation we are using in traditional teaching methods as well as games based learning … more on this soon!