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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Gamification as Invention Strategy in Writing Essays and Research Papers

Using games can be a good way to get your mind moving when writing an essay, report, or research paper. Now you ask: What kind of games? It could be something where you have to search for something, but the quest approach sometimes does not yield what you need, which is a well-developed idea of the topic in which you are immersed to the point that you basically become the problem.  What we're describing is, as you can already see, a role-playing game. 

So, the very first step in gamification for brainstorming is to identify a problem. 

Next, start clarifying the mission and the characters for role-playing.

    * My Challenge: Dealing with escaped exotic pets in my neighborhood
    * Role Play:  What would a videogame hero, Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 do?
    * Role Play, Second Round:  What would a famous videogame villain or bad guy do? (What would Bowser do? What would The Joker do?)

Now, once you’ve set up your scenario, don’t let a lack of in-depth knowledge about your selected heroes or anti-heroes slow you down. Remember, your goal is to think of solving a problem, and how to do it in an expedient way that may or may not be very ethical. If you are the extremely unethical Joker, then be sure to reflect on how and why your choices are so, well, evil.

Keep in mind that the gamified mind is the following:
    * Mission-focused
    * Aware of causal relationships / cause & effect
    * Very aware of surroundings
    * Able to predict obstacles and anticipate likely dangers
    * Very aware of competitors and impediments
    * Focused on winning / the prize (desired outcome)
    * Ready to maximize efficiency step by step
    * Willing to apply knowledge gained by prior experience
    * Able to quickly search for helpful information when needed

Gamifying your mind can be a powerful approach to brainstorming because it helps you overcome some of the blocks you might have when you try to develop an idea using written text and outlines, where you are staying perhaps too abstract and conceptual.

By adding the gaming approach, you’re involved in a simulation, and thus are engaging on a higher plane where you are a whole person, focused on an outcome. Focusing on an outcome allows you to organize, streamline, and reality-check your approach, and it forces you to become creative if you see certain obstacles or dangers. By role-playing both a hero and a villain, you’re able to evaluate ethical and unethical choices.

When might gamification not work?  It’s possible to completely stall out on gamification if
    * your goal is not challenging enough
    * your goal can’t be defined
    * you can’t identify any obstacles
    * there are no ethical challenges

If you’re stalling out, you may need to revisit your topic and consider how to make it more complex, so that you have more room to expand your thought process.

After you’ve completed your gamification scenario, the next step is to take a look at transforming the scenario into an outline. You’ll start with THE PROBLEM, and the move to SOLUTIONS, which will be your outline.

Free Video-Assisted E-Learning Text:  Available Now!

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