GBL Picks: Curated Game Based Learning Resources


The Knowledge Guru team is obviously very interested in the future of game based learning, and right now that future is bright. But not everyone is as informed about the industry. We are setting out to change that. We’re on a mission to educate the Instructional Design community and the decision makers in Training and Development about game based learning and its true potential.

As part of that mission we’re bringing you GBL picks, a series of curated resources on game based learning and gamification. We’ll explain why each resource is important and how the information in them can be used to shape opinions on game based learning. So now, without further ado, here are this week’s GBL picks:

Pick #1

Gamification: A Short History

Our first article is a great overview of the history of gamification. The incorporation of game elements into things other than games is not as new as you might think. In this “anthropology of an idea” you can see how gamification evolved from using fun on the factory floor to full blown training games complete with points and badges. This is a great resource for broadening our understanding of games in non-game environments, by seeing how it had evolved we can start to understand the ‘why’ of gamification and help move it even further into the future.

Pick #2

6 Tips for Implementing Gamification

“Gamification can lead to positive businesses outcomes such as innovation, employee performance management and customer engagement. But it can also fail, or even worse, backfire.” That’s why this next resource is on our GBL Picks. These six tips help you avoid costly errors that could cause your gamification efforts to fall flat. The the two most common mistakes made by people trying to implement games are: “it’s a game, how hard could it be to make?” and the immediate assumption that “it’s fun, of course everyone will want to play.” Yes, games are innovative and fun, but they do require work on the trainer’s part. Building the game is a challenge and requires a certain level of knowledge about game design, and you may need to market the game to employees (or make even make contests) to get them to want to play—it’s kind of hard to make ‘fun’ mandatory, so just try to make it happen naturally.

Pick #3

Jane McGonigal: Truths & Myths in Gaming

For our last pick we have something new—a video. This is a YouTube video from the Big Think channel in which a thought leader on games breaks down her view of certain myths our culture has about gaming (and what the actual truths may be). Games are sometimes blamed for a lot of problems in our society, especially pertaining to youths, but McGonigal thinks they’re actually making people better. This is a great resource for understanding the gaming culture—a necessary step towards integrating games in your environment.