Karl Kapp is a longtime friend of this blog, having made one of the early comments here back in 2007. Since then, we’ve maintained a correspondence and ongoing discussion regarding the use of videogames in education and related matters. Dr. Kapp has written and co-written quite a bit on play in education. Learning in 3D explored the provision of education in virtual immersive environments while Gadgets, Games, and Gizmos for Learning explored real world educational tools.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m honored Dr. Kapp included some ideas on understanding elements leading to higher learning in videogames which I outlined in a paper published a few years ago in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. He sent me an early review copy to elicit comments. In the chapter on applying gamification to problem solving, Dr. Kapp takes my videogame Cognitive Viability Index and shows designers how to apply it in games for encouraging solutions.
It’s a detailed and thorough book. Dr. Kapp begins by defining terms and provides a better understanding for the novice, exploring the deeper elements of engagement inherent in true gamification. He provides a foundation for understanding game elements, including goals, conflict, and narrative. Then he explores the underlying theories of gamification and research in the field.
The remainder of the book is devoted to application. He describes some of the benefits of game play, types of players, and using gamification in solving complex problems. Additional chapters are devoted to managing the design process and selecting particular games for different purposes. Each chapter ends with key takeaways for summation and discussion if the book is used as a text.
This is a welcome addition to the field. It will find a deserved place in classrooms as well as boardrooms since the principles are applicable in both education and business settings.