Thursday, December 8, 2016

Roleplayification: a specific kind of gamification

First coined as «Roleplayingfication» by Morten Greis Petersen, roleplayification could be an interesting neologism mixing the concepts of gamification and role-playing. Let's apply it to education :
  • Gamification: use of game mechanics (points, badges, levels,  rewards, leaderboard, quests, challenges) and game experiences (safe space, immersion, exploration, competition, narration) to engage and motivate people to learn something.
  • Role-play: pretense attitude in which the player takes the role, skills and personality of himself (or another person) in a simulated situation for preparing himself or improving his abilities.
Some metrics*:
  • A lot of studies (2300+) were recently made on gamification (since 2010, with a hype peak in 2015). They are mostly in computer science (74%) and engineering (15%), reflecting a strong aspect of digital/computer-based gamification, so showing few synchronized interpersonal interactions. 
  • A lot of studies (c. 6500+) were also made on role-play in education (since 1968, with two peaks : 1989-1992 and 2011). They are mostly in medecine and nursing training (87%). 

I define roleplayification as :
  • The use of mechanics and experiences taken from role-playing a character 
    • role-taking
    • personality taking
    • perspective taking
    • acting
    • public talking, debating, 
    • active listening, cold reading
  • ... in a simulated playful game situation
    • larp style: direct talking, permanent acting, no ellipse
    • tabletop style: more metagaming, possibility of indirect talking/ acting, ellipses
  • ... to engage and motivate a group of people (through synchronized interpersonal interactions)
  • ... to learn something
    • preparing
    • improving
    • discovering
    • raising awareness

I discarded all other RPG aspects unrelated to playing a role : points, levels, quests, narration, safe space, immersion,… 

* Source:, function Analyze results
Search for : gamif* OR ludif* in TITLE-ABS-KEY
Search for : ("role-play*" OR roleplay* in KEY)  AND (education OR training OR learning OR literacy in TITLE-ABS-KEY)

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