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Gamification: Blog Book Tour Recap


Mon Sep 24 2012

Gamification: Blog Book Tour Recap

The blog book tour for The Gamification of Learning and Instruction (2012, Pfeiffer and ASTD Press) has come to an end. I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the tour.



The tour gained a great deal of momentum and has served to raise the awareness of gamification (both the pros and the cons).  To date, the tour has led to over 2,000 books being sold with 200 of them being ebooks and Pfeiffer indicated that the book is the best-selling new title from Pfeiffer this year. THANKS TO EVERYONE.

The tour has really brought the subject of gamification to light and provided both pros of gamification and highlighted the cons of gamification. The important thing is that people are talking about it in an intelligent and thoughtful manner. One of the most exciting things about the tour was the unscheduled stops. People or organizations that jumped on board to discuss the concept of gamification and the ramification of the practice within the field of learning and development.

In this last posting, I’ll provide a recap of the tour and links to the stops I could find related to the tour. If you have a stop I’ve missed or want to add one in the comments, please feel free to do so.

Unscheduled Stops

In his recent (and still on-going) Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) on Gamification, Kevin Werbach, Assistant Professor at Wharton said this about the book…


Karl M. Kapp: The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education - If you are in the training and education space, you cannot not have this book. It shows how education and training in both schools/universities and corporations will change, and why. 

And, if you look closely at the book shelf in the background of his lectures, I am pretty sure my book is on that shelf.

There were other unscheduled stops, including an article in Mashable, Forbes and an upcoming piece in Delta’s Sky Magazine are all a result of interest the tour generated.

At Mashable, Sharlyn Lauby (HR Bartender) wrote "The Evolution of Gamification in the Workplace" providing insights into the origins of using games and game-elements for learning.

On the Forbes blog, Jeanne Meister (Future Workplace) provides examples of companies using games for learning in her article "Gamification: Three Ways To Use Gaming For Recruiting, Training, and Health & Wellness." I am not sure she quoted me correctly when she said I believe the key to gamification is how “addictive” it can be. I think I said “powerful” or “impactful.” Addiction is pointing the wrong way in terms of gamification.


More of the right way to do gamification was expressed in my interview with Joe Dager of Business901:Implementing Leaning Marketing Systems. In the interview I talk about the aspects of gamification instructional designers have been doing for years and indicate that game developers go through a different thought process than people designing instruction and that instructional designers might want to consider some of the same things game developers do when they create instruction.

The sentiments are the same ones outlined in a few articles related to the tour.

Games, Gamification and the Quest for Learner Engagement

Improving Training: Thinking Like a Game Developer

5 Gaming Elements for Effective E-Learning


The tour was not without controversy and negative feelings about the term “Gamification” and even the book itself. A few individuals have expressed deep concern about the term gamification and the many negative outcomes that will result from focusing on extrinsically motivating learners through badges, points and reward structures.

These are valid and important concerns that learning professionals need to think carefully before employing gamification. The focus should be on the engaging aspects of learning that many games have and the real attraction of games which is autonomy, mastery and a sense of accomplishment.

In terms of not liking the book, over at Amazon, a P. Swan was so angry and disappointed by the book that he took the time to write a very impassioned negative critique. He did not like anything about the book. Apparently, he and I have different ideas of the term “gamification” he didn’t like my focus on some of the more “traditional” aspects of how I framed the term, he wanted new insights into the convergence of game-elements and instruction. He also didn’t like the fact that I included guest authors for some of the chapters. He felt I needed more examples and was too focused on what has already been done. You can go to Amazon and read our discussion.

That’s the great thing about social media, it provides an open forum. It allows people who are interested in the topic to gain multiple perspectives, and not just the authors. As an author, it is scary and sometimes difficult to read such scathing reviews of your work but, as a practitioner and researcher in the field, I know it is absolutely necessary to have these types of discussions.


Here are links to recaps of all the stops on the tour.

Week One Recap

Week Two Recap (scroll down for recap)

Week Three Recap  (scroll down for recap)

Week Four Recap (scroll down for recap)

Week Five Recap (scroll down for recap)

Week Six Recap (Here are the postings from Week Six)

Games are Serious Business

These two entries are not "official stops" but great reading on the subject) Julie Brink, Game-Based Learning for the Corporate World and Mark Oehlert  An Amplification of the power of Game-Based Learning in the Corporate World 

More to Come

While officially over, the tour is not stopping. I am scheduled to do a number of live conferences in the fall and early spring, I will be publishing some more articles, writing more blog posts and keeping the discussion alive concerning the right way to do this thing called “gamification” to engage learners in authentic and meaningful ways. Join in the conversation and let us know what you are doing with games, gamification and interactive learning.

Join the conversation:

Read the first chapter (it’s Free!)

Comment on Facebook (it’s Free!)

Read the Book (available from ASTD)

Follow on Pinterest (it’s Free!)

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