Crossword Gamification!

Nov 20, 2014

So I have read a lot recently about Gamification, its pros and its cons. I have also been reading a lot recently about our wonderful brains and how they work and when and why they make new bits of brain which is well, cool!

Both of these bits of recent reading have made me want to dabble a little with some Gamification but to do it in a way that makes the brain work out a little or a lot (depending on how you write your clues)!

So I started with thinking realistically what I could create quickly(ish) and within my current means (without spending £’s). I looked at other peoples work and found word searches, hangman, pair matching games and other things along those lines and I thought that was the right sort of level I wanted and in the end I plumbed for a crossword.

I did this mainly for the fact that it’s one that really makes us think about the answer and work it out. We use quite a few different skills in a crossword and they all stimulate our brains into working and working our brain out it would seem is what makes it fitter (well according to the science I have been reading anyhow).

A cross word can be many different levels of complexity too and can be tailored to suit your needs quite well I think. You can have one at the end of a course to check knowledge learned so your clue can be.

“This widget is best suited for person x if they like the colour red…”

They can be used at in a course to make people work out answers for themselves or they can be used for just a bit of light fact giving like the brief concept one I have created.

Anyway, so I had picked my game of choice, time to search the web and find someone’s shared crossword template to adapt it and make how I want it to be.

But to my horror I couldn’t find anything quite right for me, there were lots of third party ways of making one and embedding it but I wanted it in my course made in storyline. I wanted it like this for a number of reasons but mainly so that I could add tracking to it if I wanted and even score it if needs be. I also think having it built in could trigger what learning you went to next if you wanted to so for example if you can work out 2 across you could click hint and some useful info on widgets comes up.. I also decided I wanted a visual cue for users if they got a right or wrong letter so I added that in to.

All in all my trial crossword is a pretty rough first stab with no links to marking or additional info but I thought I would share the source file so that if anyone else wants to pick it apart and make their own with it they can! (I'm not sure what came over me with the theme I was just thinking old paper)

Demo Here

Source File here or attached


7 Replies
Joshua Roberts

Hello Stuart,

Good start with this - well put together. 

I do a lot of gamification work in the UK and actually one of the best things that you can do with your budget is look to create a branching story. These can be done very simply and without a huge amount of graphical input. But the constant free choice and repercussions of your actions keep the learner engaged throughout. 

Just think about text based adventure games, I used to sit for hours just reading lines of text on my PC before pressing 1. To enter the town and then reading all about it again.

Freedom, choice, reward and repercussions will really propel your gamification thoughts.

Good job with this template though and I look forward to seeing more.

Joshua Roberts
Stuart Gilbert

Thanks Joshua,

I like using branching, like you say endless possibilities and easily done only down side is I cant cheat like I used too in old adventure books by keeping my finger on the last page in case I fell down a trap door!

Oh yes, I remember those!

You may went to check out the blog that I host which is packed full of gamification and how we can use video games to draw inspiration for our E-Learning. I don't just cover gamification but ways that games deal with giving us important information necessary for us to succeed - this is all very important in the world of learning.

You can access the blog by clicking here

Branching is a great way and I look forward to see your journey into gamification develop. If I was really geeky I'd make a reference to experience points and levelling up, but I'll control myself for now...

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