Gamified Content vs Gamified Ecosystem

Hi all! I was wondering if any of you had any resources or could point me in the direction of any research that discusses the pros/cons of GAMIFIYING CONTENT vs GAMIFYING THE LEARNING ECOSYSTEM. 

Is there research that says gamifying educational content leads to better retention or behavior change? (As opposed to gamifying the learning environment or process.)

What about case studies comparing participation results between gamifying an LMS vs gamifying the content in a regular LMS?

Clients are always asking for 'games', without offering any specifics. They dont really know what they want. Or need.

One thing my (young and Millennial) development team struggles with is the fact that cheesy learning games aren't actually games; they're usually glorified quizzes or assessments or interactive learning courses. To us, the more 'fun' game quality comes in the form of a gamified system where we earn points for completing assignments, and get to see if we're smarter than someone else, and could potentially get rewards for earning those badges and being high on a leaderboard, etc. 

So I was just wondering if there was any information out there that says one way or another if either approach is more effective. 

Thoughts? Links? Anecdotal evidence from within your own organization?

1 Reply
Christy Tucker

I'm not aware of any research on that off the top of my head, but I suggest looking at Karl Kapp's work. He has published several books on the topic, and he shares research summaries on his blog sometimes. He's a big proponent of using elements like narrative and challenge that make games really exciting, rather than just the superficial elements like badges and glorified quizzes.

http://karlkapp.com/