I am soon graduating college and this week and I’m presenting to the mentors my grad project, that was made by teamwork of four people (including myself). We had three months to make up an idea, find a way to bring it to life, and implement it.

The result - fitness mobile application for Android. Inspired by HabitRPG, FitnessAdventure is a fitness planner where you get experience points by doing your exercises, lose health points by slacking off, and uncover new part of your quest/plot with each level.

Oh, and you can pick your character class, you know, RPG style. The class affects what kind of exercises we suggest you.

We make suggestions for each level, and apart from that, you can create YOUR OWN exercises, set their difficulty level, number of repetitions, etc.

You can also collect cool badges. You like badges, right?

Anyway - it would really help my cause (read: my grade) if game got some (read: many) downloads. Please keep in mind it’s still a beta version (three months - not a lot). If there will be enough people into our idea, we will keep working on the app and make it even better! Of course, it’s free.

tl:dr; We made an RPG game/fitness planner application. I swear it’s cool. Please check it out.


"Degamification of Games" - Chris DeLeon looks at a phenomenon some of you may already be noticing—that our games are getting less…gamey. And as it turns out, this is a pretty great thing. It’s an important moment in our medium’s development, and the video is worth a look.

Oh, and by the way, one of the most commonly used justifications of challenge in a game is that it goads the player to explore a mechanic and make the most of it in order to advance. But you don’t always have to force players through hoops to get them to experiment with your systems. Some people are just curious, and some mechanics just invoke curiosity. The best ones always do. Aperture Science can attest to that.

And, in a moment of shameless self-promotion, I also wrote something on game difficulty. It’s about good for a quick read.


For an article about gamification in the work environment I developed these  “office achievement” badges. (And a proud employee flaunting them)

For Management Team Magazine


Cleveland Cavaliers PreGame Court Projection

Fusion of digital in-game sports presentation and real life. Love it.

Quince Imaging, in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Q-TV team and Think Media Studios, projected full court video in anticipation of the halftime ceremony honoring Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

For more information visit:


Would more people recycle if the process were actually fun? Coca-Cola and agency Grey Dhaka tried to answer that question by placing six “Happiness Arcade” machines around Dhaka, Bangladesh.

It’s kinda neat — instead of putting in a quarter, or a dollar, you fire up the game by depositing an empty Coke bottle.

Obviously it would be cooler if it accepted any bottle, but the thought is good.

Via Coke’s Recyling-Themed Arcade Game Accepts Empty Bottles Instead of Money | Adweek

Adweek’s readers pointed out some similarities to this earlier effort to gamify recycling: The Bottle Bank Arcade.

Classroom Pictures and Ideas

I’d be interested to see your classrooms—layouts, bulletin boards, and whatever cool ideas you have!  Pictures of mine are after the break.

I teach 7th grade math.  I have tried to gamify my classroom by using Classcraft (point management game system) and a couple of other ideas that will be pictured later.  It’s a little busy…but hopefully it’s stuff that encourages kids to work hard and learn.

Mini panorama of my classroom.  6 groups of 6 desks.  I put painters tape on the floor so that kids know where to move desks.  Right now, it’s in “normal mode.”  When kids take a quiz/test, they split the desks into separate rows; we call that “battle mode.”

My makeshift growth mindset “poster” for the door.  I found that picture online, and I made up the other part with growth mindset beliefs written on it.

Front of the classroom.  The statement across the top (“We are the Class of 2020.  We are game changers, earth shakers, and history makers, and we’re going to change the world.”) is our class motto, and I make the kids say that to start each class period.  They also choral respond/read the objectives on the right.

Found these vinyl chalk talk bubbles at Target.  I’m going to write the essential questions for the lesson here.  I just started having the kids choral read these with the objectives today.

Absent work wall.  My student TA writes the homework on the calendar for me each day; in the past, I’ve just had one of my students do it at the beginning of the day.

Classroom expectations.  I had my kids write all the rules they could think of that they’ve had to follow in school.  Then I told them that instead of memorizing a bunch of rules for every teacher and every situation, they should follow three basic standards:  be respectful, be responsible, and be positive.  We sorted out the rules that they came up with at the beginning into these three categories.  All the other rules they can ever think of will probably fit in one or more of these categories.  I said they can self-check their behavior if they’re not sure if their actions are okay by asking, “Am I being respectful?”  “Am I being responsible?”  “Am I being positive?”

Tech expectations near the computers in the back.

The “Why Should I Get an Education?” wall.  This is stuff I’ve collected over the years to support reasons for an education:  to earn more money, to have more options, to have more power (have knowledge so that people don’t take advantage of you), and more helpful (understand that people are hurting and need your help).  I’m not a fan of the layout; I wasn’t sure how much space something else would take, so I ended up putting too much in one space.  I’ll do a better job next year.

The Kingdom Map.  Each little square represents a skill/lesson in the math book; the large papers represent the chapter.  The first chapter destination is Proportion Palace.  Since I’m using so many squares in my room, I went with a Minecraft theme and found pictures online that would fit with the names I came up with.  I will use this as a data wall as well, where I will write the percentage of students who pass each lesson quiz.

Below the Kingdom Map are student Mastery Profiles.  Every time they pass a quiz or test, they get a “badge” (a sticker) that they put on their Mastery Profile.  The cover is the student’s “My Life of Numbers” poster, where they had to come up with 8 facts about themselves that involve numbers.  I made them rewrite the number as an expression with 1 or 2 operations, depending on the period.  They had to draw a picture to accompany each fact.

Another component of my classroom gamification is the Noah and Mozzie wall.  (Noah and Mozzie are my sister’s son and dog, respectively.)  The kids are saving Noah and Mozzie from the dark forces and building a new world for them.  Every time they pass a quiz or a test, not only do they get a badge on their personal Mastery Profile, but they also get a little square with their name on it.  These squares build a part of the Noah and Mozzie story.  Escaping the dark forces is the first task.  They will later have to build a new world for Noah and Mozzie (trees, flowers, and a house, I think).  Every time they complete a task, we will celebrate by doing a Change It Up Wednesday—a minimum day where we will do something other than the regular lesson.

Character wall.

"Math Is Everywhere" wall, along with the 6 + 1 Traits of Writing.  "I know it’s a math class, but you still need to practice communication.  It’s not enough to just know stuff; you need to be able to communicate your ideas.  You could be the smartest person in the room and have the cure for cancer in your head…but it does no good to anyone else if you can’t communicate how to get the cure to other people."

My mini math library.

Self-explanatory.  =)

That’s my classroom!  I’d love to see pictures and hear ideas about yours!


Gamifying Education

Man, I forgot about this video. I know I’ve got some teenagers following me, so if any of you are into games at all, check this out and decide if it’s worth showing to your own teachers. I want to see a lot more of these kinds of ideas becoming widespread.

Key areas in social HR:

  • Gamification. 70% of Global 2000 business wil be using a gamified application such as skills development by 2014. 
  • Social recruitment. Companies using social networking sites for hiring purposes increased from 34% in 2008 to 56% in 2011
  • Employee engagement. With social media platforms employees are able to provide input into areas where they were previously excluded, such as company strategy and corporate citizenship.
  • Performance management. Social reinforcement of good performance provides encouragement for employees to deliver at expected performance levels, while getting the necessary recognition for their efforts in real-time.
  • Skills development. Knowledge sharing and peer learning via social platforms on a daily basis has become the norm as employees engage each other across social platforms. 

(via 5 big ways social HR is changing the way we do business | memeburn)

Social Studies Meets Gamification Part 2

Another major component of my gamified classroom is that we have our own economy.  Students earn XP and move up levels in the game.  As they move up a level, they each get a certain amount of gold.  The gold is our in game currency and students are always wondering how much they have.  

They can then spend their gold on a number of different items.  These items consist of swords that cut multiple choice questions in half, shields that give you more review time right before a test, bonus points on specific assignments, late passes, and much more.  We also have special auctions where I auction off decals for their MacBooks, candy, and even the best seat in the house (my desk and desk chair).  

These incentives add another layer of motivation for those students that aren’t just competitive, but it still provides an additional motivation for those students that are competitive.  

I’m not really teaching anything different and the students aren’t really doing anything different but they are being more motivated because the class is now a game.

Confused?  Read Parts 1 & 3!




In the Market there are now two new pet quests: King of the Dinosaurs and The Dinosaur Unearthed! They both give out the same rewards, including pet Tyrannosaur eggs. The difference is that “King of the Dinosaurs” is a normal pet quest, like all the others, whereas “The Dinosaur Unearthed” has less HP - but also a Rage bar (a la World Bosses) that allows it to heal if you skip too many of your Dailies. Both bosses still attack your party based on how many Dailies are incomplete. Users will be able to buy Tyrannosaur eggs after defeating either boss twice or both bosses once.

Have fun!


Part of my classroom decoration (which I posted about here) is the Noah and Mozzie wall.  Every time a student passes a quiz or a test, my TAs put their name on a square that gets added to the story on the wall.

Their first task was to build a ladder to help Noah and Mozzie escape from the Dragon of Doom.  Then they had to start a new world for Noah and Mozzie by planting trees.  The new task, Task #3, is to build a fence to keep out the Trolls of Trouble.

Once they finish a task, they earn a reward day where we take a break from the regular work and do something different.

It’s slow and steady progress (they took 1 semester to do the first two tasks), but I really like how the wall is turning out.  I’m thinking about putting in little details like clouds, birds, flowers, etc.  Maybe these can celebrate different student achievements, like reaching their 10th passed quiz, 20th passed quiz, earning 100% on 3 consecutive quizzes, highest score, etc.  It would just be a matter of what data I can easily track with the district’s grading program.  We’ll see how it goes.

Any ideas/suggestions for achievements, little details to add to the wall, or systems for easily tracking data for 130+ students would be welcome! =)

Social Studies Meets Gamification Part 4

New additions to the game:

- Occasionally, students will work together with their guild on guild notes.  They share a reading together and take notes together.  They then get to use these notes for a part of the time during a quiz and earn XP for the guild if they all do well.  I’m trying to incentivize them working together and helping each other out as much as possible.

- To go along with the previous theme.  I’ve created items that they can purchase with their gold that can help out their entire guild.  Students are now discussing with their guilds about what is the best option to further them in the game.  Some guilds are actually planning to save up and make bigger purchases as we get closer to the grand finale.  

- The storyline is now more complex as students have now fought a Volcanic Dragon from Indonesia and are going to use that dragon to face off against their ultimate villain who has been stalking them.  

- Along with the storyline, I’ve been posting clues that all line up with a location for each test.  Students put the location on the test and they get some additional XP.  

Just some ideas I’d like to share!  So far, everything is going really well and students are more motivated and participating more than I’ve ever had.