This past weekend I participated in Twitter versus Zombies a game event sponsored by Digital Writing Month. Whenever gamification comes up in my education networks and literature I usually just look the other way primarily because I am not a gamer. It also feels like it can be really hard to pull off a meaningful and exciting game without coming off as lame, stupid, boring, and otherwise uncool. Twitter vs Zombies enticed me with an opportunity to experience online gaming in, what seemed to me, a very stripped down environment: Twitter, a website, a Google Doc. I didn’t need to learn some new system, build some new system, or invest a ton of time into it.
I jumped in the game sometime on Friday and was turned into a Zombie sometime on Saturday. The game clock ended on Monday at noon central time. Here is a Storify of my experience:
The Duke discussion provided a framework for me to reflect on my experience and to think about other possibilities for gaming in learning. One section of the discussion I found particularly interesting addressed the issue of promoting methods over reflection. In our game method was one piece of learning (many users were new to Twitter and the game provided an opportunity to learn how to use Twitter effectively), but reflection was also encouraged through substantial writing opportunities. But I think there is an opportunity for learning that does focus solely on method or where the method is just as vital. For example, with Hurricane Sandy looming in my mind, a game about Disaster Relief would be one where method would be vitally important to learn. Some other possibilities: Stock Market Trading, Geographic Hunt/Tag, and Civilization games. What about you? What other ‘games’ do you think could work in Twitter?