There is a widespread confusion about the difference between gamification processes and game based learning. So widespread even, that some don’t even know there is a difference. Let me explain.
A definition for gamification could read like this: Gamification is the use of game design elements (mechanics & dynamics) in non-game environments. It is infusing playfulness into situations that are not playful to begin with.
A definition for game based learning could read like this: Game based learning is the use of games for teaching or developing skills. Existing games are used to integrate knowledge and/or techniques in the student.
Now, the confusion isn’t all that strange, since the two techniques can be both present at the same time. Take for example Empire Avenue, which is a new kind of hybrid between a social network, an online marketing tool and some sort of a social stock-market game. If you are a marketeer using Empire Avenue, you are using a gamified marketing tool. If you are a teenager working your way up the leaderboard without any business goals, you are using Empire Avenue as a game which teaches you about how to use social networks in a professional setting, which would make it game based learning.
That’s it for now. Hopefully you find this helpful. Please, if you have any comments or questions, let me know!