Video: “The Game Layer on Top of the World”

“By now, we’re used to letting Facebook and Twitter capture our social lives on the web – building a “social layer” on top of the real world. At TEDxBoston, Seth Priebatsch looks at the next layer in progress: the “game layer,” a pervasive net of behavior-steering game dynamics that will reshape education and commerce.”

TEDx – Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world

  • Mr. Hopkins,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this video clip of Mr. Priebatsch. I was completely unaware of this layer of game dynamics shaping the culture and mindset of America, which proves understandable considering Priebatsch’s point that most of these dynamics often remain invisible, thus improving the effectiveness of the method. As I watched this video for the second time, I caught myself pondering how teachers can utilize these four methods in the classroom of students who already understand much about this new era. I understand that any behavioral influence dynamic as powerful as this “game layer” can possibly be abused and must be handled very gently and strategically for the maximum benefit of student education. With such information in mind, I desire to posit brief ideas concerning the use these four dynamics in the classroom.

    The appointment dynamic interested me enormously. I began pondering incentives for student attendance and timely work. Teachers often harshly penalizing late work. Concomitantly, they may choose to award work that is timely with extra points, etc. I have had few teachers use this method,but it seemed to work well. I have one professor who awards good and timely attendance but does not penalize for bad attendance. This use of the appointment dynamic seems to be an effective option for classroom use.

    I believe the second dynamic, influence and status, must be used cautiously in the classroom. In order to encourage students to meet necessary standards and achieve exceptional goals, teachers may choose to assign positive leadership roles to students, such as teacher helps and team leaders. However, teachers must also be careful to not undermine other students or exalt the leaders too much. I do believe that this method is beneficial in the classroom.

    I see the progression dynamic mainly in elementary schools. Star stickers on academic and behavioral achievement boards, accelerated reader goal and reward charts, and other displays of success are present in every classroom and hallway. However, I would like to see how this dynamic used more often in higher education. Task completion checklists may be posted in the classroom so students can see how well they are attaining weekly and monthly goals. I believe the progression dynamic is often neglected in high school and college and I would like to see how implementing this method would positively or negatively affect the students.

    My favorite game dynamic mentioned was the communal discovery dynamic. I believe this method to be beneficial and effective in the classroom. When the whole class is rallied to work together to achieve a goal, the desire and anticipation for success usually escalates. For instance, if a whole class plots to plan a surprise party for the teacher, they each want a part in the planning and they work hard as a team, as a family, to make the surprise a success. I believe that a communal effort to solve a problem, make connections, defend, or create proves successful in stimulating many types of learning.

    I enjoyed this video and the information presented. Please notify me with any comments or opinions on how this game layer affects education. I would like to expand my thoughts on this topic. Thank you.