Gamification in Physical Education

Any game is something where a player is set a challenge. The player may make choices to overcome the challenge, although chance dictates that the player cannot guarantee the choices they make will be successful. The choices the player makes change the state of the game, so that the player must constantly be re-evaluating the best choice for any given situation. Once a player has made a sufficient number of choices, the game is won or lost.

While designing games for physical education and coaching could be considered a complex task, the process of designing a game does not have to be hard. A game is, at its core, a challenge. The simplest games—throwing rocks at things, or “tag, you’re it” running games—were, once upon a time, important survival techniques. Fast runners were able to outrun predators, and good rock throwers could hunt more reliably. In order for a game to feel satisfying, we need some sort of challenge: a goal or objective. challenges are not just about winning the game. Every pass, interaction, and opponent presents a challenge. We can to break these challenges up: Micro-challenges (dribbling past a defender), Main challenges (scoring a point), and the overall challenge (winning the game.) 

An expert in this area, Carl Condliffe is a Health and PE teacher based in New Zealand who passionate about using technology to create authentic and meaningful learning experiences for his students. In this episode of The PhysEdcast we touch on how you can include elements of gamification in your teaching, as well as explore Carl’s secret life as a semi-professional gamer!

The PhysEdcast is a collection of stories from around the #PhysEd world to inspire and innovate your practice. Join host Nathan Horne from iPhys-Ed.com as he explores the world of physical education and coaching. You can subscribe and listen to the PhysEdcast on any good podcast provider. Click here to listen and subscribe now.

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