Sparks: Play and Constraints (David Kernohan)

David Kernohan on gamification and creative constraints:

for me, the negative experiences of game-ification come when the creativity of the arbitrator is not up to the task of responding and adapting to the creativity of the game player in ways that foster rather than restrict.

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In open education (yes, I got there in the end) we are at something of a crossroads: where we are agreeing on constraints (what is open? where is open? how can we find open?). Those arguing for space to play are often seen as “unrealistic”, those arguing for rule structures to direct creativity are seen as “dictatorial”.

The simple truth is that we need both, and we need to recognise that. We need rules and requirements, but we need to be flexible enough to change as the world changes.

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