Pink Boxes and Chocolate-dipped Broccoli: Bad Game Design Providing Justifications for Reluctant Learners
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The use of games to make boring activities fun is usually a bad idea. The thoughtless use of points and badges as a method of “gamification” is usually a bad idea. Pandering to stereotypes about women by making games pink and on “girly” topics is usually a bad idea. Yet, these design tactics may provide face saving strategies for those who are reluctant to openly engage in learning. In this paper I review tactics such as sugar-coating learning with games, pointsification of educational experiences, and pink boxing games and ask why, if these are such bad design tactics, they sometimes work. In answering these questions the pretense of gaming and fun can be seen as a powerful justification for participation in learning.