Reflections on ludification: Approaching a conceptual framework – and discussing inherent challenges

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    This article discusses the relatively new concept of ludification with the attempt of laying the theoretical groundwork for further studies. Although ludification ties in with both gamification and the concept and practice of transmedia it possesses unique characteristics and qualities of its own, primarily evolving around games and playful ways of structuring stories. The focus point is how traditional media such as tv-series and movies incorporate gamelike traits and structures into their narrative structure. This concerns both the narrative structures that users can and cannot interact with. Among other things, we consider a deep understanding of ludification vital for the more practically oriented approach to learning through (serious) games. Thus, this paper serves as a prolegomenon to the interpretation of works of ludification, as well as to the diverse field of deploying gamified material in didactical and pedagogical context. In addition to the conceptual groundwork for understanding ludification and how it manifests itself we propose an analytical method for unearthing the traits and structures of ludification: we have coined this method the ludo-interpretation. Furthermore, this article discusses the merits and shortcomings of ludification and the ludo-interpretation in the final section where we deploy a Popperian inspired three-levelled falsification and refutation technique.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Serious Games
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)115-127
    Publication statusPublished - 17. Sept 2021


    • Game design
    • Gamification
    • Learning
    • Ludification
    • Play theory


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