Is Classcraft a traditional game? How do we play?
Classcraft is different from a traditional game in the sense that the "game" is a way to rewire real-class social dynamics and give students an active role in enforcing classroom management. In turn, there is no "game world" for students to explore as most interactions occur between students and teachers in a real-life setting.
Benefits of gamification
However, students respond positively to Classcraft because, like a traditional game, it features clearly defined game rules, which represent the actual classroom rules; a typical video game aesthetic that students are familiar with; characters that have points and "level up"; and activities that involve students, making class more interesting. In fact, Classcraft leverages seven key components of games, such as social relationships, autonomy, and surprise, and uses them to fulfill student needs within education.
In Classcraft, students are represented as "avatars" or "characters," which are static; they do not speak or fight. Instead, every action in the game has an effect on the real-life classroom: It becomes the "world" in which students evolve and level up. For example, when a student makes relevant observations or helps out another student, you can give them XP. If they misbehave, you can take out HP. Thus, their behavior has a consequence in the game, and vice versa.
Students' actions and behaviors in the classroom affect their characters' stats and enable them to "level up" by gaining XP. When their character gains a level, students earn Power Points and learn new powers that give them real privileges in class. You can create powers that students will be motivated by, like eating in class, having an extra day to hand in an assignment, etc. There are also game-based and collaborative powers that students can use to help their teammates when they lose points.
Classcraft works as a layer over the regular class structure — students will still learn all their normal lessons. What changes is how they connect with what they’re studying and how they interact with one another and the teacher.
Chance and uncertainty
Moreover, Classcraft draws from traditional games in other ways. There are multiple tools to gamify your classroom and engage your students. For example, random events add a touch of chance and uncertainty to each day, and Boss Battles transform formative reviews into epic encounters.