The gamification of play during lockdown
Lockdown was a stressful time for many around the world, especially those with young children. To understand the effectiveness of leisure programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, researchers in Spain studied ‘gamification’ – a technique to engage people through play, motivation, and problem solving. 58 parents and 82 children (with a mean age of 8.35) were recruited, with a smaller sample of 32 parents used for semi-structured interviews. All participants had access for one month to the free online platform Lunae Magic School, which had weekly themes such as creative or physical activities (e.g. yoga or drawing). Results found a high level of enthusiasm for the activities, with 96% of families rating the concept to be fun. Over 90% enjoyed the gamification aspect and found the magic school aesthetic to be engaging, and two-fifths (40.6%) were classified as having ‘flow’ – a condition in which deep enjoyment and full participation is experienced. Parents enjoyed the structure Lunae Magic School created for their children, with time set aside each week to do something physical or creative, while being confined to their homes. To read more about the study, click here.