Do you think we are playing? A literature review amidst a quagmire of definitions


This article presents a literature review, encompassing a scoping review, and a narrative review within the broader context of game studies. Inside a project focused on Classcraft in Italian secondary school, the aim is to answer the research question: Are the students actually playing while they are using a gamified system? Our review reveals a multitude of definitions especially related to gamification in educational contexts, reflecting the complexity and evolving nature of the field. The two different levels of review serve to filter and organize the myriad definitions in the literature. The implications extend to the design and implementation of educational technologies, emphasizing the need for clarity to enhance project themes. This article contributes to the discourse surrounding gamified learning, guiding future research and the application of game elements in educational settings.