For me one of the most effective uses of gamification that I see in education (at the moment) is the inclusion of things like onboarding and tutorials.
When I was young, games came with manuals that you could knock a donkey out with. They had all the instructions, keyboard overlays, back stories and more! It could take a day just to read them, let alone start to play. Who can forget the microscopic space fleet that came with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?
I sometimes wonder if a lot of this was acceptable to us because of how long games took to load. Ah, the joyous sounds of the Commodore 64 loading – not to mention the amazing music you used to get (Ocean Loader v4 being my favourite – sad I know!).