An A to Z Challenge laid down by the gargoyle


Falling. I fall through Webland on a dark night and the staff in my hand begins to grow hot and pulse with the steady frequency of a beacon finding its way.

Far below, I see the fortress deep in a bed of fog, a blue green sea that laps at the walls that grow out of this sea. My heart beats faster as I near it, but my anticipation turns to disappointment. I realise my fall takes me far away from the fortress and into the surrounding fog.

As I pass through the gauze of fog my fall begins to slow and I see through the layers below the tops of dozens more stone walls. They are set at odd angles zigzagging across the landscape, rooms and corridors connected together, and my heart sinks as I realise an almighty maze surrounds my destination. Moss and blocks of grey stone walls extend deep down so that soon I cannot see the fortress at all.

I land, both feet hitting the hard stony pavement, walls on every side. The wolf’s boney paws clatter next to me with two clangs on the ground as he lands beside me then darts immediately around the next corner.

I run after him, turning the corner in to a square courtyard, then skid and slide on the stone pathway catching my breath as I stop. There at the centre of the courtyard sits a figure towering as high as the walls surrounding it. A stone gargoyle sits on a throne. Its head in its hand, a contemplative look staring forward. The wolf sits, tail wagging, looking up at it. Its tiny white form barely bigger than one of the gargoyle’s large claws.

Gargoyle on a throne

The gargoyle arches his wings and stares down at the wolf, then up at me. The creak of stone flicks down grains of rock at me and slowly it opens its hand. In it a ball of string rolls from his grasp, rolling and bouncing at his feet.

I walk forward and lean down to pick it up and as my hand encloses the soft ball, I see read the words etched on the stones under his feet.

Name the path you take.

Follow its only rule.

A word, a thought. From A to Z.

Succeed and be rewarded.

Fail and die a secret never uttered beyond these walls.

April Challenge: The A to Z of Gamification

Over the next month I will be taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and writing an A to Z of Gamification.

Gamification: The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service

Good ol’ Oxford Dictionary

This A to Z should help you to navigate the terms and landscape of a gamified world. It’s coming. It’s already here. At this cusp of change, accusations fly of just calling old things something new and we can get bogged down or distracted by too many shiny new terms.

I hope this A to Z will provide a map charting some key concepts and terms. I’ll aim to slingshot you off into Webland, pointing at useful links and other search terms you might wish to further look into.

A to Z Participant Badge 2014

It will not be a straight route because gamification to me is not one simple thing. It’s a labyrinth, I stand a the centre of a maze holding a tangled ball of string in my hand. As I begin to unravel one idea it leads me on to the discovery of the next.

I walk through the dungeons moving from one room to the next. Along each path and around every corner, it is filled with sights that fascinate and excite.

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