Headline is copied from the source site, I couldn't think of anything better, though it doesn't totally describe what I hope this topic can discuss. First, here's the link, to a "game" that helps teach users how to use Microsoft Office:http://lostgarden.co...ing-office-into.html
I haven't actually tried it as I only have OpenOffice on this system, but I personally found this concept fascinating. It's true that people will go through great lengths, endless repetition, and much more that would otherwise be out of the question, all for simple game rewards - higher points, more items collected, higher levels, etc. So what about applying these concepts to application usage tutorials, even going so far as creating games to teach an application? I think the idea is very promising. Perhaps this first incarnation doesn't get everything right, but the core point - the value of the game-inspired reward mechanism for learning and practice - seems very important to me.
Hopefully some app developers will weigh in on this, as well as users. Does anyone know of any other examples of this kind of thing?