Thank you for the great post. It sounds like you are having a lot of success using games in your classroom. As a high school Spanish teacher, I hardly go a day without hearing others rave about how much fun their students are having playing games like Kahoot and Quizlet to practice vocabulary and Memrise and Conjuguemos to work on verbs and grammar.
The biggest flaw for me in the regular incorporation of these types of games, whether in class or assigned as homework, is that they rarely push students remembering and understanding (lower order thinking processes) to application, analysis, and creation (higher order thinking processes). In my example of the Spanish classroom, the real test isn’t whether the students can conjugate the verb jugar in the preterit tense, but rather whether they can have a interpersonal conversation in Spanish about the fútbol game they played last night. This deep, meaningful engagement often seems to get lost when teachers focus on gamification.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!