Gamification is defined by the Wiki Article "What is Gamification" as "The concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals." The article goes on to say that gamification taps into natural desires for competition, achievement, and community collaboration. In essence, when engaged in a game the player seeks intrinsic rewards. These rewards are provided by the game mechanics, usually defined as in the form of levels or badges.
The rationale behind using gamification in L2 classes is the flow experience. Flow is defined by "Sculpting Flow and Fiero" as "the satisfying, exhilarating, feeling of creative accomplishment and heightened functioning." A psychologist who studied flow extensively found that while in a state of flow, we are able to overcome weaknesses and kern from our mistakes. Learning from mistakes is pretty much how L2 teachers want L2 learners to learn. According to "A comparison of computer games and language learning task theory," flow is a mental state between anxiety and boredom. This is exactly the mental state learners should be in to learn the most. We as teachers want them to be bored nor frustrated. This ideal state is attained by a challenging task with clear goals and feedback. According to table 1 in the article, this is offered more by computer games than traditional L2 tasks.