Gamification

What is it, how to use it and where can you find it?

Erik Fiala
Oct 21, 2016 · 2 min read

Gamification is a concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.

“Gamification (n.): the process of turning an activity or task into a game or something that resembles a game.”

It has been used by schools and private business as a way to make learning more fun.

Game design, paired with traditional loyalty programs and behavioral economics, gives brands a whole new way to keep customers coming back. It’s like a magic!

Gamification is commonly used in non-game contexts, in attempts to improve:

  • User engagement
  • Organisational productivity
  • Flow
  • Learning
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Employee recruitment and evaluation
  • Ease of use and usefulness of systems
  • Physical exercise
  • Traffic violations

Techniques

Early gamification strategies use rewards for players who accomplish desired tasks or competition to engage players. Types of rewards include:

  • Points
  • Achievement badges
  • Levels
  • Filling of a progress bar
  • Providing virtual currency

Making the rewards for accomplishing tasks visible to other players or providing leader boards are ways of encouraging players to compete.

Potential consequences

  • Unethical behavior
  • Low cooperation and collaboration
  • Disadvantaging certain player demographics (e.g. women)
Major dopamine pathways highlighted in purple. Higher levels of dopamine in our primary rewards circuit, the ventral striatum (via the mesolimbic pathway), is correlated with higher motivation, as our brain ‘chases after’ a perceived reward.

(Productivity) Apps worth of mentioning —

Habitica (Web, Android, iOS) — My favourite one.

EpicWin (Android, iOS)

Forest (Web, Android, iOS, Chrome, Window Phone)

Thank you for your time and if you’d like to share some insights on this topic, just drop me a comment down below. Hope you enjoyed this blog post. See you in the next one!

E.

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