Home Business Gamification 101: All You Need To Know

Gamification 101: All You Need To Know

Gamification is about taking something that is not a game and applying game mechanics to increase user engagement, happiness, and enjoyment.

Gamification involves incorporating game-like elements such as challenges, levels, point systems, and rewards into sectors that inherently do not have those mechanics. It taps into the natural human inclination towards play and competition, harnessing these elements to drive engagement, increase productivity, and foster a positive and immersive learning experience.

Over the last few years, many organizations in various industries have begun to gamify their environment to enhance employee and member engagement. But the term has an underlying problem –  no one can adequately define it with the same meaning. Also, there are two different types of gamification in the first place. 

Structural Gamification 

This form of gamification uses game elements without changing or altering the actual content of the system. In simple terms, the gamification structure is built around the content. This is done by incorporating game mechanics such as experience points to achieve badges, point leaderboards, etc.

Content Gamification

Content gamification is when the system is created from scratch with content to help it look and feel more game-like. It uses more in-depth game mechanics such as challenges, storytelling, and most importantly, a rewards system. An example of this can be seen in elementary schools where learning games are used to teach children English, Mathematics, and Science at a basic level. 

With these two categories, gamification becomes even more confusing to understand. Game mechanics and elements are different, or are they? What do they maintain in a gamified system? A redefinition of gamification is required and was coined by Gartner, and is defined as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”

Where have we seen gamification before?

There are many examples of gamification that you might not have realized where gamification in the first place. One of the most famous examples is Boy and Girl Scouts’ Badges. 

This is an example of gamification in the real world. Rewarding scouts with badges instilled a sense of competition amongst children, and would drive them to constantly learn new skills such as fishing or swimming, and creates a desire to keep learning more things, not inherently to learn them, but because of the badge reward. 

Another real-world example is the mobile game Pokemon GO, released in 2016. A global phenomenon that took the world by storm, Pokemon GO used the principles of gamification to get people to venture out into the real world more and made millions of people walk daily to find new Pokemon. 

Without any incentives, those people would not have walked that far, or those children would not have wanted to learn those useful skills. 

Why Does Gamification Work?

Gamification is all about psychology. Some people are disciplined enough to focus and learn, but others need a push or have to be tricked into it. Gamification triggers certain emotions that are linked to positive experiences. The reason why gamification works can be broken down into these 7 reasons:

1. It gives the user control

People don’t like to be forced or dragged. People like to be in control. Gamification makes people seem like they’re in the driving seat. While this sounds like manipulation, it is actually something that inculcates a healthy mindset into achieving our goals. 

2. Maps our progress

Most people who are trying to gain or lose weight would love to see a journey. How whatever they are doing right now, ensures that they are making progress. We want to know where we have been, where we are, and where we can go. Games have world maps for this reason – to ensure that we know we are on the right path. 

This is a big reason why people left in the dark grow increasingly wary about their progress, because they don’t know how far they’ve come, or how far is left. Gamification involves creating maps of the progress of the environment, where it is learning a skill or putting in more work. 

3. Reinforces good behavior

In a video game, when you complete a level or defeat a powerful enemy, you get rewarded. It can range from a new character or garment to a new weapon or skill. This then makes you want to complete the next level, or defeat the next powerful enemy, to get better rewards. 

Gamification uses the same system and reinforces good behaviors. An example of a negative usage of this is social media. When you post an image or video of yourself on a social network, you get likes from your friends and family. And so you post more, and more and more. You get a false sense of reward, while the social network gets engagement. A better example where you are given a good reward is a certification site. Whenever you finish a course, you are given a certificate that you can then use to apply for jobs or to show the world that you have gained a new skill.

4. Imprints a sense of achievement

Achievement is something that drives human behavior. Everything we do, we do to achieve something. Making people feel like they have achieved something makes them come back. It can even be something as simple as a “Good Job!” when they have completed a milestone. 

5. Healthy competition

Humans are competitive by nature, and it drives us to push ourselves harder and further. Using personal bests and community competition incentivizes people to improve themselves more and more till they are satisfied. Apple Fitness is a good example of a system that gamifies the leaderboard system with a fitness community. 

6. Reward systems

As mentioned before, everyone loves rewards. Creating a sense of achievement is one thing, but giving a complete, tangible reward is a different step altogether. Most people go out of their way to get their hands on a reward. And it leads to the fact that a reward drives action.

7. Healthy dopamine rushes

Video games create a dopamine rush. It’s why most kids are addicted to video games. And while most video games do not amount to anything in the real world, gamified systems do, and it amounts to something that is useful. While games are meant to relieve stress and relax, gamified systems make you reach a certain goal. Your mind is telling you to do it again because it feels good. 

Gamification isn’t just a new hype train or a gimmick. It is a well-researched and well-implemented psychological technique that, if done correctly, can trigger real, and powerful human emotions. And as mentioned at the beginning of this article, it generates positive experiences and increases overall enjoyment of any activity. 

Join the world’s premier service for digital certificates and badges. Create a Hyperstack account today and start issuing digital credentials!

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

gamification using digital badges

How To Implement Gamification With Digital Badges

Gamification is a technique that is used to hack learner motivation by...

gamify courses using digital badges

How Digital Badges Can Be Used To Gamify Your Online Course

By implementing gamification in education, learn how you can use digital badges...


Why Gamification Will Revolutionize The Education Industry

Gamification in the education sector is not as simple as adding games...


5 Ways EdTech Organizations Can Use NFTs

The EdTech industry is booming again. With the rise of blockchain technologies...