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We discovered the concept of Gamification in early 2014 and we’ve been excited about it ever since. This is why we decided to create a series of articles in which we explain this concept and share our findings on the latest trends and developments in the field.

What is Gamification?

Before trying to understand the concept of gamification we have to first establish what games are. Depending on various demographics and psychographics, people understand games differently. When you say “Game” some may think of cards, others of soccer, monopoly, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush or hide-and-seek.

We’ve found Ralph Kostre’s definition to be the most complete and easy to understand: “A game is a system in which players engage in an abstract challenge, defined by rules, interactivity, and feedback, that results in a quantifiable outcome often eliciting an emotional reaction.”

Gamification takes all the mechanics that trigger engagement, participation and loyalty in games and applies them to everyday elements and activities (navigating a website, going to the supermarket, paying your bills, and many other). This would be the definition we use to explain gamification to a primary school student. A more complex version is offered by Karl Kapp in his book The Gamification of Learning and Instruction and it goes like this: “Gamification is using game-based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems.”

Where can we use Gamification?

In order to get a better idea of what gamification is, we will try to see how/where it’s being used these days and what the benefits of integrating game mechanics in mundane activities are.

Education

Kids hate school but love games. What if you could combine the two so that kids would enjoy learning new things every day the same way they love playing games? By adding game mechanics to academia you can create a large number of interactive experiences that kids will both enjoy playing and learn from. A recent development in this direction that is also worth mentioning is Kahoot, a platform where teachers, students and various other stakeholders can create a fun and interactive gamified learning environment.

Medicine

Name a person who likes going to the doctor. Pretty hard, right? We thought so. It would be great if you could somehow inform people in a fun and interactive way about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, regular check-ups and the causes of certain afflictions. Thankfully, gamification is already being integrated with various medical fields and procedures. Recent developments include a mobile app that informs people about heart disease and a gamified asthma inhaler.

Business

This is probably gamification’s most profitable use case. It has been a tool that marketing executives have sought out, dreaming about increasing sales, creating a deeper loyalty experience, obtaining better ROI, offering customers a memorable overall experience and many other. Just take a look at what retailers are working on in order to increase engagement!

This was a very brief and to the point introduction to help you answer the question: “What is gamification?”.  We hope it will be of use to you in the future when, who knows, maybe you will start using it yourself. We will be tackling various gamification-related subjects in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!