Did you know that the majority of children and students forced to attend school from home during the pandemic said that they would be more engaged in the studies if they were gamified? The same is true for workplaces, as employees tend to be more driven and engaged if their tasks include game elements.
Truth be told, introducing game-specific mechanisms (such as points, levels, and prizes) in any field - education, work, healthcare, individual productivity in sales or even social life - produces actual results. Trivial as it may sound, it increases the motivation of students, users, or employees as they enjoy the tasks set and complete them at the same time.
Let me explain to you what exactly this gamification trend is, provide you with a gamification definition and show you what benefits it brings - all backed up by examples.
How did it all begin? Games have existed for entertainment purposes since the dawn of time. Since the gaming sector developed, the potential has been seen in people engaging with games not because they have to, but because they want to. So, it was found useful to use these mechanisms for other purposes, such as marketing, business, or education.
Let's start with the gamification definition. It is the use of game-specific features such as badges, scoring systems, or leader boards; the process of influencing behaviour outside the context of a game. You can think of it as making tasks that are not particularly interesting, like writing reports, studying, or trying to manage the household budget, more fun. Gamification is not just about tools like leaderboards or points, however.
Imagine trying to learn a language in a traditional way: within four walls, outside of the native context, and forced to do grammar exercises. Now imagine learning through an interactive program like Duolingo - where you can chat directly with native speakers, record your exercises, and get different game-based content. Which will be more effective?
I know what you are thinking - you can enjoy a game to help motivate you to tidy your room or complete a school assignment. But how can silly games be practical in a professional setting like the workplace, healthcare, or university? The trick is that gamification is based on proven tactics from games but is not a game itself.
What exactly distinguishes a game from gamification? A game does not have to serve a specific purpose; it can simply be entertainment, a remedy for boredom, or a form of competition. Gamification, though, does serve a distinct purpose - raising productivity, enhancing charity campaigns, or teaching constructive daily habits. That is the true gamification meaning.
• Badges and leader boards
• Time limits
• Competition with colleagues
• Progress bars
The greatest advantage of gamification is undoubtedly the variety of applications it can offer in our lives, whether in healthcare, business, education, or everyday household tasks.
Examples of benefits of gamification include strengthening the engagement of staff, students, or household members. In other cases, it is about improving product sales, promoting social campaigns, and transforming negative behaviours into positive ones.
Gamification is a fantastic method to increase engagement or change people's behaviour. Basically, it's about making the world a better place. Let us take a close look at how this works.
Gamification in the workplace also referred to as corporate gamification, is the idea of adding challenges, levels, achievements, or other game features to everyday tasks to make work more fun. At its core, gamification is entertaining. Gamification, however, does not mean turning work into a game. The goal is to make work more enjoyable and effective for employees by incorporating game ideas into routine tasks, instructions, or new procedures. It's not about having fun; it's about achieving business goals and developing and growing as a whole company.
For example, on the Grow Uperion platform, there is a visualised leaderboard system where each colleague has a series of trees or buildings that grow based on the number of tasks completed. You can see your progress, which is encouraging - and you get an extra incentive to finish the report, so you do not fall behind in the ranking.
Gamification in the workplace examples are diverse. It is about incentivising and boosting employee engagement because satisfied and active workers are bound to perform better. Gamification of business goals like KPI or revenue growth is something more tangible that can be taken care of as well. And what else? It can make training and development more effective so that money invested in learning programmes is not wasted.
Gamification can also do wonders for onboarding, as new employees feel welcome at the company and are more likely to stick around for a few more years.
With more and more people flocking to interactive platforms like Instagram, Hulu, or mobile apps and games, it's getting harder every year to meet marketing goals and generate high revenue. The simple truth is that gamified content grabs viewers' attention and drives sales.
A good example of gamified product promotion is the 2011 online game Magnum Pleasure Hunt, which allowed players to jump and run across a variety of websites to collect chocolate pieces. During this time, they were supposed to collect candy points, post their results on Facebook and climb the leaderboards. Another tactic is to add game mechanics to customer loyalty programs, such as earning points to get a free coffee, discount, or gift - and who does not like getting free products? In the Starbucks loyalty program, for example, customers can earn stars through their purchases, which they can then exchange for free meals and drinks.
Gamified loyalty campaigns clearly benefit your brand by increasing customer trust and long-term commitment. They are more likely to stick with your product and not look elsewhere. They will also talk about such loyalty points and motivate their friends to try them as well.
As for limited-time games and challenges and posting about them later on Facebook, the reach will be significantly increased, and more people will become aware of it and remember your offer while the competition in the market is high. If you want to compete with others and brag about your results later, it's something emotional, triggering, and motivating to come back.
Obviously, the best examples of gamification of the learning process are language apps such as Busuu, Duolingo, or Babbel. The system of earning points for each day of uninterrupted learning is a powerful tool. The desire to maintain the reward for continuity and the unwillingness to lose something you have already earned drives you and encourages you to learn regularly - which is essential for improving your skills.
Other gamification mechanisms used here include the ability to post your assignments (written or recorded in the target language) to the community, where a native speaker can review your exercises and help you learn from them. The social element and engagement spark the willingness to learn. The scoring and weekly challenges also contribute to this.
Using gamified content as a learning tool has many benefits, such as the interactive potential, which boosts motivation and willingness to actually work through the material and not give up after a few days. It has been proven that newly acquired information, when learned in an entertaining and enjoyable way, is more likely to be retained over a longer period of time – instead of getting ditched into short-term memory.
No one likes being forced to learn; it's a burden that weighs you down, and makes you unmotivated and less productive. Gamification in education can be a game changer when used in schools, universities, and online courses.
Gamification can help reduce the burden on hospitals. Regular patients can be treated remotely with the help of apps and gamified medical platforms that help treat conditions such as diabetes, remote rehabilitation, or timely medication for life-threatening illnesses to reduce hospital and doctor visits.
There are also medical gamified apps that can help with chronic diseases, such as MySpira for asthma patients. It provides a way to improve teaching and awareness of the proper use of inhalers for children through the use of games where children are given instructions and tasks on symptoms and inhalation techniques through an augmented reality feature.
The health sector is critical to the fight against the epidemic. Gamification can help medical professionals and change the focus of communication networks of patients and experts. They have more time to focus on individual patients and educate them at the same time.
It also creates a communication platform that makes the doctor-patient relationship more personal. In addition, apps using game mechanics incorporate elements of fun and competition to promote good health habits and reduce emergency hospital admissions. They spread knowledge and raise awareness among children and adults about health in general.
What if you could gamify higher goals sans financial gain, such as waste separation or cleaning up after animals? Let me give you some juicy, practical examples. The Swedish National Road Safety Society created a campaign to teach drivers in an entertaining way how important it is to respect speed limits. During this programme, the speed of each vehicle was displayed to oncoming traffic and recorded by a special device. Only those who obeyed the speed limit could take part in the lottery - they could win money deducted from other drivers' fines.
A more down-to-earth form of social gamification is a forest or beach clean-up initiative, where you compete with a friend to see who can collect and remove more bottles, papers or other rubbish. The willingness to be the best and fastest animates the process.
This is another area where fun and gamification are the easiest way to change people's behaviour for the better. The effects can be surprising. After the above campaign, the average speed on this section dropped to 25 km/h, and overall speed was reduced by 22%.
This is the power of gamification, transforming unpleasant constraints into effective and enjoyable solutions. Applying it to social problems can raise environmental awareness, educate people to work together and truly change the world for the better.
Gamification can also be applied to everyday, personal tasks that we tend to put off. Adding gamified elements to budgeting and task planning using apps like Habitica and Goodbudget can change your perspective and really influence your long-term habits.
Todoist, for example, is great for tracking progress on activities like cleaning, studying or other upcoming household tasks. Using charts, you can visualise your productivity and be inspired to earn karma points for each activity. Other apps that help with dieting or exercising use progress bars or allow you to enter specific goals you want to achieve - so you can feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
These gamified programmes keep things dynamic and interesting while managing your time and finances. You get more motivated to deal with tedious, boring chores - and in the end, you perform them better. You end up with a well-organised and rational monthly budget. Doing housework becomes fun, and you feel more satisfied at your own home.
Thanks to the game elements, you may be able to finally lose some pounds or stick to your fitness routine for longer than a week. You get to manage your own habits in a conscious and effective way.
The majority of people believe that gamification is merely a clever money-making strategy. There is no possible way that this is true!
You have to admit that gamified elements can be applied to many facets of our lives. Gamification supports mental health, education, and work, in addition to assisting us in forming good habits.
To put it another way, gamification tactics improve people's lives.
We must not squander its potential.
While introducing continuous employee training programme requires investment in time and capital, its advantages can easily outshine the problems. Discover the benefits of long-term employee development.
Discover which employee benefits can help your company succeed by luring top people and keeping them on board.
Improve your workplace buddy system to help new hires and their buddies, speed up onboarding, and bring more value to the business.