What is gamification?

Gamification is the idea of applying game mechanics and techniques within a non-game setting in order to engage people within the subject matter to achieve a goal. An example of this is using gamification within education to gives students a fun way to learn a new subject in order to achieve better grades and a better understanding of the subject through the use of game mechanics such as points and achievements. Although the term gamification was coined in 2003, it is something that has been around since 1896 and is still growing today.

An early example of gamification to date is the use within the frequent flyer programs (FFP) which rewarded customers for reusing their airlines and traveling with them, the amount of points given would vary on the amount the customer would use the card and dependant on the distance that they travelled. Other benefits of using the card was to use it for other goods and services the company provided such as travel upgrades.

Here is an infographic I had found which shows the history of gamification, I thought it would be best to just use this example as it is thorough and most the points I would have made and more in a more concise and artistic way.


The research company Gartner predicts that by 2015, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

Looking at this quote, I feel as if many of our current services offer various gamified elements for example shopping at Tesco has become gamified with the thrill of going into the store, selecting items over £1 because you know that £1 is 1 point on your loyalty card. Then you wait at home for a letter in the post telling you how many points you have earned and you feel as if you have made an achievement and gained a reward for completing your ‘quest’. Another example of gamification in the modern world is the use of advertising on energy drink cans. I have purchased a can of Monster and it said that if I use the code on the tag on the can I could have a chance to unlock additional content within Call of duty for the Xbox 360. This mean that by making the purchase, I had a chance of unlocking additional content. This really made me as a player engage because I like to play games which involve chance and purchasing that can was just like purchasing a lottery ticket although I had a chance to win something within the game. Gamification is becoming such a large part in our lives to help us learn better, experience more and engage with the parts of our lives that we may consider boring or difficult. Gamification allows us to add elements to get others engaged with what we are aiming for, this is why it works effectively within business and it gets everyone playing and working effectively for the same goal.

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