What is gamification and how does it work?

Gamification, you may have heard of it, but what is it right? The concept has been around for more than 10 years and is being applied by more and more sectors and companies. Below we explain exactly what it means and how it works.

What is gamification?

Gamification, also called gamification in Dutch, is understood to mean the following: applying all the fun and addictive elements of games in real life. This is done to elicit a positive response from the user, such as engagement, change or motivation. Users are rewarded, as it were, which can lead to a long-term change in behavior. The essence of gamification is to direct and change people’s behavior and natural instincts.

How does it work?

Gamification links human emotions to a positive user experience. Various game mechanics such as points, badges and leaderboards are used.

For example, users receive points when they successfully complete a task or activity. These points allow a player’s progress to be visualized. In addition to points, players can also receive badges when they complete a specific achievement. This encourages the players to work towards a goal. Moreover, this serves as a kind of status symbol. Player achievements can be displayed on a leaderboard. Players know how well they score compared to other players. This encourages them to perform better and reach a higher position on the leaderboard.

In addition, gamification is applied in a different way. For example, game elements that are not related to the player’s performance can be used. For example, existing tasks can be transformed into games. For this, a narrative context is added to tasks, activities and characters in a game. Avatars can also be used to distinguish players from other players. Using avatars, players can take on or create a different identity and become part of a community. Finally, the focus is also on the group feeling, players are part of a group that works together towards a goal.

Which sectors and companies apply gamification?

Gamification is used by many companies. This concept can have a positive influence on the marketing, sales and customer service of a company. It can also increase a company’s productivity and impact crowdsourcing and employee recruitment. In addition, companies use gamification to increase the loyalty of their customers.

For example, many companies use a points system. When customers collect a certain amount of points, they get a reward in return. A good example of this is the “My Starbucks Rewards” program. Whenever customers pay for their purchase with a credit card, gift card or cash, they are rewarded with free products. In this way, customer loyalty is increased. Gamification is also used at online casinos . Some casinos don’t just offer games, they turn the entire casino experience into a game. For example, players can receive a reward after completing certain missions.

The health sector has also welcomed the arrival of gamification with open arms. People can be stimulated with gamification to live healthier lives or to exercise more. For example, Nike set up a gamification platform in 2010 where you can register the duration of your running session and the distance traveled and compare it with others. You can climb a leaderboard that way and collect points and badges. Pokémon Go is also a good example of gamification. Animations are projected onto images from a smartphone’s camera, which must be captured by the user. In addition, this game encourages players to move more.

In addition, gamification is applied in the education sector. This is done to make learning more attractive. For example, teachers can transform the classroom into an escape room. Students then try to escape from the classroom by using their knowledge. Also Duolingo uses gamification , so do hearts serve as lives you lose if you answer wrong. If you lose all your hearts, you have to do the lesson again. Bonuses are also given when you complete certain tasks. These bonuses can be used for in-app purchases.

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