What is Gamification? Definition and examples

Gamification refers to the practice of adding game-design elements to something that is not a game. The aim is to motivate the user to participate willingly and boost levels of loyalty, engagement and consumer motivation. Motivation, in the world of business, is an important driver of sales.

Gamification - definition

Put simply; gamification means applying game-design elements and game principles in non-game situations.

Why do we call is gamification?

The reason we call it gamification is because it was something that game designers initially understood. Specifically, they knew how to keep players focused on a goal for hours. Video games aim to entertain the players with objectives, such as trying to reach the highest possible level. These game design elements keep players focused and engaged.

Levels and scores help create a learning path and provide a sense of gratification respectively. Team tasks are good for multiple teams. Some systems add badges for important achievements and also rewards to motivate people.

According to Merriam-Webster, gamification is: “The process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation.”

The Interaction Design Foundation describes it as a “powerful tool for designers to drive user engagement”.


Examples of some of the most popular gamification features include:

  • Points
  • Badges
  • Leaderboards
  • Avatars
  • Progress bars
  • Achievements
  • In-App currencies

For example, the implementation of levels and scores helps create a learning path and provide a sense of gratification respectively.

Gamification can be a powerful and useful tool for companies with a system that lacks interest among users.

We enjoy challenges

Many people enjoy challenges and not just in games. Therefore, adding a challenge to a mundane or ‘normal’ task can make it much more exciting and interesting — driving up motivation and engagement.

For example, people may feel more motivated to use an app if there are awards offered by completing a course in record time.

Gamification can be applied to virtually anything. It is used for learning purposes, for customers, and also in the workplace. It has even been used for health studies.