What does gamify mean?

Updated on Oct 21, 2023

By Constantin Ginga

To gamify something means to add elements of games, like competition, rewards, or points, to make an activity more engaging or fun.


Person learning programming by playing on a tablet

Gamification is everywhere these days - but what does it mean to gamify something? How is it used in real life? And what are the pros and cons of gamifying activities? This article will break it all down. Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Defining gamification
  2. Examples of gamification in everyday life
  3. The core elements of gamification
  4. The benefits of using gamification
  5. Potential challenges to keep in mind
  6. Final thoughts

By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of what gamification is, how it works, and how it can be used effectively. Let's get started!


What is gamification?

Gamification means taking elements you typically see in games and applying them to real-life situations. For example, think about features like points, badges, leaderboards, challenges, and rewards. Apps and websites will add these game-like components to drive engagement, motivation, and changed behaviors in users. It makes work more fun and it can help people learn new skills or form new habits.


Examples in our daily lives

Gamification can be used for almost any activity you can think of. Elements of it are present in many of the apps and websites we use every day.

One of the most well-known examples is the Duolingo app, which uses gamification to help people learn new languages. Users earn points for completing lessons and can earn badges for keeping their streak. The app also has a leaderboard that shows how you rank compared to your friends.

Another example is Nike+, which works in a similar way - it allows users to track their runs, set goals, earn achievements, and compete with friends.

Finally, the Starbucks Rewards Program uses gamification to encourage customers to buy more coffee. Users earn points for every purchase, and they can redeem those stars for free drinks and food.


Elements of gamification

The examples above show how gamification is used in different industries and for different purposes. They all share the same principles, which are taken from the world of games. Here are some examples:


Benefits of gamification


Challenges of gamification

Gamification clearly motivates people, but there are some challenges to consider.


Final thoughts

In summary, to gamify something means to add elements of games, like competition, rewards, or points, to make an activity more engaging or fun. It can be used for almost any activity you can think of, and it has many benefits. However, it also has some challenges that need to be considered before implementing it in your own life or business.

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