The word ‘gamification’ has been part of the tech world’s vocabulary for over 10 years, but for many people it’s only now seeping into everyday conversation. If gamification is new to you, then you’ve come to the right place.

What is Gamification exactly?

Basically, gamification is the term used to describe the process of adding gaming techniques or software to a pre-existing business, website or social enterprise. Confused? Don’t be; it’s actually pretty simple and you’ve probably already experienced gamification without even realising it.

Let’s use the Starbucks scorecard as an example: Every time you purchase one of Starbucks’ products you earn a star and as your stars accumulate you go up various levels – the higher the level the better the rewards. This is gamification! By using gamification, Starbucks is encouraging customer loyalty and, therefore, generating more revenue.

What do we Gain from Gamification?

Gamification works so well because it taps into our competitive nature. Most of us enjoy the thrill of coming top of the class/leader board. Remember all those hours spent trying to get your 3 letter name to the top of the Pacman game in your local arcade?

Multi-player games like World of Warcraft tapped into gamification early on. Each player, while competing against other players, is also given the opportunity to develop skills, rise up through the levels, gain more power and complete quests – the response to this kind of gaming has been phenomenal.

New Casinos with Gamification

New online casinos have also seen the benefits of adding gamification to their websites to encourage customers to remain loyal to the site. They do this by incorporating a rewards system within the casino.

Players earn points each time they place a bet on a game or each time they take part in a tournament or complete some kind of mission – the more points they earn, the better the bonuses and prizes up for grabs. If your casino hasn’t gone down the gamification route, check out in order to find a new casino that has fully embraced the concept.

Surprising Applications for Gamification

The gamification trend has also taken root in public sectors, such as education, health, fitness and road safety, to name but a few. Nike, for example, came up with Nike+. This app allows users to turn their everyday running into a competition every day. By sharing their data (speed, distance and calories) runners can use the app to compete against their own personal best and also compete within the Nike+ community. Not only does this encourage runners to put more effort into their daily exercise, it also gives a feeling of belonging to a wider group, which many of us long for.

Educators have found that gamification is a valuable tool that can be used to engage learners and encourage participation. Adding elements of fun and games to a subject like Maths, which is notorious for being a difficult subject, can take the pressure off the student and, therefore, open the door to deeper understanding. The same gamification ideas are also being applied to language learning and science.

One of the most interesting, and surprising, applications for gamification has been to improve road safety. In Sweden, The National Society for Road Safety used gamification to encourage drivers to slow down by creating a lottery. Anyone seen to be abiding by road rules and adhering to speed limits are entered into the lottery. The prize money is taken from the speeding fines incurred by other drivers. The initiative has been such a success in Stockholm that the average speed has reduced by 7km per hour.

The Future

It seems that gamification can be applied to almost anything. People enjoy being rewarded for their effort and they enjoy beating out the competition by including these elements into what could be a boring endeavour. In the future, we could see gamification reaching much deeper into the education system to encourage children that flounder in mainstream schooling.

We also think it could become an extremely useful tool in helping people to overhaul their diets in favour of healthy eating. We also expect to see more variations of gamification within the workplace, where it can be used not only to motivate employees to work harder but also to make the workplace a more enjoyable place to be.