Gamification is a popular word that has been used in the last couple of years; however, the word and its meaning has been used for years by credit card companies and such famous websites as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The word gamification basically means when companies integrate game mechanics into their non-gaming product or service to engage and pursue users.
Two Types of Gamification
According to Karl Kapp, author of the book The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-based Methods and Strategies for Training and Education, there are two types of gamification: Structural Gamification and Content Gamification. Structural gamification is when game-elements are applied to edge on a learner through content “with no alteration or changes to the content.” The content itself does not become game-like; it is only the structure that becomes game-like around the content. It is important to note that the main focus of this type of gamification is to motivate the learner to keep going and to engage them in the process of learning through a reward system. The most common elements in this type of gamification are badges, levels, achievements and points.
Content Gamification is when game elements and game thinking are applied to alter content in order to make it more game-like. For example, by including story elements to a course or starting a course with a challenge instead of a list of goals or objective; offering the user a different and more creative way to go through all kinds of courses or other materials.
Many Benefits of Gamification
It is important to note that there are many reasons and advantages to gamify, such as collecting helpful and effective customer data; data that can be gleaned from an email address or social media data. When a person clicks on or receives badges and achievements, this will bring in valuable customer information and insights for a company.
A Solution To A Host Of Business Problems
Another benefit of gamifying is that it helps a company to solve intricate, confusing or complex business problems. Companies will be able to use customers as a sounding board. This process is known as crowdsourcing. Customer feedback on all kinds of products can be quite helpful in producing better, quality products. This, in turn, can bring in higher profits.
Gamification As An Educational Tool
In addition, gamification can also be used as an educational tool. This can be a creative and useful way to introduce customers to a new product. For example, companies can offer customers a free trial of thier product and give them the product in the form of a game; a game that is designed to teach customers how to use it.
This can also greatly help when it comes to educating employees during trainings. Handing out badges as a way to motivate people has been especially helpful. An employee getting badges for performing above and beyond expectations can be a good way to motivate them.
Giving Back To The Community
Most importantly, gamification is a good way to give back to the community. Using games to better a community such as using a site like Facebook to encourage people to track what they are doing and sharing with others how they have found a better way to do something, can be quite helpful and can be used as an effective marketing tool.
Staying Engaged With Customers
Most importantly, gamification is a reminder to customers that companies are involved with their needs and concerns. Gamification is a great way to bring people together and with various rewards that can be given, it is a win-win situation for both customers and the company.
It is important to remember that for gamification to be successful, goals must be created and maintained; as well as tactics created to ensure that goals are met and measured on a routine basis. There are some gaming websites such as this that cover tips and tricks on a wide genre of games that will help give you an idea on how to build the mechanics for your own games.
About the Author: T. Star is a freelance writer and has, at times, used gamification in her blogs and when learning new freelance writing tools. Check out one of her blogs at
Toni’s Business and Health Blogs.