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There are many definitions for the term, but the most generally adopted is: “gamification is the use of game design elements (such as badges, points and leaderboards) in non-game contexts” (Deterding et al.) [1]. Its verb is “to gamify”.

The practice of gamification is not new. It has been applied in learning environments for decades (e.g., classroom grades or boy scouts’badges). In the second half of 2010, it became to be some sort of buzzword.

The term is often wrongly confused with serious games and game-based learning. These terms concern the use of games in its full realization (immersion, playfulness, etc.), whereas gamification tends to make use of selected elements and mechanics of game design such as badges, leaderboards, points (all regarding extrinsic motivation) and apply them into non-gaming contexts. The fact that gamification makes use of selected elements from games, has led many game theorists and game designers to claim that “gamification” misuses the word “game” by referring to techniques that exclude the most relevant elements of game design and game thinking, suggesting “pointsification” as a better suiting label for the practice.

This article refers to the practice of gamification in general. This article supports the article gamification of learning processes, which is dedicated to gamification’s application within training and learning environments.

Positive connotations of gamification

The positive connotations of gamification are promoted mainly by professionals who provide the ‘gamification services’ for the business industry or by the business industry itself; be it in marketing a product (e.g., through loyalty programs), gamifying a website or inside the work-place in order to increase productivity. They talk about a ‘ludic age’ and the ‘generation G’, and also advocate that gamification is a way of turning a boring task at work or the purchase of products, as well as actions for good health (e.g. Nike Fuel and Weight Watchers) into more fun and engaging activities, thereby helping people to accomplish what they want or need to do in a fun way.

See also: Gamification of Learning Processes

MATERIAL.png Additional Materials
Document Content
Gamification overview This is the original article on which the wiki article is based. It will provide more detailed information.
Theoretical Discussion on Gamification This is an extension of the main article, summing the most relevant theoretical points in discussion in the field (impacts in society and reality, ethics and morality, among others).
Designing Persuasive Games In this article (pp. 298-303), Ferrara provides a toolkit that supports the designing of persuasive games.
‎Gaming the Quantified Self Whitson talks about surveillance and gamification in a very insightful article.
On Gamification and Persuasion Lagosterafocus on the use of gamification as a persuasive tool.
Gamification: State of the art, definition and utilization Groh’s article is a good sum up of gamification’s definitions.
Taking The Game Out Of Gamification Chorney provides us an overview of gamification, focusing on its rethorics and its ineffectiveness as a persuasive tool.

Link icon.png Web Resources
Link Content
6-Step Gamification Design Process Everywhere you look, gamification is making its way into formal learning environments. Here is a 6-step process to gamify with ease!
Gamification: State of the Art Definition and Utilization Groh provides a guide for meaningful gamification (based on intrinsic motivation). See pages: 41 – 44.
Raising Engagement in e-Learning Through Gamification Muntean tells us how to gamify an e-Learning application? See pages: 326-328.
Literature Review on Web Application Gamification and Analytics Gamification Design: HOW (a general approachgeneral.) See pages: 20-27.
Fun is the Future For a better understanding of which positive aspects of gamification he highlights, here is the following video where in a Google TechTalk Gabe Zichermann talks about how fun the future will be.
6 Types of Rewards to Maximize Engagement in Gamification In this article, Chou explains the structure of a reward and describes six types of rewards that can be implemented into a design as well as their key features.
Pinterest Board on Gamification


Check out Click4it's Pinterest Board on Gamification and discover more through infographics!
The 4 Keys to Fun – The Psychology of Engagement The 4 Keys to Fun explained in a power point presentation.
Difference Between Gamification and Serious Games Marczewski explains in a visual friendly manner the differences between gamification and serious games.
Game Thinking – breaking down Marczewski explains game thinking in a visual friendly manner, while relating it ro serious games, gamification and games.
MOOC on Gamification (University of Pennsylvania) Gamification is the application of game elements and digital game design techniques to non-game problems, such as business and social impact challenges. This course will teach you the mechanisms of gamification, why it has such tremendous potential, and how to use it effectively.
5 Tips for Making your Class as Addictive as a Game Game designers have mastered certain tricks that make games so addictive that people can’t stop playing them. Here are the top five secrets that game designers know, and some tips on how you can use these same game dynamics to make learning in your classroom as addictive as gaming. This is the website of a gamification agency ran by Gabe Zichermann. It’s worth a tour for a better perspective of trends on gamification, where many of them have been born. Note that the website is itself gamified, and that you do not choose to enter the game, once you visit the page you are automatically “gaming”.


  1. Deterding et al. From Game Design Elements to Gamefulness: Defining “Gamification”. p.10