5 Questions to Ask About Gamification

Gamify SPICE

The term gamification refers to “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts.” (Deterding et al.) The non-game contexts imply that gamification is different than games and can be applied to society, business, technology, and individuals at various levels. Gartner goes a step further and defines gamification to be “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.” Essentially what this means is that gamification is used to change the norms, attitudes, and habits of individuals and organizations from a current state to a desired future state typically through the utilization of technology. Generally speaking, the use of gamification in the organization can be categorized into external uses (e.g., customer engagement) and internal uses (e.g., employee engagement).

In order for organizations to effectively leverage gamification as a game-changer, they have to ask the following questions:



Who is using gamification externally and internally?Who should be using gamification externally and internally?
What is gamified?What should be gamified?
Where it is being used?Where it should be used?
When are gamified types of activities are happening?When should gamified types of activities be happening?
Why it is becoming a competitive advantage?Why you should be using it as a competitive advantage?

When you are asking the above questions across all levels of the organization, here are few things to keep in mind (1) have clearly defined goals for the players/users and the organization, (2) blindly applying gamification without thinking through organizational repercussions can be costly, (3) measure progress, get feedback and iterate, (4) create value since it is a not a one-way street but a multi-way street and (5) balance between intrinsic considerations and extrinsic rewards.

Here organizations have a choice about gamification as a (1) passing fad or (2) as a strategic lever that can help them transform. So, the real question about using gamification becomes, “Can you afford not to do it?”

Gamify SPICE
Gamify SPICE


  1. Sebastian Deterding, Dan Dixon, Rilla Khaled, and Lennart Nacke. 2011. From game design elements to gamefulness: defining “gamification”. In Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments (MindTrek ’11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 9-15. DOI=10.1145/2181037.2181040 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2181037.2181040
  2. “Gamification – Gartner IT Glossary.” Gartner IT Glossary. Gartner, n.d. Web. http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/gamification-2/
  3. Werbach, Kevin. “Coursera – Gamification.” Coursera. Coursera, n.d. Web. https://www.coursera.org/course/gamification
  4. Krogue, Kevin. “5 Gamification Rules From The Grandfather Of Gamification.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenkrogue/2012/09/18/5-gamification-rules-from-the-grandfather-of-gamification/
  5. Stanley, Robert. “Top 25 Best Examples of Gamification in Business.” Clickipedia. Clickipedia, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. http://blogs.clicksoftware.com/clickipedia/top-25-best-examples-of-gamification-in-business/
  6. Kleinberg, Adam. “Brands That Failed with Gamification.” – IMediaConnection.com. – IMediaConnection.com, 23 July 2012. Web. http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/32280.asp

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Author: Khan

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