Gamification 101

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the use of game design and game psychology in non-game settings to engage and motivate target audience for target behaviours. It is definitely not games like Candy Crush or Pokémon Go. Non-game settings refer to any context other than a game. It can be education, marketing and even your health and fitness. Gamification is a powerful tool that can be applied in multiple scenarios, not limited to the aforementioned use cases.word-cloud-2

Gamification does not simply just refer to points or leaderboard. It is a combination of different game elements which are mix and matched to solve a specific problem. It imitates games by incorporating different game elements into the respective gamified campaigns. Points, rewards, leaderboard and storyline are just a few of the game elements that make up a gamified campaign.

Games are addictive and able to stir up many emotions in a person. You can feel excitement, a sense of achievement, frustration or simply joy when playing a game. Remember catching your first Pikachu? Or failing a stage in Candy Crush when you were so near to passing? Those are the kinds of emotions that Gamification is able to trigger.

Gamification is typically employed to solve a problem through a design-thinking focused process. It helps to engage and motivate your audience into designated behaviours, with a balance of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, making what they are doing more enjoyable.

Gamification is not something new and we can already see it in action in many application that we use now. Continue reading below for some examples of Gamification.

Examples of Gamification



Duolingo is a language learning application that teaches a language in another language of choice. (Eg. Learning French in Spanish). The application makes use of different game elements such as points, achievements and rewards to incentivize users. There are also learning goals that users can set for themselves. This makes the goals much more attainable and caters to each user’s learning objectives.

The different game elements make the learning journey much more interesting and exciting, while the daily goals help to draw back the users to their intended learning objectives.


GameLead is a mobile application used by Singapore Management Universi


ty that originally accompanied a Leadership and Team Building course. The application was designed to engage and promote interaction among students. Students could share their experiences and vote on each other’s responses. The mix of quiz, photo and other challenges which was able to engage and capture the attention of students.

Responses gathered from students has shown that GameLead was effective in engaging them and there was added value and knowledge gained outside of the typical classroom setting.


Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! is a mobile application that accompanies people on their runs. Runners get to track and store their running data just like other running application. In addition, runners get to experience the immersive storyline and go on training runs using the application. Runners can pick up items, run away from zombies and are also able to fortify their city as use the app.

The application definitely makes running more exciting as runners never know when zombies will appear or when they are faced with other predicaments along their runs. Running is never the same after using this application and you can read more at one of our team member’s review of Zombies Run!


The applications of Gamification are boundless and is only limited to your imagination and mastery of it. This article is Part 1 of a 3-part series on Gamification. Continue with Part 2 of our Gamification introduction to understand why you should consider applying Gamification in your work or even in your life!


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Gamification 102

So you’ve read what Gamification is all about. So why should you use it? What benefits does it provide?
Gamification is able to engage and motivate your audience into learning behaviours, with a balance of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, to make learning and other activities more enjoyable.


Motivation is a real issue when it comes to learning and working. Students complain about boring lessons and workers complain about their work. Gamification is able to improve the situation by giving students and workers more reasons to love what they are doing. It shapes the target audience into designated behaviours by making the audience to perform certain task in a pre-designed sequence.

This enables Gamification to encourage behaviours which can be largely grouped into 4 categories: Collaboration, Competition, Exploration, Interaction. Each behaviour correspond to 1 of the 4 Bartle’s player types.

🎮 Keen to know more about the 4 player types? Find out your player type here!


colla.pngEncourage your target audience to work with one another, discuss ideas and collaborate to reach a common goal. These behaviours are encouraged and preferable in a big team where many members are working together. Collaboration will help the team to move faster towards their goals and help each of the team members grow and learn from one another.


competition.pngCompetition may have a negative connotation but it helps to increase the drive of individuals and promotes growth. Set targets for the target audience and get them to pit against one another for the first place. The competition will help to spur the target audience on and increase their motivation to perform the tasks required to gain more points. It also helps the target audience to focus on specific tasks that will help them gain points, making them more goal oriented.


1264883.pngGive the target audience the choice to do what they want and let their exploration spur on their creativity. Learning and work can be boring, and this can be further worsened by having a linear and fixed sequence for the completion of tasks. Gamification’s flexibility in usage allows game makers to mould it according to their needs. The target audience can be given a range of choices of what they want to do now, and what they want to do next. This freedom of choice results in a sense of autonomy for the target audience which empowers them and at the same time further motivates them.


1496470.pngLastly, Gamification is able to help increase interaction opportunities between your target audience. Get the target audience to create interaction opportunities for themselves by giving them the incentives to do so. Give them a reward for organising or attending a company lunch or hosting a team retreat. Certain gamified tasks are able to increase interactions between the target audience easily and open up opportunities for future interaction as well.

The above is not an exhaustive list of what Gamification has to offer. Gamification is also able to motivate people to exercise, actively participate in classes, volunteering for a good cause and more. Using a combination of game elements and psychology, game makers can craft a tailored gamified solution to solve their problems. Add a bit of innovation and creativity to see your game achieve more than what you set it out to be.

This article is Part 2 of a 3-part series on Gamification. Continue reading to learn more about how you can effectively use Gamification!

Gamification 103

Welcome to the 3rd and final part of the 3-part series on Gamification. In the previous parts, we explained what Gamification is and why you should use Gamification. In the final section, we will look at how you can effectively use Gamification.

Gamification is a design-thinking focused process to engage and motivate your audience into learning behaviors, with a balance of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, to make learning more enjoyable. There are many instances of Gamification that can readily be found in our daily lives. From running application such as “Zombies, Run!” to habit building software like Habitica and language learning applications like Duolingo, applications of Gamification is getting increasingly common. This does not mean that simply applying Gamification in any scenario will ensure a 100% success rate at solving the issue at hand. Here at Gametize, we follow a 5-step framework that helps to pinpoint the issue and construct the gamified solution.


The Gametize 5D Framework consist of the 5 steps:

  1. Define your problem
  2. Determine your goal
  3. Decide your target behaviours
  4. Describe your players
  5. Design your gamification strategy and experience

1. Define your problem

1252336.pngWhat exactly is your problem? Low motivations at work? Lack of interest in learning? Poor engagement with customers? Your problem may fall into one of the categories above but that is not the end of defining your problem. Be more specific about the problem. Who does it involve? Why does it happen? To what extent is the problem affecting you?

Simply saying “Nobody is interested is learning” is not enough. Your problem should be as specific as “My students are disinterested in studying Science because the subject is too difficult for them and lessons are too boring” or even more. It is important to identify the reason why such a problem has occurred. Survey people who are involved to understand the issue better and don’t just assume based on your own opinions. Only this way can you identify the root of the problem and put together a strategy to solve it.

2. Determine your goal

1582751.pngNow that you have the problem highlighted, set a goal for yourself. Similarly, the goal should be specific and more importantly, measurable so that you can determine whether you have completed your objectives. Use numbers to quantify the results that you wish to see.

“20% increase in sales in the June” and “75% of the class to score an A on their exams” are good goals as they can be quantified and measured. On the other hand, goals like “Increase in consumer satisfaction” and “Higher employee motivation at work” are more difficult to measure and they are merely emotions. Despite saying so, those may be the exact goals that you may want to achieve due to the nature of your problem. Such goals can still be quantified in the form of surveys before and after the implementation of the gamified solution. Comparing the results between the 2 will let you know whether the goal has been attained. Of course, if a survey method is being used, you can set measurable goals based on the results.

3. Decide your target behaviour

1301817.pngHow do you want your target audience to behave after experiencing the gamified solution? This is highly tied to the goal that you have achieved. If the goal was “Better results during the exams”, you would want your students to pay more attention in class or be more studious at completing their homework and revision. The target behaviour should be the steps taken by your target audience to reach the target goal which you have determined.

Target behaviour can come in the form of actions or emotions that the audience performs or experiences. When the problem is the lack of motivation, you would want your audience to feel more motivated, performing better in their tasks. At the same time, they should feel happier and better be able to appreciate what they are doing.

4. Describe your players

Players are the target audience who are playing the game (the gamified solution). Every game has a targeted audience whom are being shaped into a target behaviour. The players can be the employees of a company, students in a class or simply just for yourself.


Game makers should fully understand their players in order to create a tailor made solution. There are many different ways to go about listing the traits of the players. Profile your players based on their demographics (age, race, gender, employment, education) and psychographics (personality traits, motivations, hobbies, preferences). More specifically you can look at your players based on the player type category that they will fall into. Bartle’s Player Type profiling summarises your persona’s behaviours within a game environment. The four player types: Killers, Achievers, Socalizers and Explorers are categorised based on the motivations and characteristics exhibited by the individual when in a game environment.

Understanding the different demographics, psychographics and player types will help in crafting a gamified solution that tackles the problem and at the same time, is able to capture the attention of the players effectively.

5. Design your gamification strategy and experience

With the problem, goal, target behaviour and players identified, the correct mix of game elements can be chosen and developed into the gamification experience for your players. Game elements includes points, rewards, achievements, leaderboard, feedback and social elements such as sharing on social media.


Plan your game according to the preferences of your players and guide them towards the intended behaviours. Gamification is not a sure hit strategy and thus, it takes a few iterations of feedback and improvements to generate the best strategy that will achieve the intended objective.

The above is just a concise framework that acts as a crashcourse for newbies to Gamification. There are many other considerations when planning out your game. Learn more about them in our Guide to creating a good game.