What is gamification?

What is gamification? What it does?

Where this term come from? 

Gamification can be described as the use of game elements and techniques in non-gaming contexts. This means, the use of game thinking in no recreational areas such as education, health, marketing, among others. This is done to make the activities, products, services or processes related to these sectors more attractive and funny.

Gamification analyzes what is the fact that many games are entertaining, what mechanics mobiles games are used to engage with an user  and move this technique to other tasks that are more boring a priori and to turn them into attractive tasks. What this technique seeks is to increase motivation and user loyalty.  It could be a powerful new strategy to influence behavior and  interaction user with that particular activity.


You may think that this technique is new, but the fact is that it has been used for a long time. What it happens is that gamification has gained special relevance due to the large growth of the video game industry, from mobile advices to other platforms such as PCs, XBOX, Playstation.

The word ‘Gamification’ was used  for the first time by Nick Pelling in 2003, but it wasn’t widely known until 2010. From that moment, many companies began to include gamification among their services. This is why gamification is  most popular now.

This process uses game techniques to increase engagement and participation. Some of this techniques consist of giving rewards such as prizes, surprise gifts or customer loyalty cards, although there are many more types of rewards.

Companies that use gamification

Some apps or social networks have chosen to use this method to make user experience more motivating and entertaining. To do this, they have decided to use differents mechanics depending on their demands. For example:

  • Progression techniques: Linkedin. This social network shows your profile strength as you complete your profile.

Profile levels linkedin

  • Achievements and rewards techniques: Foursquare. This apps lets you publish your location. Foursquare uses recreational dynamics such as avatars, badgets and digital medals users recognition.

insignias foursquare

  • Another example of rewards and prizes is Dropbox: This virtual pen-drive used gamification to reward with more storage space those who invite their friends to join on Dropbox. Who sends the invitation gets more storage space the more friends join on Dropbox. But not only they get extra storage space, also every friend who joins.

premios dropbox

  • Scoring techniques: Their objective is to motivate action and increase user loyalty.

Applied to Social Media, as a website or blog, we can say that gamification is all we use to encourage readers to comment, share, vote in a survey in which they can win something, among other things. The aim is that the readers interact on our website and increase their user loyalty to ensure that they return to our page. Thus, they would also be contributing to our SEO, because the more actions they do in our website better positioned it will be in the main search engines.

As you can see after these examples, gamification has become an industry that is always present in our environment in one way or another. Since many companies have decided to use gamification because they see it as an effective way to make their business profitable.

Platforms and services

If you want to go for the use of this technique, the most popular platforms in this sector are Badgeville, BigDoor, Bunchball Nitro and Gigya that provide all the features and services of gamification.

But not only in mobile applications and websites we find gamification, it can also be used in our physical or social environment, such as converting some stairs in a piano where each step is a key. This is one of the examples that you can see below:

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