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An explanation of gamification

In this video, TechTarget editor Tommy Everson explains gamification.

Did your last company training session feel like a video game? Does your credit card use a points-based loyalty program? That's gamification, or the integration of video game elements into non-game contexts, like business operations. Gamification plays a major role in modern interactions between companies, their employees and their customers.

Gamification uses immersive and entertaining elements to make employee training, online marketing campaigns, and other tasks fun and engaging, such as [the following]:

  • Points and badges, which reward users and encourage participation.
  • Leaderboards, which help foster healthy competition.
  • Progression through levels, which gives users a feeling of growth and accomplishment.
  • Rewards and incentives, like prizes and discounts, which encourage desired behaviors.
  • Role-playing, which adds an immersive and emotional dimension to a user's experience.
  • Avatars, which let users express themselves and get them invested in the experience.
  • Teammates, which increase social interaction and collaboration.

These gamified elements can go a long way to increasing engagement, enhancing motivation, improving learning and encouraging brand loyalty. Look out for them in e-learning and training sessions as well as health and wellness, productivity management, task management, fundraising, and crowdsourcing apps and contexts.

Despite its benefits, gamification has also been criticized for its overemphasis on competition and superficial engagement. Do you think it's an effective means of driving engagement and improving training? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to like and subscribe too.

Nick Barney is a former technology writer for Whatis.com.

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