Gamification Part 1: What is the “Gamification” & How can we use it as “Creators”

I’ve been interested in Gamification since the time I’ve graduated from collage. I’ve been taking it much more seriously since the time I’ve created 2 different Android applications and applied some basic Gamification concepts to them. Feedbacks were amazing! Then, I decided to dive deeply and share my knowledge/experience with other creators.

Intuitively, people tend to think that the reverse of “game” is “work”. But, the actual term should be “depression”. The term “work” should not be replaced with the term “depression”.

In fact, the luckiest people are ones who feel like “playing” while doing their works. But what about the people who are not that lucky?

Gamification comes to rescue! Gamification is a process which can be used to motivate people in any field by using game-like concepts. Gamification can motivate people to learn something, to finish something, to be better at anything, even though to buy or sell something. You can even quit your bad habits by applying a gamification to yourself in your daily life. What a powerful concept!

I think it would be great to introduce the Gamification to “creators” like Software Developers or Product Owners to make them create more attractive products!

I separated the study into parts as follows:

1- What is the “Gamification” & How can we use it as “Creators”
2- Player Motivation
3- Loyalty & Engagement

From now, I will use the term “Player” for customers or users and the term “Game” for the system which we think about applying the Gamification.

What is the “Gamification” & How can we use it as “Creators”

Gamification is the process of game-thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems. It can be applied to any problem that can be solved through influencing human motivation and behavior.

Gamification is not merely about slapping some badges on your product. Also, if you expect gamification to fix your business’ core problems (bad products or poor product-market fit), it will not.

  • The problem is the “player” has no motivation or intention to do something. This “something” can be clicking advertisements, filling the missing parts of the user profile, sending daily working report on time, being a good team player, quitting bad habits, buying more tickets than usual at some special times, selling old stuffs, eating more or not eating more, …

People are usually in a “battery saver” mode. This is a legacy characteristic comes from old times when we were just cave people. In that times, food supply was hard to get and dangerous. People should save their energy and only burn that calories to win a fight and to compete with rival cave people in that times. Now, we can see the fundamental thing of any sports branch is competition.

Status indicators and achievements to motivate players, Nike

Also people mostly want to know about their effort is “worth” it or not. The feedback loop comes on the scene here.

Status bars and feedback labels to provide more engagement, Online Learing Platforms
  • The solution is motivating players to do these kind of things can be achievements, leaderboards, privileges, gifts and rewards, badges, status bars, loyalty cards, special offers, virtual currency and point systems, …
Profile strength bars to make users complete their profiles, Linkedin
Badges to obtain more user participation, Udacity Discussion Forum

As you can see from the example images, digital world has been using game concepts for years, although they are not calling them as “Gamification”.

Don’t forget, each game is unique. You cannot apply same concepts to all types of games. This may demotivate people, the exact opposite situation! So, the way of implementation should be include determination of player types, engagement metrics, reward systems, narratives, feedback loops, “Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics”…

We’re going to talk about how we can build this “unique” Gamification system in future articles.

The next step is learning about the Player Motivation which includes intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, flow zone, player types and more!



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Azmi Rutkay Biyik

Azmi Rutkay Biyik

Blogger, Software Engineer, Growth & Gamification Enthusiast