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What is Gamification?

Gamification with Dr Zachary Fitz-Walter

Introduction to Gamification

Dr Zac Fitz-Walter (PhD in Gamification Design) gives us a greater understanding of what Gamification is and where it originated from. Watch now to discover for yourself!
Doctor Zachary Fitz-Walter

Head of Education

Dr Zac Fitz-Walter (PhD in Gamification Design) gives us a greater understanding of what Gamification is and where it originated from. Watch now to discover for yourself!
Doctor Zachary Fitz-Walter

Head of Education

Sport ‘games’ were originally created to get people to take action and keep fit. Board Games like Chess were created to educate soldiers on military strategy. Ancient games like “Knuckles” were used to keep people's minds entertained and engaged during famine.

Games and game like elements have been used to educate, entertain and engage for thousands of years. Some classic game elements are; Points, badges & leaderboards. Points are used in sports, Badges used in the military and Leaderboards in the olympics and even sales teams to quickly name a few. (For more information of these fundamental's check our the 8 Core Human Drives Of Gamification)

There are many different definitions for the term gamification. One of the most popular definitions is found in an academic paper from 2011 where gamification was defined as "the addition of game elements to non-game activities". 


"

Gamification is the addition
of game elements to
non-game activities

"


What's interesting is that gamification is not a new concept. Actually if you remember Mary Poppins, she sums up gamification quite nicely with the quote "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and SNAP! the job's a game."
 
She was on to something here. She knew that something could be made fun by turning it into a game all the way back in the 1960s. Gamification existed even earlier than this. If you were a Boy Scout you could obtain real badges and ranks back in the early 1900s. However as video games started to take off, we saw educational video games then become popular in the 1970s and 80s. You may remember such games as 'Where in the World is Carmen San Diego', ‘Reader Rabbit' and 'Math Blaster’. These games were built for serious purposes, to educate players.
 
Foursquare is another example. If you checked into a location, you would receive points. Check-in to a new location, you hadn't visited before and you would receive even more points. You could then compare the number of points you had on a leaderboard with friends and you could also receive badges for doing special things like checking-in on a boat or checking in with more than 50 people in one place. If you checked into a place more than anyone else, you became the Foursquare mayor of that place. This felt like a game. And it was a lot of fun to use. Foursquare became a popular example of gamification. What's interesting, though, was that the game elements they used started to appear in many different other applications and websites. This may have contributed to these game elements becoming a popular way to add gamification.
 
These days we’re seeing more and more serious games in gamification, partly because video games have become mainstream and, as well, smartphones have made it incredibly easy to play games anywhere.
 
This is 1 of 3 Videos that I've created to explain Gamification. Click on the "Next Article" tab in the bottom right of the page to go to the next video where I talk about "Top Gamification Examples". 
 
Join me in the following video as we talk about popular examples of gamification >>>

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