Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.[1] Gamification taps into the basic desires and needs of the users impulses which revolve around the idea of Status and Achievement.

The research company Gartner predicts that by 2015, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application. [2]



The oldest example of gamification are Frequent Flyer Programs that airline companies offer as a part of their customer loyalty programs.

Gamification was a term that was first coined in 2003 by Nick Pelling, but did not gain popularity until 2010.[3] The term gamification began to gather interest and a following in 2010 when companies such as Badgeville started using it to describe their behavior platforms. Gartner spurred the popularity of gamification by saying that "More than 50 Percent of Organizations that Manage Information Processes Will Gamify Those Processes" and also added Gamification to their hype cycle.[2]  In 2011, more companies started developing gamification platforms as they became more popular.


Gamification techniques strive to leverage people's natural desires for Competition, Achievement, Status, Altruism, Community Collaboration, and many more.

Businesses can use Gamification to drive desired user behaviors that are advantageous to their brand. One common technique of Gamification is to increase engagement by rewarding users who accomplish desired tasks.

Rewards such as Badges and Points are used to elevate Status by showcasing the talents, expertise, and accomplishments of users. 

Competition is another technique that can be used in gamification. The desire to appear on the leaderboard drives players to complete more tasks, in turn fueling deeper engagement.

Game Mechanics

Main article: Game Mechanics

Game Mechanics refer to the components of a game, the mechanisms utilized by game designers to reward activity among customers, employees, or other users.

The five most commonly used mechanics in gamification are: Points, Badges, Levels, Leaderboards, and Challenges.[3]

Big Data and Gamification

Gamification is a very practical technique to take advantage of big data. It is a powerful tool for motivating better performance, driving business results, and generating a competitive advantage. [4] By capturing and analyzing the big data on behaviors, businesses can create a more engaging experience that motivates employees and users.[9] 71% of companies expect big data to have a significant impact on sales.

By providing extensive insight into user behavior, big data can indicate what activities, content types, and frequencies are yielding the best results. It also allows companies to adapt to various user behaviors and motivations. In order to get the most value out of gamification it is important to go beyond the data and try to understand not only how the users are behaving but also to ask 'why', and also come up with creative ideas to improve the system.

Effectively using data analytics and gamification, in turn, helps businesses sell more and increase customer loyalty.[5]

Psychology of Gamification

Main article: Psychology

Gamification includes a number of psychological concepts, especially regarding motivation, behavior, and personality. Deep fluency and understanding of these concepts is one of the most important keys to proper gamification implementation.

Gamification Benefits

Main Article: Gamification Benefits

The Benefits of Gamification are many and varies from Industry to Industry. Game Mechanics and Game Features are designed to Boost certain Metrics. In Gamification it is critical to monitor the performance of your metrics closely to insure you are getting the best results possible and that your players are happy. The main measurable metrics of success include: engagement, influence, loyalty, user generated content, time spent, and virality. 


Main article: Gamification Examples

Gamification can be applied to many facets of technology and has evolved in the recent years. Over 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies surveyed in 2013 said they planned to use gamification for the purposes of marketing and customer retention.[3]

  • Nike uses gamification in their Nike+ applications to encourage and reward users who maintain an active lifestyle.[3]
  • My Starbucks Rewards uses gamification to incentivize and reward customer loyalty.[3]

  • Deloitte gamified the Deloitte Leadership Academy to increase engagement in their training programs. [8]

Case Studies

Main article: Case Studies

Various case studies describe the implementation and success of gamification. 


Main article: Industries

Industries that currently implement gamification include: Commerce, Education, Entertainment, Enterprise, and Marketing.

See also


  1. Gartner Redefines Gamification-
  2. ^ Gartner Says By 2015, More Than 50 Percent of Organizations That Manage Innovation Processses Will Gamify Those Processes-
  3. A Brief History of Gamification-
  4. The Intersection of gamification and big data-
  5. How Gamification and Big Data are Driving Business Today-
  6. Gamification: How Competition is Reinventing Business, Marketing, & Everyday Life-
  7. Successful Gamification Case Studies-
  8. Deloitte Case Study-
  9. ^ Play to win: The game-based economy, Written by JP Mangalindan.

Further reading