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What Is Gamification? - Get Included - Erasmus + KA2 Youth Project

What Is Gamification? - Get Included - Erasmus + KA2 Youth Project

What Is Gamification? - Get Included - Erasmus + KA2 Youth Project

What Is Gamification? - Get Included - Erasmus + KA2 Youth Project

What Is Gamification? - Get Included - Erasmus + KA2 Youth Project

What Is Gamification? - Get Included - Erasmus + KA2 Youth Project
What Is Gamification? - Get Included - Erasmus + KA2 Youth Project

This program is funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey.

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Currently Gamification is a trend, used in diverse contexts and purposes, as business, human resources or even in the social sector. It has been discovered the motivational power that “Gamification” has got in order to engage players (users) into an specific activity.

So, throw this Toolkit, and in the framework of the european project Get Included, we want to introduce you, that maybe has information or not about this concept, to what is it about and some concrete information about its mechanism. Furthermore, this document is also providing you with concrete and practical experiences where Gamification has been applied in the social sector, in order to deal with issues as social inclusion, social participation, active citizenship, etc.

Hopefully this Toolkit can be useful and inspiring for you in your future activities, possible replication of some of the games and methods described, or at least provide you with information about this trend that is taking the best of the “games” but contextualized in diverse situations.

Gamification in simple words is the process of using the elements of games in order to change behaviour. It integrates the rules or methods into activities with goals or to add value.

The practice of gamification begun to emerge when the motivational aspects of games secret plans were started to be applied to services inspection and repair outside of game contexts.

Salen and Zimmerman define a game as “a system during which players interact in artificial conflict, outlined by rules that leads to a quantitative outcome”.

Juul on the opposite hand, summarizes that “a game is a rule-based formal system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort so as to influence the end result, the player feels connected to the outcome, and also the effects of the activity are optional and negotiable".

Common for each the definitions are that games are rule-based systems, wherever players of the games interact to influence the outcome, and also the outcome is quantifiable because Games give clear goals, sense of rewards and fulfilment to players, thus acting nearly as good motivators naturally.


As psychologist Byron Reeves says, there are however no psychological mechanisms that would work only for games but not in real life – the reward centres that are activated by the well-designed games will also activate when interacting with any other well-designed interactive system.

Gamification takes advantage of these motivational capacity of games and applies them to non-game systems.


Game Mechanics

The definitions of gamification mostly talk about the usage of game design elements in context outside of games, and they usually consist of some of these elements that leverage the motivation of the players, as well as other psychological needs such as competence, autonomy, and relatedness to drive interest, engagement and participation in a specific activity.

A primitive example of gamification would be rewarding Scouts with a badge for a task that they wouldn’t necessarily partake in, such as fishing or orienteering. Competition amongst the Scouts reinforces a desire to keep getting more badges. These badges engage the Scout through those desires mentioned earlier, status, achievement, competition and being part of an inclusive social community. The fact that 10 out of the 12 people to have walked on the moon were Scouts means something must be working!




Main Elements of Games



There are many game-specific elements, but some frequent core factors of games can be recognized from the current educational literature.

Flatla et al. defines core elements of games to be competition, clear goals, rewards, feedback, progress and theme, most of the successful Games are consisted of


1 Goal-focused challenge 

Goal-focused challenges give challenging goal factors tied to rewards. This means offering clear goal-oriented tasks, such as accumulating items with clearly defined win conditions that triggers a challenging activity engaging the player. The challenges provide the users course of what to do in the game, so it should to be made certain that there are always challenges for the users to complete.

The challenges should include a number of obstacles that the users’ need to overcome to complete the activities. The difficulty of challenges may increase as the game progresses (within the game boundaries) to keep the users interested. This can be achieved by increasing the required actions per level, but also with other game features, such as timed response or randomness.


2 Feedback

Feedback capability supplying unique development devices and fulfilment markers to let the customers recognize how they have advanced in the game and how well they are doing, and to understand what must be done to reach the next milestone without the development tracking it would be not possible to identify what is still needed to attain the winning conditions of the giving goal. The game features that provide comments are for example points, levels and progress bars.

Zichermann and Cunningham states that points are a requirement for all gamified systems. The factors must be used to track every movement that the customers make so they can give consistent comments on how the users are progressing. However, while the factors can be used as a comments mechanism to show the users their progress in the game designers can also use the point system without sharing it with the users. The points can additionally be only visible internally as a remarks of how the exclusive users are acting in the gamified environment.

Levels in the games show the progress and show the users where their position are in the game. As the challenges in the game raise, also the levelling becomes more difficult. In gamification, levels are not generally present in a similar way than in typical games. Still, levels are often used additionally in the gamified systems to point out progress, for example by using several membership degrees based totally on the consumer activity. Progress bars are also intently associated to levels, seeing that they are frequently used as a growth guide for the users, showing how closely they are in accomplishing a level or other activity.


Feedback can also be used for a strengthening method in the game, with an intention to alternate players’ behaviour. For instance, a progress unit showing a time limit can pace up the gamers moves and social leader boards can foster competition and amplify replay value of the game.


3 Reward 

Goal-focused challenges set challenging goals with a defined set of winning conditions, and comments suggests how the person is progressing closer to them. After these prevailing conditions are met the third key aspect of games is reward. Challenges alone do not usually give enough motivation to remain engaged in the game activities if the users are now not rewarded. Thus, the rewards work as conduct reinforcements and preserve the motivation of the users to engage in the game activities. Games can use many kinds of reward mechanisms, however Glover states three most important reward categories: leader boards, prizes and achievements.


Leader boards are lists where users are ranked primarily based on their success in a game. However, they grant a ranking system for games. They are typical specially in competitive activities and their cause is to make easy comparisons between exclusive users. Leader boards can be of many exceptional types: they can exhibit for instance all the users of the service, only the ones close by the user only the friends of the user. Leader boards can act as effective motivators, so it is necessary to pay interest to the type of the leader board that is being used.

In games, prizes are commonly interior rewards, and users can be rewarded for example with special in-game items or additional game content when completing certain tasks. These rewards supply the users get right of entry to content material that cannot be otherwise obtained. In the gamified services, it is common to reward the users additionally with exterior prizes, such as service discounts or free goods.

Glover defines achievements as icons that the users gather as a sign of completing certain tasks. They are frequently publicly seen and act as a way for the customers to gain social awareness. Along with signalling status, the users also wish achievements for many different reasons: collecting is a powerful drive for many people, and many enjoy the shocking impact of acquiring an achievement. Especially badges are a famous way to point out achievements in state-of-the-art games and gamified services