Gamification. Doesn’t that just mean playing games? How can you learn a serious topic just by playing games?
As a trainer, this is something I hear from time to time when I mention gamification.
In fact, gamification does NOT mean ‘just playing games’. Some gamification techniques do not involve games at all!
Gamification simply means taking the lessons we learn from game development and using them to increase engagement and motivation.
For example, game developers understand how people love to measure how much they have improved. They use points, levels, badges and stats to help players do this. When we use points, levels, badges and stats in training, that’s an example of gamification.
Yet it IS possible to learn a skill or competency ‘just by playing a game’. But this is something different. We call this game-based learning. A good example is the wargames carried out by the military. Another example is the games carried out during team-building exercises.
So, in short, gamification means applying game elements to non-game scenarios. Game-based learning is where the game is the primary means of instruction.