Games vs. Gamification

Gamification is too often confused with gaming. Of course, gamification makes things more fun, but its real value lies in the increased engagement and motivation that it generates by stimulating users to go beyond their limits to ‘win’ something.

So let’s clarify:

Games vs. Gamification: gamification is not about points and badges on an activity, expecting it to become more engaging. Games, rewards programs, and gamification engage people on different levels and they have entirely different purposes.

• Games primarily engage players on a playful level to entertain them.
• Rewards programs primarily engage players on a transactional level to compensate them.
• Gamification engages players on an emotional level to motivate them.

serious games


Gamification has become an essential part of any digital business strategy as a way of digitally motivating people and overcoming barriers of scale, time, distance, connectedness and cost.

In the book “Gamify — How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things” (Bibliomotion, April, 2014), Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner, explains how to design an experience that touches people on an emotional, rather than transactional, level and motivates them to achieve their goals.

“Organizations should use gamification to empower their customers, employees, and communities to reach their goals. Gamification is about motivating people to achieve their own goals, not the organization’s goals,” says Burke. “Gamification is about rethinking motivation in a world where we are more often connected digitally than physically. It is about building motivation into a digitally connected world. And we are just getting started in this journey. Gamification will continue to develop for many years to come.”

The book, “Gamify — How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things” is published by Bibliomotion and available in any bookstore.

The opportunities are vast, with many yet to be exploited, but before embarking on the journey, a clear understanding of the opportunities and limitations of gamification is needed. Again, I couldn’t agree more, and I’m glad that we’re continually refining the true meaning — and the true business value — of gamification.

MYMIC has just finished the Virtual Control Room, a game-based, virtual environment to support NASA’s Langley Research Center developed by MYMIC this year.