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Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham (2011) define gamification as “The use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems.” According to Detering et al. (2011) [1], ““Gamification” refers to the use (rather than the extension) of design (rather than game-based technology or other game-related practices) elements (rather than full-fledged games) characteristic for games (rather than play or playfulness) in non-game contexts (regardless of specific usage intentions, contexts, or media of implementation).”

The Gamification encyclopedia defines gamification as “the concept that you can apply the basic elements that make games fun and engaging to things that typically aren't considered a game. In theory you can apply Game Design to almost anything including Education, Health, Work and more. [...] Gamification at it's core is about fun, rewards and social connections. It has the opportunity to connect people in ways never seen before.”(retrieved 11:27, 15 June 2011 (CEST))

Gamification is a trend in marketing, user experience design and education that started around 2010. It raises interesting questions and brings together principles that already have been used in the past under labels such as reinforcement in stimulus/response theory, fun, serious play and user engagement.

Gamification techniques

Detering (2011) [1], an often cited early paper, summarized elements of game design: “nterface design patterns ; game design patterns or game mechanics; design principles, heuristics or ‘lenses’; conceptual models of game design units; game design methods and design processes” with the idea that these can be used in gamification.

According to Mese et al (2015) [2], “Krapp (2014) enlisted gamification elements as Story, Challenge, Curiosity, Character, Interactivity, Feedback and Freedom to Fail. Besides, Karataş (2014) described gamification elements as Feedback, Point, Experience, Leader Board, Quest, Reward, Avatar,Achievement, Reputation, Challenge, Fantasy, Level, Virtual Goods, Progress Bar, Real Gift and Trophy. Robinson and Bellotti (2013) categorized 42 gamification elements under six major themes which are General Framing, General Rules and Performance Framing, Social Features, Incentives, Resources and Constraints, and Feedback and Status Information.”

Wikipedia (in 2011) listed the following popular gamification techniques: achievement "badges", achievement levels, "leader boards", a progress bar or other visual meter to indicate how close people are to completing a task a company is trying to encourage, such as completing a social networking profile or earning a frequent shopper loyalty award, virtual currency, systems for awarding, redeeming, trading, gifting, and otherwise exchanging points, challenges between users, and embedding small casual games within other activities.

Gamification in Marketing

Gamification has several applications in the domain of marketing. Certain companies are applying gamification techniques to engage customers and reward them in return. Brands find this a very useful platform as many people like playing games. Noise Street is one of the company who is adopting Gamification to provide a platform for brands to connect with customers. They use interactive games to allow brands to engage with their customers and reward them in returns. This form of gamification in marketing is seen very beneficial as every consumer has their phone on themselves which they use to play games.


  • Gamify a gamification platform. From a quick look at it it seems that it will allow to hand out points, achievements, levels, coupons and other virtual artifacts to users that participate.
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  • Cronk, M. (2012). Using Gamification to Increase Student Engagement and Participation in Class Discussion. In T. Amiel & B. Wilson (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2012 (pp. 311-315). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.
  • Dicheva, D., Dichev, C., Agre, G, et Angelova, G. (2015) Gamification in Education: A systemic mapping Study, in Educational Technology & Society 18 (3), 2015
  • Zichermann, Gabe and Christopher Cunningham (2011). Gamification by Design, O'Reilly. Early release version. ISBN 1303155502

Cited with footnotes:

  1. 1.0 1.1 Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R., & Nacke, L. (2011). From game design elements to gamefulness. In Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference on Envisioning Future Media Environments - MindTrek ’11 (p. 9). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.
  2. MEŞE, C., MEŞE, C., Dönmez, O., & Dursun, Ö. Ö. (2015). IDT Experts’ Views on Gamificatio Elements’ Effectiveness in E-Learning Settings. In D. Rutledge & S. Slykhuis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2015--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (Vol. 2015, pp. 815–817). AACE. Retrieved from