Gamification is often loosely defined, leading to market confusion, inflated expectations and implementation failures. An updated definition is required to clarify what gamification is, and what it is not. Gartner is redefining gamification as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals”
The key elements of the definition are:
- Game mechanics describes the use of elements such as points, badges and leaderboards that are common to many games.
- Experience design describes the journey players take with elements such as game play, play space and story line.
- Gamification is a method to digitally engage, rather than personally engage, meaning that players interact with computers, smartphones, wearable monitors or other digital devices, rather than engaging with a person.
- The goal of gamification is to motivate people to change behaviors or develop skills, or to drive innovation.
- Gamification focuses on enabling players to achieve their goals. When organizational goals are aligned with player goals, the organization achieves its goals as a consequence of players achieving their goals.
The rationale and implications of this updated definition are explained in Gartner research, Redefine Gamification to Understand Its Opportunities and Limitations (available to Gartner clients only) and in my book, Gamify: How Gamification Motivates People to Do Extraordinary Things.