Sudarsan Ravi

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Gamification? What in the sweet lord's name is that?

Gamification? What in the sweet lord's name is that?

It’s a fancy word, Isn’t it? It sounds intellectual, suave and fun. In this post, I will try to explain the meaning of Gamification in simple terms.


Let us start with the toughest way to learn something – The Oxford dictionary.


The application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service. Gamification is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun. (Reference -


Here is something simple - “Gamification is applying game elements to non-game processes to achieve results”. Deconstructing that definition, there are three elements there.


1. Game playing elements or Game mechanics


Games are addictive because they promote competition, collaboration, challenges, rewards in a highly engaging manner. The player of the game is focussed on meeting and beating the objectives of the game. Game mechanics like Activities, Levels, Rewards, Challenges, Leaderboards, Badges, etc drive and provide visual feedback to the user.


2. Non Game Processes


Non game processes could be any business process be it performance management, employee referrals, engagement, feedback surveys, onboarding on the employee front. It could also be customer sourcing, engagement, feedback on the marketing front.


3. Achieve results


The primary objective to apply game principles to business processes is to achieve positive results. This is what makes Gamification exciting. It helps achieve results significantly and most importantly makes the activity fun while doing it. Mandating time sheets also will drive participation but game elements leave the participant in a positive mental frame towards the same activity.


Gamification is not Gaming. It is taking the cool concepts of gaming and applying it to the world around us to make it fun, stimulating and drive business outcomes.


What do you feel when you hear the word – Gamification?

You Suck! Now go stand there facing the wall.
Do you know what employees think of referral progr...