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3 Ways to Define and Apply Gamification in Learning

Updated: May 22, 2020

Gamification is a nebulous term. To unlock its value in the learning and training space, we must first define it before we can understand how to apply it.

To that end, here’s a question for YOU:

When you think about gamification in the context of training, what comes to mind? Choose your answer below.

  • If your answer is, “A game you play for fun, like Angry Birds or Halo” scroll down to #1.

  • If your answer is, “Something that involves points, badges and leaderboards” scroll down to #2.

  • If your answer is, “Something that applies game principles and psychology as well as layered game mechanics” scroll down to #3.


Mindspace Advanced Gamification


1. Sounds fun, but not exactly where we were headed. Go back.

2. This could work, but there’s a better option. Go back.

3. Boom! You’re on the right path. Continue.

The way we think about gamification at Mindspace, especially when applied to learning, is something we call “Advanced Gamification.” We'll talk more about this concept later, but not everyone thinks of gamification in learning the way we do. That’s okay. There are pros and cons to some of the different ways people perceive or define gamification.

Here, we’ll lay out the pluses and minuses of three different way to apply gamification in learning so you can determine which works best for you and your organization. If you’re thinking about making the leap to providing gamified learning experiences, it's important to know a bit about each of these three approaches.

1: Shall we play a game (for fun)?

You’ve probably played a few phone- or console-based games, and I bet there are

some you virtually obsessed over. Maybe you loved old mobile classics like Fruit Ninja or Candy Crush, or perhaps you were a console junkie who just couldn’t hit the pause button on your Skyrim quest. No matter the case, you can't deny that many entertainment games are exceedingly popular.

The pros

The fun meter

  • There’s no rival to fun when you play a game for the pure enjoyment of it. Well-crafted entertainment games certainly motivate players to stay engaged for relatively short bursts of time, and it’s even possible to teach some basic concepts in the midst of the entertainment bonanza. Typically, however, what’s taught is directly related to the gameplay itself since the purpose of the game is purely for entertainment.

The cons