Lincoln C. Wood, Torsten Reiners
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch297
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Gamification is “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts” (Deterding, Dixon, Khaled, & Nacke, 2011, p. 10) with the intent of injecting fun, play, and passion into tasks and processes. The redesign of processes embeds characteristics that are more commonly found in games, into the non-game activities (Deterding et al., 2011, p. 13). Therefore, it is the application of “the motivational properties of games and layers them on top of other learning activities, integrating the human desire to communicate and share accomplishment with goal-setting to direct the attention of learners and motivate them to action” (Landers & Callan, 2011, p. 421, emphasis added). The term was not widely adopted until 2010 and there is still significant confusion amongst various terms which have similar meanings, so that gamification can be used interchangeably with terms such as behavioral games, funware, applied gaming, productivity games, the game layer of a process, or playful design (Deterding et al., 2011).

The increase in motivation of users is accomplished through the careful combination of a range of building blocks into the design and structure of a given process. This incorporates game-based practices and elements. It remains distinctly different to the concept of serious games, which is more tightly concerned with the use of games to achieve serious outcomes. For example, challenges or puzzles in a game, where having multiple people working on the puzzle allows the players to progress in the game, while having the puzzle solved is of real-world purpose to the game-designers (Liu, Alexandrova, Nakajima, & Lehdonvirta, 2011). By having the task in some way incorporated into the overall structure of the game, players accomplish the task as a side effect of their gameplay (Oja & Riekki, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Components: Individual building-blocks that are introduced to gamify a system; individually, these may be found in games, but are they are not necessarily inherently related to fun.

Gamification: The use of game-based mechanics and game-based design elements in non-game settings to engage users and encourage achievement of desired outcomes through motivation of users.

Dynamics: The involvement and interaction of users with the gamified system depend on user attributes; the dynamics between the system and users therefore change with user attributes and specified components and mechanics.

Mechanics: The desired interactions over repeated uses, time, or between users, of various components and other game-based elements to encourage progress and achievement.

Serious Games: A game-based environment where the primary intention is not the entertainment of the player, but the attainment of some other objective which may be related to investigation or players’ progress towards an objective of some real-world importance.

Game-Based Elements: Those parts of a game that make it interesting, engaging, and compelling to players.

Gamify: The process of incorporating of game-based elements and game-based components, mechanics, and dynamics to a process in order to attain specific outcomes.

Business Process: A sequence of tasks or activities which are performed by stakeholders (e.g., employees or customers) to achieve a desired outcome.

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