What is Gamification Actually?

WGamification is actually as old of a concept as games themselves or to be more precise play. We humans like most mammals and some other animals use play as part of our growing up process. It is an ingrained behavior that is found in all humans. This behavior is one of our most advanced learning mechanisms that drives us to explore the world and test out new things. Kids all over the world use play to experiment with the world around them and if you remember your childhood you will probably also remember coming up with all kinds of little games and stories by yourself. Gamification is a new buzz word that relates to our age old instinct to come up with stories and rules to contextualize our world around us and engage with our surroundings in creative ways, but this definition is not what most people are thinking about when referring to gamification. Mostly people refer to gamification simply as the act of adding game elements to something that was originally not a game. As the nature of language manipulates and changes definitions there are multiple definitions to gamification. My favorite one and the one that this website mostly builds upon is from Yu-Kai Chou. He is the author of the Gamification Book: Actionable Gamification – Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboards and inventor of the gamification framework Octalysis;  “Gamification is the craft of deriving all the fun and engaging elements found in games and applying them to real-world or productive activities. This process is what I call “Human-Focused Design,” as opposed to “Function-Focused Design.” It’s a design process that optimizes for human motivation in a system, as opposed to pure efficiency.” (Chou, 2019) Chou’s point about “Human-Focused Design” This definition really focuses on seeing gamification as a way to improve the use of tools, rules, technology and much more to compliment our human abilities. 

Gamification Will Change Your Life

Learning about gamification is all about discovering what motivates us, how can we make something interesting and what tools can help achieve a task effectively. 
Gamification techniques make use of systems to support and enhance our cognitive abilities. While trying out different methods I often found myself simplifying life so that I can fit some element of my day or action into an application. This process allowed me to reflect on parts of my life which I would otherwise never inspect. After finding the right tools for me, I started living more intentional. My awareness of my actions in relationship to my goals has increased during the use of the systems that I found suited my needs best.

We all use gamification already, but this website is about to improve your ability as a player, to also be the designer of your game. Paychecks, Grades, Applications, Programs, Phones, most parts of Society have rudimentary elements of gamified systems and like games are evolving with our advances in technology. There is a rising trend of gamification today mainly due to new integrations of technology into our society but also through advances in motivational psychology, bio hacking and a general awareness of workforce motivation. Companies like Facebook are famous for using psychological tricks abusing their users desire for a spontaneous reward. Gamification is about isolating parts of games and game design to use them for hacking our brain. Games are designed around human traits and therefore reverse engineering what works in games will allow us to use human focused design in our lives.  

Benefits from Gamification in short

+ Heightened awareness leading to more intentional behavior due to the practice of tracking
+ Attempting to gamify any aspect of life will result in simplification
+ Gamifying an existing system is making that system more suitable for human use
+ Better Documentation skills
+ Pattern recognition
+ Delayed Gratification
+ Understanding of Systems
+ Increase Focus