Gamification and Using Game Mechanics for Learning: A Brighter Future?

future of Gamification


It is predicted that by 2025 over 70% of the global workforce will consist of Millennials and Gen Z, generations who have had a technology-centric upbringing as digital natives. What could hold their interest? What could engage them? What could feed their competitive spirits? Gamification? Possibly, in several aspects of their lives, including in their learning experiences. So, yes. Gamification could come front stage and shine bright as the go-to approach for education and learning.

Workplace dynamics back gamification

The challenge of keeping a young, dispersed team engaged and motivated keeping in mind productivity requirements still remains with most organizations, even as debates have begun on the efficacy of getting the workforce back on site. Individuals by choice and organizations by insight are choosing to adopt or stay hybrid. Thus, with workplace learning needing to stay online, engagement and interest, two of the requirements for effective learning are easily met with game mechanics or even full-fledged games.

Science backs gamification

When we do something positive, our brain releases the “feel-good” chemical, dopamine. Dopamine builds up every time we reach higher levels in a game or unlock new achievements. As we achieve small wins, there is a dopamine kick with every reward won. Our mood is upbeat! We are motivated to keep going towards the next win. Small bursts of motivation, thus, keep us going through the game experience towards the anticipated “win-state” at the end of the game. What if the game experience was a learning one? Focus and engagement coupled with fun should enable enhanced retention and retrieval making the learning effective.

Additionally, according to learning psychology experts, two learning practices, retrieval practice and spaced retrieval are foundational to effective learning and retention. The gamification platforms of today have these enabling practices built into them, making it simple to include gamification game mechanics into learning experiences.

Curated content enhanced with gamification

With content on every relevant subject appropriate for the times easily available, content curation is being adopted as an efficient method for content sharing and learning. Adding game elements to the learning experience is bound to give learners a motivational push and further enhance their social learning experiences.

With so much going for it, gamification with its tangible benefits is here to stay!

Predictions About Gamification In Learning

gamification in online learning

The prediction – The Gamification industry is poised for phenomenal growth.

So, what are the compelling reasons for this confident prediction?

Mobile is the fastest growing market for games

The mobile is increasingly seen as the optimum device for everyone to enjoy games. The learning industry too, is seeing a marked uptick in mobiles being viewed by people as the preferred device for much of their learning. It is reasonable then to expect that the learning industry will put the two together and add games and gamification into enjoyable learning experiences for the mobile.

Less than 25% of organizations are using gamification for learning

Research shows that less than 25% of all organizations currently use gamification in learning and 20% use serious games. With science backing them, L&D teams across geographies and cultures have begun to back gamification and games as cutting-edge methods of delivering and enhancing learning. The graph of gamification adoption has only one way to go – up!

“One good thing about the statistics is that there is a lot of room for opportunity.”

— Gamification expert Professor Karl M Kapp

Gamification works and science backs it

The human tendency is to thrive in an environment where they are challenged, to compete, win, be rewarded, and feel good. All of these and more are enabled by using game mechanics or serious games in learning experiences as well as in other workplace experiences leading to a significant increase in employee engagement and performance translating to higher productivity and profitability.

Gamification is easy to implement

The good thing about gamification is that it’s easy to implement. Today’s learning platforms come equipped with the capabilities required to easily incorporate gamified experiences that engage and motivate employees not just towards learning completion, but when crafted effectively, ensure learning retention and retrieval for on-the-job application.

Strategy games have a wide appeal

A challenge in incorporating games and gamification for learning is about making it inclusive for all learners.

Research by Quantic Foundry found that with age, the appeal of competition drops the most and strategy is the most age-stable motivation. Strategy games are seen to appeal to older as well as young gamers. With careful planning and execution, interest and engagement required for learning effectiveness can be generated in a wide age range.
gamification in learning