What Does Gamification Mean?

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash


What Does Gamification Mean?

A cutting-edge approach to applying strategic thinking and incentives to win the game of life.


The term “Gamification” is said to have been coined in 2003 by Nick Pelling, a British computer programmer, and inventor.

Explained on the most basic level, Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game environments. The term non-game environment is often used to describe any human to human, or human to computer interactions that would not befit the definition of a recreational puzzle, a board or video game, or sports.

Non-game environments usually include education, business, shopping in a supermarket, and dating.

Why is Gamification so Important in the 21st Century?

When used skillfully, and effectively, gamification techniques can leverage people’s natural desires for socializing, learning, mastery, competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, or closure. It may even influence their response to the framing of a situation as a game or play. Early gamification strategies use rewards for players who accomplished desired tasks or competition to engage players. Back then, types of rewards included points, achievement badges or levels, the filling of a progress bar, or providing the user with virtual currency. Making the rewards for accomplishing tasks visible to other players, or providing leader boards are ways of encouraging players to compete or in the best of environments, to collaborate.

One of the things that separate gamification as well as HAGT (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory from classical game theory is that while classical game theory, which is a foundation of much in modern economic theory focuses on rational and logical patterns of thought and behavior, gamification and HAGT tends to be more holistic. When I say Holistic I mean they create a space for strategizing and creating incentives based on intuition, counter-intuitive, and non-linear elements.

Within gamification models, one is likely to encounter game design elements known as Meaningful Stories. Meaningful Stories do not relate to the player’s performance as they might in a game-based model.

In gamification, teammates, whether they are other real players or virtual non-player characters, can induce conflict, competition, or cooperation. The latter can be fostered particularly by introducing teams, i.e., by creating defined groups of players that work together towards a shared objective.

Though those who developed the idea generally state that it is not directly tied to game theory, many of the concepts used in gamification are clearly modeled on ideas central to game theory. Essentially gamification is a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying the characteristics of game elements. These elements may include metrics and algorithms.

Over the last few decades, there has been an increased interest in gamification in business.


It is increasingly more difficult to attain business success without gamification. What seems reasonable will be useless to you in rapidly changing markets. A more profound way of thinking is required to succeed here. Gamification can meet the needs of many employees, that need more than a paycheck and a two-week vacation.

Author: Lewis Harrison is a practical philosopher, best-selling author, and successful businessman.


“I am the former host of a talk radio show on an NPR affiliated station in NY. I have a bottomless passion for the application of game theory in decision-making, problem-solving, and personal development. My game theory/business website is AskLewisGameTheory.com.

“I am always exploring trends, areas of interest, and solutions to build new stories upon. Again, if you have any ideas you would like me to write about just email me at LewisCoaches@gmail.com”.

Here is a 15-minute video interview I did explaining the very basics of HAGT (Harrison’s Applied Game Theory). Learn more about game theory at AskLewisGameTheory.com


I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love. LewisCoaches.Medium.com

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I offer advice on the arts, innovation, self-improvement, life lessons, mental health, game theory strategies, and love. LewisCoaches.Medium.com

See all of Lewis Harrison’s stories (there are hundreds) at LewisCoaches.Medium.com

Here you can learn about personal development, self-improvement, life hacking, business, and the spiritual life.

I invite you to read, my regular blogs on game theory, and lifehacking and follow my posts and vlogs throughout the social network:


Part of human potential, personal improvement, and human potential is learning and using applied game theory. You can Become a Master of Applied Game Theory and Reduce Unnecessary Struggle in Your Life and Business through our Course 


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