Gamification: The Pursuit of Progression

THIS IS REPOSTED FROM: Samantha Stahlke of the HCI Games Group \\ ORIGINALLY POSTED: JUNE 10, 2015

A great article that pulls apart the term gamification, discusses gamification design, and then finishes by looking at a few interesting examples.

Game-ification: to transform into a game.

If creative commons internet linguistics resources are to be believed, the suffix -ification means ‘to become’, and is of Latin and French origin. You can see why the definition sparks so many debates. What exactly makes something “gamelike”? Are there different degrees of “gameness”?

What should and should not be gamified?

A quick internet search reveals that the vast majority of gamification is aimed at making “healthy” or “productive” tasks more entertaining. But don’t we usually use the word “productive” to describe something that consists of work, and “work” typically describes something that is only done because it needs to be done, for economic reasons or otherwise. The very nature of work itself then calls into question the applicability of games as a delivery medium, since the so-called lusory attitude generally states that players engage in games not out of necessity, but for the enjoyment of the experience.

Kaleidoscope of Effective Gamification.

Habit RPG

HabitRPG, a gamified service. In essence, it is a fairly complex to-do list, spruced up with customization, themed collectibles, and social features. It’s fairly easy to get into, and seemingly addictive, with a simple, straightforward premise: set your own goals, and earn trinkets and prestige for completing them.

Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run!, an app that abandons traditional point-based systems to motivate exercise by immersing users in an intermittent zombie apocalypse during their workout.

Chore Wars

Chore Wars, an old-style Dungeons and Dragons-esque game for knocking out housework. The integration of social family features promises to create some interesting household dynamics.


Duolingo, an app designed to assist in learning a new language through simple activities and reward mechanics. I found this one particularly interesting because it focused on acquiring new knowledge, rather than on work or exercise like many other apps.

Be sure to check out the original post by Samantha Stahlke to read the whole article

Stahlke, S. (2015). Gamification: The Pursuit of Progression. Retrieved 17 July, 2015 from

Kappen, D.L. Nacke, L.E. (2013). The Kaleidoscope of Effective Gamification: Deconstructing Gamification in Business Applications. Retrieved 17 July, 2015 from

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