What is Gamification? Definition and examples from real life

Thomas Immich
Thomas Immich
June 25th, 2021

Gamification is the “application of game-typical elements in a non-game context”. Gamification is by no means the same as conventional incentive or reward systems. A reward is merely an “external trigger”, i.e. a manual impulse that is intended to get someone to perform an action. For example, a health insurance company pays a premium if the client exercises more frequently. However, if this external trigger falls away, the person is very likely to stop taking the action – i.e., the health-seeking behavior – as well. The person was merely “extrinsically motivated.”

Gamification, on the other hand, is about awakening the “intrinsic motivation” of each person. To do this, a rational action (e.g., “I need to move to get the insurance premium.”), should become an emotional action (“I want to move because it makes me feel better.”). Instead of focusing on the reward, the focus becomes personal progress.

Gamification Definition


Gamification examples from real life

IoT Assist

iot assist logo

The IoT Assist project motivates people to integrate a healthier lifestyle into their everyday working lives – thanks to a combination of IoT technologies and gamification concepts.

The announced goal of the IoT Assist project is the development of a platform that enables communication between devices and services in the IoT and wearable area. This platform offers the possibility to implement intelligent assistance systems for health promotion in a simple and intuitive way. Here, particular focus is placed on the integration of existing device ecosystems in everyday and home environments to address the growing problem of isolated solutions. To ensure that the different technologies can be easily integrated, we provide a technology-neutral interface including various AI modules. In user-centered workshops, individual assistance systems tailored to the user are built and tested in daily professional life. The motivation concepts developed in the IoTAssist project rely on “gamification”.

More information about the project >


MightyUThe research project aims to provide a gamified application to promote and increase the efficiency of treatment options for infantile cerebral palsy (ICP) patients, which will accompany the children and adolescents over a long period of time. The application is developed in such a way that young ICP patients are encouraged to train daily in their home environment, taking into account the social environment, in order to enable and promote active participation in social life. With the help of an EMG sensor system close to the body, the muscle activities and kinematic data of the patients are recorded and made available for the game mechanics.

More information about the project >

Online-Plattform Live Well, Work Well

L3W Plattform Fitness Health Dashboard

The online platform Live Well, Work Well (L3W, an EU joint project) fosters health, satisfaction and productivity in the workplace. Employees have the opportunity to put together a fitness program based on intelligent suggestions. They can have their vital data monitored by a medical professional while data protection is guaranteed. A gamification engine suggests different game elements to users depending on their personality type. This way, it motivates them individually.

More information about the project >


Find out more about gamification projects on our website in the references section.


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