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Srinivas Gurram
Srinivas Gurram December 6, 2022

Gamification is all the rage these days. But underneath all the hype, there are many gamification myths and traps that people fall into while designing their customer engagement strategy.

Gamification myths can hinder its successful implementation as an engagement strategy. Some people think Gamification is all about fun and can’t be used for serious learning goals. Others think that Gamification is only for rewards and badges.

The key to successful Gamification is to be aware of the misconceptions surrounding it and to tailor the implementation strategy accordingly. If you’re considering using Gamification in your business, it’s important to understand it completely.

This article busts some of the top Gamification myths and unveils the truth.

Gamification In A Nutshell

Gamification is a technique that uses game-like elements to motivate people. It’s about making your product more fun for the customer, ultimately increasing engagement. It can be applied in different ways: games, badges, leaderboards, levels, and points systems. All these gamification elements can be used to keep people engaged with your digital platforms!

Read more about Gamification elements here: Understanding Gamification Series: Game Mechanics and Game Dynamics.

7 Common Myths About Gamification

Myth 1: Gamification is only for Gamers

This is one of the most common Gamification myths, i.e., Gamification is only for gamers and is ineffective for non-gamers or general audiences.

Many people view the term “gamification” as a concept that is only embraced by gamers. They don’t understand its importance and requirements in non-gaming contexts.

Gamification can make any activity more interactive and enjoyable. It can encourage users to do things they might not otherwise do and increase their engagement with a product or service.

Gamification uses game techniques such as rewards and competitiveness to motivate users to achieve business objectives.

70% of Global companies use Gamification to improve user engagement and retention. It means that Gamification is a powerful engagement strategy that can engage all, not only gamers.

Myth 2: Gamification is only about Rewards

Rewards are one of the most common elements of Gamification, but they are not the only ones. Gamification also includes points, leaderboards, badges, and levels. 

Gamification is not just about rewards. Rewards are just one of the many gamification elements available to product designers. These product designers use these game elements in non-gaming contexts to create healthy competition among peers or award a user for reaching a specific milestone. 

These rewards act as feedback that encourages users to perform better and achieve more. It also gives users a feeling of accomplishment.

Yu-Kai-Chou, a Gamification expert, claims gamification is more about how, when, and why game components are used in a situation. It is about choosing the right game elements in the right context to accomplish the goals.

Suppose you are planning to gamify engagement in your business. Randomly incorporating rewards within the strategy will not help achieve the ultimate business objectives.

The smart way to approach gamification is to build a compelling experience backed by appropriate design features. Just throwing random reward programs in your app without careful design might lead to a short-term engagement boost but won’t convert into long-term results.

Myth 3: Gamification only enhances Extrinsic Motivation

There is a misconception that Gamification only enhances extrinsic motivation, such as earning rewards. There’s this gamification myth that people are motivated only when they think they might be rewarded. Extrinsic motivation can be powerful, but it’s not for everyone and doesn’t always work. 

Giving users a badge or cash reward may help them stay engaged at first. However, consumers will search for intrinsic motivators once the novelty has worn off. 

Therefore, intrinsic motivation is needed to engage customers for the long term. Understanding your audience’s objectives and aligning those with the combination of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is critical.

A good gamification strategy focuses on extrinsic and intrinsic factors that lead to positive user engagement. 

Myth 4: Gamification is More Suited to the Younger Audience

Gamification can be used for audiences of all ages. It is not just for younger audiences. 

Whether it’s a game that keeps users engaged or a tool that helps users learn new information, Gamification can be a powerful way to keep people of all ages interested in a product or service.

Gamification is about instilling motivation within users. It is used to drive a desired behavioral change in them regardless of age. The goal is to design a user experience that is relevant, fun, and engaging.

Everybody enjoys playing. That is a human trait, not something unique to the younger audience. Games give a safe and enjoyable method to take risks and fail while boosting their confidence to attempt new things.

Myth 5: Gamification is Simply Structured as Competition

Many people believe that Gamification is just a simply structured competition. In reality, it can be much more than that. Gamification can engage people and help them learn or achieve a desired goal. It can create positive experiences, not just motivate people to compete.

Gamification can achieve several goals, including learning, self-satisfaction, and motivating people to take action. Understanding the different types of gamification before using it in your business is essential, as the same strategy doesn’t work for everyone.

There are two types of gamification, Structural Gamification and Content Gamification. Structural gamification is when game mechanics are applied to the overall design of a course but not the content itself. Content gamification uses game elements, mechanics, and thinking to motivate users.

For example, Points, rewards,  badges, and other achievements are great examples of structural gamification. Awarding points for completing a task, badges for demonstrating excellence, or awarding bonuses for reaching a certain milestone are all examples of content gamification.

Myth 6: Gamification Alone Fixes Everything

A common gamification myth is that gamification alone can fix all engagement and user retention issues.

Gamification is not a magical solution that fixes all business problems. A successful gamification strategy requires a well-defined goal, research, careful planning, user behavioral study, and a compelling and engaging user experience.

Every program or app does not automatically succeed by adding points, badges, and leaderboards. For example, some might think rewarding players for completing tasks automatically solves problems like boredom or difficulty. This gamification might be effective in some cases but will not always yield positive results.

Not all gamification strategies have the same results. There are a lot of gamification mistakes that could be made and should, therefore, be avoided. Based on the business goal, the gamification form may vary. It involves research, objective, and customized campaigns based on the problem it will solve.

Myth 7: Gamification is a Fad

There are several reasons why gamification strategies can fail, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea to implement. Gamification can be a successful strategy if it is implemented correctly, and there are several key factors to consider when designing a gamification project. 

One of the main factors that can affect the success of a gamification project is the design. If the design is bad, users will not be able to enjoy the experience. They may become frustrated and lose interest.

Overall, gamification can be an effective way to engage users and improve engagement rates. If done well, it can be a fun and motivating way to engage users.

By 2020, the gamification market was worth $9.1 billion; by 2025, it is expected to be worth $30.7 billion.

The growth of the gamification market is not surprising when we consider that it is a quick and easy way to improve user engagement. It has been seen as an effective way to increase user engagement with apps and websites.

Conclusion

There are a lot of misconceptions and myths associated with Gamification, but knowing what is true can help you make an informed decision when implementing Gamification in your business. There are a lot of successful gamification stories that disprove these myths.

One of the most well-known examples of a successful gamification story is Duolingo. Duolingo is a free app that teaches users new languages. The app has a lot of features that are similar to those found in traditional educational programs, but one of the main ways that Duolingo differentiates itself is through its use of Gamification. 

Duolingo's Gamification Screen

If you’d like to learn more and implement Gamification as your user engagement strategy, connect with our team today!

The Upshot.ai Advantage

Upshot.ai is an omnichannel, user engagement, and gamification platform that helps digital product owners and marketers improve product adoption and conversions.

With Upshot.ai, banks, Insurance, OTT platforms, and FinTech firms can enhance their digital experiences with pre-built gamification features. It can provide personalized insights, actionable recommendations, and contextual nudges designed to deepen its relationship with its users. Book a demo of the most comprehensive user engagement and gamification platform to achieve your digital product goals. 

Join our communities for more insights, guides, and best practices that keep you updated with proven strategies and tips to supercharge your campaigns.

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