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The Growth of Gamification

Gamification is everywhere, and it’s expected to become even more of a force in the coming years – we can see trends of this in our daily lives such as loyalty programs, wearable devices and training. In fact, the global market for gamification is expected to reach $5.5 billion in 2018, surpassing $10 billion by 2020. And a 2015 survey showed that 87% of retailers plan to introduce gamification to engage customers within the next five years. 


But what exactly is gamification? Gamification is split in to two categories: structural and content gamification. Structural gamification is the version that most people are familiar with –the use of game-like rewards in a non-game setting to create engagement. Examples include points, badges and leaderboards to encourage competitions with other “players.” Content gamification is very prevalent in the learning and development space – it is the use of game-like content, including the use of storytelling, or the addition of characters or the element of mystery to create engagement. Structural and content gamification can be used either separately or combined. Both examples of gamification are used to engage people and motivate them to a certain end.


Gamification is now so common that we scarcely notice that the experiences around us have been “gamified.” Consider, for example, the use of “likes” in social media. They are seen as an objective measure of the success of any post or announcement, and by extension, of the popularity of whoever placed the post. The power of the “like” has moved it beyond Facebook to other social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. Airline points programs encourage loyalty and drive behaviours. We see gamification driving behaviours change with smart wearable devices for example: The Apple Watch, Samsung Gear and FitBit feature fitness monitors that motivate the wearer to reach certain activity goals during the day. Marketing and advertising campaigns have long been using story, characters or mystery to create an emotional response to ‘hook’ audiences and create powerful, lasting impressions of products.


Reward and recognition programs are making their way into business training. Businesses recognize the power of gamification as a way to elicit an emotional response to motivate and engage employees, and that can drive performance or change behaviour.

Human beings crave connection, attention, recognition and gratification. Gamification can deliver all these things; encouraging user engagement in virtually every digital context.

That’s why Global Knowledge incorporates gamification elements in so many of its communications, courses, and custom digital learning programs.

To learn more about how Global Knowledge gamification can work for your organization, please contact us at: