Gamification in Education and Business

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A RECIPE for Meaningful Gamification

  • Scott NicholsonAffiliated withBecause Play Matters game lab, Syracuse University School of Information Studies Email author 

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Meaningful gamification is the use of gameful and playful layers to help a user find personal connections that motivate engagement with a specific context for long-term change. While reward-based gamification can be useful for short-term goals and situations where the participants have no personal connections or intrinsic motivation to engage in a context, rewards can reduce intrinsic motivation and the long-term desire to engage with the real world context. If the goal is long-term change, then rewards should be avoided and other game-based elements used to create a system based on concepts of meaningful gamification. This article introduces six concepts—Reflection, Exposition, Choice, Information, Play, and Engagement—to guide designers of gamification systems that rely on non-reward-based game elements to help people find personal connections and meaning in a real world context.


Theory Model Design User-based Motivation Framework Gamification