gam·​i·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ˌgā-mə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of gamification 

: the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gamification

gamify \ˈgā-​mə-​ˌfī \ intransitive verb gamified; gamifying
Easy-to-use Web- and mobile-based learning platforms … take the boredom out of long training sessions by gamifying the entire process. A training manual is replaced by an interactive game that allows participants to win awards and be acknowledged. — J. J. Rosen

Did You Know?

The basic concept of gamification isn't new, but the word itself is a 21st-century addition to the English lexicon. The word refers to the incorporation of game elements, like point and reward systems, to tasks as incentives for people to participate. In other words, gamification is about making something potentially tedious into a game. Gamification is effective because it taps into people's natural desires for competition and achievement. Teachers, managers, and others use gamification to increase participation and improve productivity. Gamification is also often an essential feature in apps and websites designed to motivate people to meet personal challenges, like weight-loss goals and learning foreign languages; tracking your progress is more fun if it feels like a game.

Examples of gamification in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Many water companies in California created gamification apps to reward conservation during the drought, which were credited with helping to achieve the state’s water-use goals. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "The problem with turning urban challenges into games," 20 July 2018 Level 1: Gamify The power of gamification resonates with James Tanaka, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Victoria in Canada. Sarah Deweerdt, Science | AAAS, "Can science-based video games help kids with autism?," 22 June 2018 But Klout's success in getting people to sign up and give access to their social media feed data was built largely on users' need to rank themselves—and the gamification of a total abandonment of privacy. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Klout is out—social media mojo-ranking service to shutter," 10 May 2018 This is very much in line with my understanding of how the gamification trend in workplaces operates. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, "Lotto Tickets Are Nice, Boss, but Can I Have My Bonus?," 11 Mar. 2018 When the game company Zynga first launched FarmVille, the popular social-network game, in 2009, its designers closely studied how it was being played, says Gabe Zichermann, one of the pre-eminent experts on gamification. Haley Sweetland Edwards, Time, "You're Addicted to Your Smartphone. This Company Thinks It Can Change That," 13 Apr. 2018 As gamification increases, its ability to affect industries like healthcare will also grow, said Kunal Patel, cofounder of video game group Indienomicon — which stages MeGa Health Jam as part of a series. Marco Santana,, "Nemours among Orlando hospitals turning to video games for help," 13 Apr. 2018 The use of elements of gamification and the high level of engagement have made this lesson both highly effective and extremely popular with students. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "The News Literacy Project takes on ‘fake’ news — and business is better than ever," 27 Mar. 2018 Other studies have shown that simple compliments and recognition, which gamification software frequently incorporates, may be more effective than cash in motivating workers. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, "Lotto Tickets Are Nice, Boss, but Can I Have My Bonus?," 11 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gamification.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gamification

2010, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gamification

game entry 1 + -ification

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gamification

Share gamification

Listen to Our Podcast about gamification

Dictionary Entries near gamification








Statistics for gamification

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gamification

The first known use of gamification was in 2010

See more words from the same year

Comments on gamification

What made you want to look up gamification? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!