The language is constantly changing. Both the words, meaning and significance seem to switch, depending on what is described. Some words are perceived as new, although they are not. In Swedish, it is often two words that have been combined. When they are merged, the words take on a new meaning. Who doesn’t remember the merged word “yuppienalle”? More and more often, the Swedish language uses American or English words to describe a new phenomenon. These words often come from the computer and gaming industry. Another word taken from English is gamification. In Swedish, the word was already known by another name before this new popularity of gamification. But what does it mean? And how can it possibly work? This article will explain this and highlight it in different ways.

Gamification – what, how and why

Today, the word gamification seems to be on everyone’s lips. So, what is it about? Broadly speaking, it is about the gaming industry starting to gain attention and integration in other areas of society. In connection with digitalisation, IT and computer development in daily life, the gaming industry and its concepts have also begun to appear within schools, companies and organizations. Just like in computer games, the desire is to perform, and achieve, different goals with the motivation to reach higher levels through different reward systems. The player is driven by a desire to play, winning instincts and rewards. This concept is something that schools, companies and organizations have begun to see the benefits of. This integration from the gaming industry to other areas of life is what the concept of gamification is trying to describe.

Pros and Cons

The advantages of gamification are that users are motivated to act in a specific way by taking part in the gaming world’s concept and structure – which are always based on different forms of reward systems. The individual is driven towards the goal of the game through quick rewards, performance bonuses, scoring systems or gold stars and are pushed to achieve the desired results. This push is something that has been well known and used by the gaming industry for a long time. However, today gamification has also been integrated within companies, schools and organizations. The playfulness of a gaming concept makes it easy to attract new users, customers and students. Learning through play is not a new phenomenon, the difference is that it is now computerized and that the game takes place on digital platforms.

Are there any disadvantages to gamification being used in other parts of life? Or can everything be considered bonuses, free-spins and extra-lives? The criticism is that the play, entertainment and game concepts have begun to have a larger role in everything that we do. The disadvantages of gamification are that there is a monotonous focus on play, competition and reward, no matter the number of gold stars, bonuses or free spins the user can win during the game. The biggest question remains unanswered. Would life be more fun if most things in life were gamified? Is everyone equally entertained by the game concepts, competition, and entertainment focus? The answer is probably no. Thus, freedom of choice is the key when it comes to gamification in life. You can choose to play or not to play, and that’s the question. It is up to you to decide for yourself.