A Sweet Spot for Gamification Training


By Rémy Bastien.

It has already been 2 years since I started providing GAMIFICATION+ training in Mexico, but, how did I arrive here?

​Well, it was natural that I reached Gamification after more than 5 years of working in marketing-tech: with beacons, augmented reality and chatbots. Also, by being a hard-core gamer and having direct experience in the gaming industry. As an editor in one of the most important video games magazine of the region (Atomix) and in producing mobile games. If that wasn’t enough, I was also in the path of becoming a teacher and trainer during that time. Last year I had a new milestone regarding this endeavour by becoming one of the less than 1,000 certified Innovators by Google For Education.

​In this relatively short time I have learned that, although Gamification has immense potential and gaming (in general) will shape our future, providing an effective training that enables people to implement Gamification correctly has its challenges.

First, because the participants must need to have the capability to modify or create a Gamification experience. That’s why applying Gamification in certain sectors or areas can be challenging. In HR a person may have all the knowledge and skills to use Gamification successfully. But in their company there may be organizational or management barriers to achieving a successful roll-out. That’s the reason why it can be more convenient to apply Gamification in companies alongside or with software. The software or platform will be accepted with more ease than a whole Gamification system or experience.

​Second, in 24 to 32 hours of training you provide specific knowledge and focus on developing indispensable skills, but, if the people are not creative enough, they will not be able to create meaningful Gamification experiences. It’s the equivalent of requiring good logic-mathematical intelligence for working at finance or tackling a CFA certification. It’s not something that you are going to fully develop in a couple of days, even weeks or months.

Now, everybody can be creative. However, it’s not the same for people that use their creativity muscles every single day, either in their work or in their life, than for those who don’t need it for their jobs or hobbies. With Gamification, people need to be able to create fun experiences, not only applying Game Design and game elements in a context that is not a game.

That’s why I have found that the most productive Gamification trainings I have provided, by comparing the results with the hours of training, are those focused towards people in advertising and digital marketing. This is because they already “need” to create experiences or to modify them. Hence, they have the capability to apply Gamification. Also, they are personas that constantly exercise and train their creativity.

I have set that the main goal of the training is to “unlock” the potential that this specific segment already has. I complement their knowledge and skills with the themes and exercises of anthropology, psychology and Game Design. More than acquiring a “superpower” in the training, like becoming Spider-Man by being bitten by a radioactive spider, they become self-aware of their potential. I’m more like Sensei Miyagi from Karate Kid, showing them the path of Gamification, a path they could already walk, but they hadn’t yet seen.

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About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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