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27 gamification examples to motivate and inspire your next project

Gamification is a powerful set of tools that increases your audience’s engagement when used correctly. These gamification examples will inspire you, no matter what industry you’re in, to consider using gamification in your next project.  

Already convinced? Then use these gamification examples to aide you in setting your core elements, as seen in both serious and edutainment games, and help you decide which game mechanics work with your project.

As the ideas begin to flow feel free to reach out, we’re always here to help.  

Let’s go!

Gamification examples

Duolingo

This learning language app is known by most for helping users learn everything from Spanish to Klingon. Duolingo is an app that uses gamification to engage language learners in practicing a little bit every day to develop their proficiency. 

Sidenote: rIQ tlhInganpu’ taH!

Minecraft

Originally launched as an indie entertainment title, the flexibility of Minecraft quickly allowed teachers to see its potential and utilize it within the classroom.

Now, the Minecraft Education Edition works with educators and students to bring learning to the world of building blocks and exploding zombies —making it a must entry into the gamification examples list.

Habitica

Fans of old school Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) will instantly recognize the aesthetic choices in this example of gamification. In Habitica you set the quest and decide when and where it’s completed.

Need some motivation to make your bed every morning? Well, with Habitica you can set “making your bed” as a quest, earning experience, companions, and loot for defeating your bed each and every day.  

Nike+ Run Club

The Nike+ Run Club app allows users to set training goals, measure personal success, and connect with the greater community.

The user is able to win trophies, badges, and modify their objectives as they work towards their distance and fitness goals, all with the empowering and sleek design of Nike.

RockSmith

The latest edition of RockSmith was released in 2014, and while they’re no longer putting out content for this version, the game is still playable on gaming consoles and computers. Users can plug in their guitar and enjoy practicing along with the game, learn new things, or even blast baddies in the games’ guitarcade.  

Connecting a guitar to a screen and learning video game style is 100% metal, and one of many reasons Rocksmith made this gamification examples list.

Reddit

A social media platform Reddit is the only primary social network on the gamification examples list. Why? They were first online social network to engage their users through gamification for increased interactivity. They even use gamification, combined with some extensive math acrobatics behind the scenes, to help moderate user engagement.

These game mechanics include, upvotes and downvotes, but the main gamification elements are gaining karma points, badges earned in your trophy case, and the ability to give and receive rewards.  

Seek Your Own Proof

A project that blended the digital world with the real, Seek Your Own Proof, was created in partnership between TIQ Software and Discovery Communications.

In the game, users explored museums and the info found within as their avatar, understanding and gaining a deeper appreciation for history by undertaking missions for the CIE while using secret time travel technology. 

When you look at the success of the project, design, and mechanics, Seek Your Own Proof is a must on any gamification examples list. 

Starbucks Rewards

Fan of picking up a daily coffee or breakfast pastry? Starbucks rewards takes customer loyalty to the next level.

Users are able to track their points, stars, and win free products. Starbucks capitalizes on reward mechanics and convenience to maximize customer retention.  They get a gold star as far as gamification examples go.

M&M’s Eye-Spy Pretzel

An advergame launched in 2013, M&M’s Eye-Spy Pretzel was simple and straight forward. On a screen filled with M&M’s the user had to find a single small pretzel displayed somewhere in the mix. It was the Where’s Waldo of the 2010s — if Waldo was a snack food.  

M&M’s has released other gamification projects since Eye-Spy Pretzel, but as the original sensation, this game earned its place among giants in this gamification examples list — plus, they’re tasty!

Inspired by these examples of gamification? Reach out today for a consultation with TIQ Software and gamify your content.

Headspace

The first of 2 wellness apps on this list, Headspace tackles mental health and wellness from an ancient perspective with a modern twist. They focus on using meditation every day to better handle everything from stress and anxiety to work and productivity.  

Todoist

The top to-do list app tracks your productivity by letting you organize and analyze your life. As gamification examples go, this app differs from the other to-do list applications because it allows, even encourages, collaboration.

So, while it’s primarily about organizing and creating a to-do list, Todoist also has work-management applications for the corporate environment.  

The Accounted

A narrative-based game designed to introduce high school and early university students to the professional accounting world.

This gamification project was inspired by games like L.A. Noire and Ace Attorney. It’s a high-end mystery sleuther for mobile that’s a one-of-a-kind entry for this gamification examples list.

Users advanced the story by solving cases as investigators, all while learning about and successfully applying accounting practices. You can read the full case study about The Accounted here.

The Accounted serious games by TIQ Software. An example of gamification.

America’s Army: Proving Grounds

The US Army has known the power of gamification for a long while, but Proving Grounds is their full and most notable entry into the gamification landscape.

Users can sign into this tactical shooter to see if they have what it takes to enlist. The game is part of the US Army’s recruitment strategy and has garnered some criticism.

But, from a gamification application point of view and its high production value and use of gamification techniques, America’s Army: Proving Grounds is a required entry into any list of gamification examples.

Autodesk 3dsMax

In 2013 trial users of Autodesk’s product 3dsMax received a guided gamified experience. It was a race against time focused narrative to unlock and experience different areas of the product.

Users could earn points and achievement badges by completing missions all while learning to use the product they’d signed up for. They could even compete with colleagues for a chance to win an Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suite. An article about the project and its success can be found here

Happify

Happify is a mindful game that has the user tackle small challenges every day that have been scientifically proven to help better their mental health. 

It uses evidence-based techniques to aide the user in understanding and controlling their feelings and thoughts while combating stress and anxiousness.  

Zombies, Run!

Need a little motivation to get some exercise, Zombies, Run! might be your answer. In this mobile app the user runs in real life while a story plays out in their ears.

You can even hear the zombies groan as they get closer or try to catch you. As you move, you’ll also gather items and needed necessities to outfit your outpost all while completing your mission.

Content in Zombies, Run! is broken down into races, or stories, and the developer team behind it is constantly putting out new races for users to enjoy.

Solar Energy Defenders

Want to learn or teach someone more about solar energy? Have a desire to see vampires burned by the sun? Then Solar Energy Defenders is probably for you.

Users are able to learn and push through some of the roadblocks of solar energy all while keeping a school dance safe from vampires in this tower defense game inspired by Plants vs. Zombies.  

Learning about new energy, dusting vampires, smooth mechanics, and a streamlined user experience combines to earn Solar Energy Defenders a place on the gamification examples list.

4TheWords

Targeted to writers of all persuasions, this writer included, 4TheWords is a browser-based tool that allows a writer’s word count to complete missions, slay monsters, acquire loot, purchase new avatar costume pieces, and build their avatar’s home.

Users even earn special rewards by maintaining a writing streak, which encourages building a writing habit. The developers are active, hosting holiday and special events throughout the year and continuously improving the product with community feedback.

4TheWords is a gamification website that belongs on every list gamification examples. Disclaimer: Many Wignow and Xin were harmed in the creation of this article.  

Smarty Pig

A personal finance app that uses gamification to help users save money for a purpose. Users can set goals, link to their bank account, and over time the progress bar shows how close they’re getting to their real-world purchase.

While the Smarty Pig game-based elements aren’t as numerous as others on this list it’s an example of minimal gamification being used for maximum effectiveness.  

Couch to 5K

An exergame using gamification to help get users from the couch and working up to their first 5-kilometer run. The user in Couch to 5K is able to select their coach, whether a crusty drill sergeant, brain dead zombie, overly positive unicorn, or even a beginner just like them.

Through the app users can connect to a community of other runners and earn badges and achievements as they improve.  

Forest

This productivity app lets you plant and grow your very own forest. In the Forest app keeping away from time wasters and holding to task for the set duration means your forest will continue to grow, but if you happen to stray — tragedy will strike!   

This app is great for those finding success with the the famous Pomodoro Technique and the developers dedication to simple and intuitive UX design makes it easy to pick up and get productive.

Pacific

An online serious game on leadership and team management, users need to survive a desert island after their plane crashes. In Pacific the chances of escaping depend on their ability to manage and motivate their team.  

Aimed at corporate audiences and those looking to improve or develop teamwork, production management, and leadership skills, Pacific is a gamified spin on the old question, “If each of you could only take one item, what would you bring if you were stranded on a desert island?”

Chore Wars

In this browser-based fantasy game launched in 2007 users get to earn experience points and loot for completing chore like quests. The game was modelled after table-top role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons allowing a gamemaster to take a leading role in managing every group or households story.

Chore Wars brings friends and households together to make engaging in life’s less-desirable tasks a little more fun making it a powerful entry in the gamification examples list.  

Fitocracy

A fitness social media app that brings people and fitness together by using gamification elements like points, badges, progress bars, and social interaction to motivate and inspire users. 

Fitocracy also has the unique benefit of putting beginners and amateurs in direct contact with professionals, helping make sure users are being safe and efficient in their fitness goals.

Woot

This digital storefront is a retail app that uses gamification to engage with customers. Woot has a limited number of new products at a special sale price every day.

This product timer has users racing through the sales page and trying to check-out their purchase, all before it’s sold-out. Users then they eagerly wait for midnight to roll around and the next set of products to be unlocked.  

Wellness Rx

Wellness Rx is an online gamified training system for health professionals and students. When this browser-based gamification project was launched it helped professionals learn to relate healthy lifestyle information to patients in a way that their patients could understand.

Points earned by students when playing the game had real-world affect, as earning a certain number guaranteed the student an up to 10% increase to their final grade.

WellnessRx Infographic an example of gamification.
Click the image to see the infographic with fully readable text and project statistics

Steph IQ

An addition to the realm of customer engagement and transmedia marketing, Under Armour’s Steph IQ app launched every time professional basketball player Stephen Currey hit his first 3-pointer during an
NBA game.

This quick elimination style trivia game focused on questions related to Stephen Currey, the Golden State Warriors, sneakers, and playoff performances.

The app was event based and only up for a limited time, but its ability to engage fans with a combination of gamification and marketing techniques makes it a gamification examples slam dunk.

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