What is the Difference Between Gamification and Games?

Brian Washburn talks with Karl Kapp

“So, a game, specifically a game for learning, is a self-contained unit that has multiple elements that each contribute to the experience. So, it’s kind of like what they call a Magic Circle. When you’re in playing that game, you’re in the game, experience the game, the rules for the game only work within the game or typically only work within the game. So, a good example of that is golf, right? A really good way to be successful at golf is to pick up the ball and put it in that stupid hole, but that’s breaking the rules.

Gamification, on the other hand, is taking game elements and bits and pieces and applying them to a non-game situation. So, for example, you get points for answering a question or you earn badges for learning knowledge. There’s not much else to it. It’s not an integrated package. It’s there pieces. Now you can integrate several pieces and get it closer to a game. But, gamification is really about the motivation, the psychological aspects of propelling someone through content rather than a game where you can actually have this self-contained experience.”

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