As Chair of GamFed, the International Gamification Confederation, and Founder of Gamification+, Pete Jenkins has an amazing view of the current state of Gamification and how it connects with other Engagement technologies. Pete will be giving a workshop and a talk at GWC Conference 2016 and we had the pleasure to interview him, talking about several topics regarding the Gamification industry.


Do you think businesses are accepting Gamification in their internal and external processes? Are there still some barriers for its adoption?

I think that businesses are definitely accepting Gamification. If you have a look at the numbers, there has been a steady rise in the Gamification market. In 2012 the market was around $ 242 million, by the end of 2016 surveys say that $ 2.8 billion will be spent on for Gamification projects and the projections talk about $ 5.5 billion in 2018 which is an impressive number.

Of course market size does not mean that Gamification is everywhere. Numbers show a big acceptance rate in North America and Europe but this is not yet the case in many other countries. There are challenges that we continue to face, frequently we still have to explain what Gamification is and what it can do for people and, as with every business investment, we need to show the ROI and effectiveness of using Gamification.

At Gamification+ you provide consultancy and training on Gamification to several companies and organizations. Which are the main misconceptions about Gamification you see when you approach those businesses?

What most people do not realise about Gamification is that it can be applied to a wide range of problems and business types. So someone may think that Gamification is just another marketing tool but this is not the case as Gamification can probably be applied to every problem that involves people which businesses face, whether focused internally or externally. The other misconception is still that people expect gamification to be simply making a game as the answer to their issue!

In your talk at GWC Conference 2016 you are going to talk about “Small Gamification” focusing on what can small businesses expect from Gamification and how to bootstrap gamification effectively in those organizations. When comparing what big corporations are actually doing with Gamification and how Gamification can be used in smaller companies, Which are the main differences? How should a small business owner/manager approach Gamification?

The biggest difference is budget. Smaller companies do not have the same budgets that big corporates have to spend on Gamification. It’s the same as any other business area I think. A big corporate can spend out a huge amount of money on marketing when rolling out a new product but a start-up can’t. So we have Gamification projects like Nike+ where millions were spent on a big campaign and development of various products and on the other hand you’ve got the Piano Stairs where anyone can gamify walking up a staircase for a couple of hundred Euros.

These are both successful Gamification applications that have helped organisations achieve their goals. Smaller companies should not think of Gamification as something that absolutely has to have a big budget to do successfully. Once you understand Gamification theories, you can apply the principles to small or big projects and be equally successful. I’m really interested to hear about any gamification hacks anyone is aware of, effective quick wins from using a tiny bit of gamification. Let me know your favourite examples!


Could you point out a couple of actual examples of Gamification that you really like?

I really like examples of Gamification that are “analogue”. When you want to explain to someone in 3 short videos what Gamification really is I think Piano Stairs, Speed Camera Lottery and The World’s Deepest Bin from The Fun Theory are brilliant examples of Gamification that get the point across really well.

At the digital end of things I really like the training app RetaMe from Compettia, it takes one main game mechanic of competitive quizzes and does that one thing really well.

GamFed is a really interesting and helpful organization for the development of Gamification. Can you explain us the actual focus of GamFed and how it has evolved from its origins to its actual role?

The aims of GamFed are to promote best practices in the Gamification industry, raise questions about the future and where the industry is going and promote work that we think is of high quality and help the industry grow. I’m really happy that we have recently recruited a number of GamFed Ambassadors to raise the profile of good gamification in their respective countries and you’ll start to see their activities soon in countries from Portugal to Poland.

At GWC Conference 2016 you will be imparting a workshop focused on “Games for effective on the job learning”, that focuses on how Gamification can help to improve the 70:20:10 Model for Learning and Development. Where does Gamification fit in this model of learning?

Most gamification in learning is currently used in formal learning (such as in person training and eLearning), that is the 10 of 70:20:10. In short, the 70:20:10 model is that 70% of effective learning is achieved on the job, and that 20% is from watching other people do their jobs. For me that means that really we should be putting 90% of our training effort into the 70 and 20, and this is an area where it is sadly lacking in Gamification at the moment.

Gamification fits perfectly with the 70% of learning that is on the job learning. One way is by making changes to roles and systems to provide safe places for people feel to fail so that they learn more effectively. Learning from failure, such as your character dying, is something that is done very well in games and we should use it. For the 20% part of the model, there are a lot of examples from the gaming world where watching other people on the “job” helps them learn and improve.

In my workshop we’ll be looking at practical ways to implement gamification into organisations for the 70 and 20.

How has Gamification evolved in the last few year and how do you see the evolution of Gamification in the near future?

I think gamification is focusing more on being applied in platforms and specific software solutions. That can mean either a website that is gamified, a mobile application that makes the customer experience more interesting using Gamification or a fully gamified learning system like Classcraft.

I believe that one of the possible futures of Gamification lies in AR and VR. We saw major breakthroughs in these two technologies during the last years and the more available they become for everyone, the more potential I see for Gamification projects using AR and VR.

GWC Conference 2016: The Engagement Conference

26th-27th October, Madrid (Spain)







Decision Makers




Attending Companies

Queen Rania Foundation
Unidad Editorial