Gamifying Real Life – The Best Way to Learn Anything!

Gaming has never been more prevalent than it is now; it’s gotten to the point where we are gamifying real life. What was once considered a pastime for nerds, geeks, and children is now something that’s enjoyed by just about everyone!

It’s the truth. Anyone who partakes in anything technological is most likely gaming. And chances are high that we game without even realizing it. It’s everywhere, and it’s extremely powerful in its effectiveness.



The evolution of gamification has transformed the landscape of our society. Gamifying real life has interesting effects on how we approach learning and doing tasks. It’s still a young concept, but it’s clear that gamification works as the most efficient method of learning nowadays.

The benefits are amazing and can make learning easier than ever, which translates to reaching success faster!

Why Gamifying Real Life Works so Well!

People like to play games. That much is a given since the beginning of time, but the effectiveness of gamification can be pinpointed to a very specific reason.

It’s fun!

Now, let’s dive a little deeper!

Gamification targets REALLY strong human emotions:

  • Intrigue
  • Hope
  • Excitement
  • Satisfaction

These are just a few of the emotions that gaming influences! These emotions make people WANT to achieve their goals; when the goal is achieved, happiness and satisfaction are strongly felt. People then realize how much fun they had during the whole process, so they’ll naturally want to repeat it!

Gamifying real life allows us to tap into a side of the brain that was previously only used for “unimportant” fun. By taking advantage of the brain’s rewarding mechanisms, we are able to transform learning into an activity that is entertaining rather than boring.

People WILL learn faster, retain information longer, engage longer, and apply that knowledge better through gamification.

You don’t have to look far to see examples of this. Whether it’s schools, workplaces, or everyday life, you can count of seeing gamification at work.

Gamifying Fitness: Making Progress Fun!

One of the biggest de-motivators in exercising is seeing a lack of results. People are impatient; what used to take days now only takes minutes. We expect results almost instantaneously, so it’s a huge turn off to put effort into something that doesn’t seem to work.

The process of getting into shape does take time when done properly. The amount of time varies depending on the person, workout routines, and diet, but it will usually take at least 20-30 days to notice results. That’s more than enough time for the average person to give up.

That’s why it’s important to gamify fitness. I’ve already talked about how exergaming beats the two biggest reasons why people quit exercising, but it’s important to note that tracking progress motivates people to continue exercise. It’s the best way to keep people going when the results are hard to see -otherwise.

Games in general are just tons of fun, which will bring people back to them again and again. There are plenty of fitness technologies/apps that gamify the workout process, with examples including:


-FITBIT-

Fitbit uses progress bars to visualize how close you are to achieving your goals and leader boards to encourage pushing yourself to beat the competition. The visual interface is also very much like a video game, with detailed digital tracking and accurate determination of physical attributes like the heartbeat.


-GymPact- (App)

GymPact makes you put money on the line. If you workout, you get paid! If not, then you pay the members who stayed committed. 90% of their members reach their goals, so it clearly works! The money that you gain and lose isn’t all huge or anything (you won’t become rich doing this), but nobody wants to lose money! It’s a clever app that deserves its fair share of recognition and use.


Burn Your Fat with Me!!- (App)

Burn Your Fat With Me!! is an anime “moe” type game that allows you to workout with a fictional romantic partner as part of an overall story. It’s certainly interesting, to say the least, and does well with its execution. The workouts themselves increase in difficult as you play, though they are simple in execution.

While the premise may seem strange (with some characters being harder to deal with than others), the game still finds success within its audience. There is a version that features guys as well, for those who are interested.


-Exergaming-

And of course, exergaming continues to be one of the best ways to make fitness entertaining. Just Dance, Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, and virtual reality gaming are all examples of exergaming that have proven results.

Squats can become a bore after a while; squatting beneath gunfire is waaaayyy more engaging (not to mention heart pounding)! Of course, you can also do normal squats over a beautiful virtual lakeside view as well, or do squats with friends in a virtual room.

The possibilities are exciting and continue to be developed as technology advances. Exergaming is the future, backed up by the power of gamification!

Gamifying Schools: Giving Worth to Learning!

Points are everything at school. They are used to determine the scores of individual assignments, tests, and everything in between. The total point value determines a student’s grade at the end of a semester. That’s how traditional schooling works.

So it should naturally make sense to turn points into a game. By doing so, points are seen as more valuable, especially when there are rewards tied to it. Rewards encourage a student to keep getting points, which also has not-so-small benefit of getting high grades.

Other students that notice a successful student being rewarded will also be motivated to succeed as well; the result is a class that comprehends the material better and is excited to learn (in order to get those points)!

Here’s an example of this: Do students struggling with citations in their reports? Answers with no evidence or references = 1 point, correct answers with 1 article of evidence or reference = 2 points, and correct answers with 2 articles of evidence or reference = 3 points. When a student reaches 10 points, they are allowed to skip a homework assignment.

Incentives encourage participation!

This isn’t restricted to kids as well. Adults who participated in gamified eLearning scored 14% higher on skill-based knowledge tests, 11% higher in factual knowledge, and experienced a 9% increase in retention rate.

Gamification in education for adults is especially important. How many college courses do you see people sleeping through, or not even bothering to show up to? It’s an epidemic that could be fixed with gaming! Adults need to enjoy what they are learning too.

The industry of gamification continues to grow by the billions of dollars because it works!

Gamifying the Workplace: When People Play, Everyone Wins

Are you bored at work? If so, you probably fall into the 55% of all U.S. employees that are not engaged at work. Being bored at work is linked to the same amount of stress as being overworked!

That’s seems crazy, but the internal agony of being bored at work makes the comparison seem sensible. Boredom makes time pass by slowly, leads to a significant decline in productivity, and can make people eventually quit. What’s a solution?

Gamifying the workplace makes work fun and engaging, which in turn benefits everyone at the company. Managers get higher productivity from associates, while associates get to have fun and enjoy potential rewards.

Gamifying the workplace also addresses some of the biggest concerns that associates tend to have, like having proper real-time feedback, favoritism, and having accurate performance management. Visible progress through gamification makes people feel visible when great accomplishments are achieved. This in turn will encourage people to keep progressing.

One example of gamifying the workplace is to achieve status through sales with rewards along the way. People will enjoy earning those rewards, and the status that comes with it promotes that feeling of exclusivity; THAT is something the people tend to prize.

Another example is to have a short term contest that rewards associates depending on how well they do within the company.

This is one of the most powerful forms of gamifying real life, as it has the potential to make or break a company.

The Future of Gamifying Real Life

Rewards apps, progress bars, achievements, and so on. Once you take another look, it’s easy to notice why gamifying real life is important to the future of learning. In a world of fun and games, it can be hard to do the mundane and boring.

So why make it mundane and boring?

The world is turning to games to inject some fun into things that would’ve never been considered “fun” by the majority of people. As time goes on, I’m confident that gamification will become a more further integrated in our day-to-day lives. Points for making breakfast and carpooling, stuff like that.

Exergaming is only one branch of gamifying real life! Gamers are just getting started!


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STAY FRESH!

-Apa

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Author: Denver

I'm a seasoned DDR player looking to demonstrate the benefits of exer-gaming in regards to health, fitness, and fun.

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9 Replies to “The Nintendo Switch Review: Is it Good for Getting Fit?

  1. The Nintendo Switch looks like an interesting option for the home office crowd (me). I find that I am sitting way too often and need to get up stretch and move around.

    The Switch could be just the ticket! I could set an alarm for every hour. Get up out of my chair and play arms for 5-10 minutes and then return to work.

    As you mentioned, I’m not going to get a six pack from this, but it does get me moving when I normally would be stuck in my chair.

    I’m going to have to think about this! Thanks.

    1. The Nintendo Switch (and Nintendo Wii) are great for getting up and moving around. Helps fight against a sedentary lifestyle in a fun way. I definitely suggest trying it out; my switch works well for keeping me active when I’m not active exercising.

      Thanks for your comment! I’m glad to help!

  2. Thank you for such an amazing review post. I have been going backwards and forwards when deciding to get a switch. I personally wouldn’t use it for the fitness side, however, my girlfriend would. From what I have read its a machine that may also suit younger gamers like my son. Do you know whether there will be any fitness titles coming out anytime soon?

    1. As far as I’m aware, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t seem to be getting fitness-specific titles anytime soon. Nintendo themselves seem to be moving away from fitness gaming in general, which is a bit of a shame. That said, the Switch is great for all ages of gamers regardless. 

      It’s great for breaking up long stretches of being sedentary though, due to the motion control nature of the console. A good supplement to standard exercising.

      Thank you for your comment!

  3. The Switch is a pretty great gaming device, and I’m sure Nintendo would benefit should it release fitness titles like it did for the Wii.

    But yes, regular exercise is still the best. Although the Switch can still make you build up a good sweat from all that physical movement, especially with the games you detailed in the article.

    1. I’m glad to to see that others share similar thoughts on the Switch. I love my Switch and personally can’t get enough of it, though I do wish that it was more fitness oriented like the Wii was. Ah well, can’t have it all!

      Thanks for your comment!

  4. Hey Denver,

    Thanks for the great review of the Nintendo Switch for exergaming. This actually seems like a great solution for me because I like to use exercise during my breaks mainly for movement and stress relief. This seems like it would be a truly great way to get my head out of my work and turn off my thoughts. I have seen people playing Arms on youtube for fun so if I were to give any of the games a try, it would be that one. Thanks again!

    1. No problem! I’m happy to help anyone interested in exergaming!

      Gaming in general is a great way to relax and get your mind off of things. I personally get myself lost in Dance Dance Revolution; that’s my favorite exergame!

      Thank you for your comment!

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