Gamification in 2022: everywhere in our daily lives

You may not notice it right away, but gamification is more prevalent in our daily lives than ever. Think of speedometers along the road that turn green when you drive safely. Or the playful one and a half meter triggers during the pandemic. You will encounter these game-based applications more and more. Not only on the street, but also in your work or study, at the gym or the doctor and of course in marketing communications. In this article 5 trends for the coming year.

1. The gamification market continues to rise

Perhaps the biggest trend is that gamification is no longer a trend. Since the term’s launch in 2003, it has been used worldwide by governments, companies and organizations as a tool for innovation, training and behavioral change, among other things. According to the British gamification bureau Growth Engenering this trend continues on an upward trend. They recently published a chart of Marketsandmarkets which predicts that the total gamification market will grow by more than $20 trillion in 2025 compared to 2021.

North America will continue to hold the largest share of the global gamification market for the next five years. This is probably because more than 90% of the inhabitants own a smartphone, making it the largest market for gamified systems.

The gamification market in Europe will also develop strongly within the forecast period. In particular through support from local authorities and other stakeholders. In the Netherlands, the number of applications is increasing, partly due to an increased interest in and belief in the use of gamification for behavioral change.

2. Increasing attention to behavioral change & self-development

Thirteen years ago, Radboud University started the world’s first master’s degree in Behavioral Change. Professor Rick van Baaren tells in Ben Tiggelaar’s podcast episode ‘That’s how behavior works that interest in this field has grown enormously since then. This trend will continue in the coming year.

One of the most important requirements for good behavior change is that people are motivated to adopt the new behavior. And there’s the link with gamification! Various sources show that gamification is one of the most powerful tools for sustainable behavioral change. If you want to learn more about the theory behind this and understand how game mechanics help your brain with change, take a look this video from Stanford University.

A recent and nice example of a gamified behavior change tool is Ommetje. A successful initiative of the Brain Foundation, with the aim of encouraging people to exercise more. For anyone who wants to learn new behavior on their own initiative, there is a rich selection of indie games, such as the insanely beautiful and cleverly designed meditation game Playne, in which you create your world with your thoughts.

3. The game of our lives is called ‘the metaverse’

One development that will certainly give gamification a huge boost is the ‘meta-universe’ or ‘the metaverse’. Perhaps you could even argue that the metaverse is literally the game of our lives. It is in any case a digital version of reality, virtual internet. It is an infinite universe of interconnected virtual spaces in which you, as an avatar of yourself, meet up with friends, meet with colleagues and buy shoes at your favorite store and of course play games.

To participate in the metaverse you need VR or AR glasses. But in Silicon Valley, digital contact lenses or even brain implants are already being considered, which should enable us to access the metaverse in the future. In the video below you can see an example of a meeting such as it can probably be held in the future in Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms.

4. Game-based training en onboarding

Due to the COVID pandemic, a growing number of companies have started motivating, training and onboarding their employees online, with an important role for gamification. Because how do you motivate (new) employees or entire teams, remotely? The use of game components offers a proven solution here. It helps employees to learn new skills faster, or to practice with business processes and ways of working. Teams can train together remotely and improve themselves through real-time feedback, rewards, levels and insight into progression (can you see it already within the metaverse ;))

Recent research by MasteryWorks also shows that more than 54% of new hires from a test group were more productive after taking a game-based onboarding. Participants were also found to score 14 points higher in proficiency tests.

A nice example of a game-based recruitment and training tool is Pizza Hero from Domino’s Pizza. In this (future) Domino bakers learn in a challenging way how to top different pizzas and at what temperature a crispy bottom is created. The app is packed with challenges, missions, competitions and other game elements and immediately after release resulted in a 30% higher operating result.

In regular education, gamification has been strongly represented for some time (think of Squla and Maths Garden). That makes the education sector the second largest consumer of gamified tools at the moment, says Fortune Business Insights.

5. Games to generate user data

A trend that manifested itself several years ago is marketing based on algorithms and data. And to retrieve that data, the use of game mechanics is a lucrative means. By challenging the users to engage in a playful interaction, a game database can collect detailed insights about the values, behavior and reactions of individuals to a brand, service or product. However, it is important to process this data intelligently. Here, too, gamification offers a solution because the front-end can be set up very sharply based on the specific question of a company.

But it can be done much smarter! Instead of directing a customer based on assumptions, customers can also be stimulated to inspire marketers and product designers. Imagine a virtual environment in which customers can move freely. An open world in which they are inspired, but can make their own choices. What do they prefer, what do they choose? What has priority and what are they neglecting? Maybe they can even create things! Now imagine the wealth of data, ideas and insights such a game can provide to marketers and product developers and you see the marketing game of the future.

One of the first games developed around the player’s choice is The Stanley Parable from 2011. The Ultra Deluxe upgrade of this game is scheduled for release in 2021. That already indicates that the infinite games market, but certainly is also growing for infinite marketing environments.

Virtual and real will increasingly merge

The future of gamification is inextricably linked to the far-reaching digital development of our society. Where before you played a ‘role’ in a game, in the future you may be the avatar of yourself in the digital version of your reality. Virtual and real will increasingly merge. What we think and do will be translated more accurately into data and will be available to even more parties. This makes behavioral change and influencing easier. Fantastic? Scary? I feel something for both. In any case, it requires a strong manifesto, if not new regulations in the field of ethics.

Source: Frankwatching by

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