Gamification Success Stories (Part II)

Yesterday we published the first part in a series of “Gamification Success Stories”. We had responses from Pete Jenkins, Dutch Driver, Toby Beresford, Alireza Ranjbar Shourabi, and John Turner. Their experiences ranged from technical solutions such as creating an app, all the way to more camp like activities, such as combining aspects of football with a training session about pharmaceutical information.

For the second part in this series, we spoke with Gustavo Tondello, An Coppens, Roman Rackwitz, and Dade Ronan, who all further showed how gamification is expanding, and being used across multiple environments.

♦ Gustavo Tondello ♦ An Coppens  ♦ Roman Rackwitz ♦  Dade Ronan  ♦

 Gamification Success stories (1)



Gusatvo Tondello (@GustavoTondello)

Gamification Consultant and Ph.D. Student at the University of Waterloo


“My biggest personal gamification success so far has been the gamification of a part of a Computer Science undergraduate course I’m teaching at the University of Waterloo. Instead of regular assignments, I have invited students to complete quests to earn experience points that will represent a part of their final grade. It’s a very simple design, but it’s helpful to foster the students’ intrinsic motivation.

It increases the student’s autonomy because they can choose which quests they want to complete and when they will do the quests. It fosters their competence because they can see their experience points progressing and they can always measure how far they are from the final goal.

Finally, it also fosters their relatedness because I’m able to provide personalized feedback for each submitted quest. Thus, they have an opportunity for a closer interaction with the instructor. Additionally, there’s no failure in this context because if their answers do not meet an acceptable standard, I offer them feedback to improve their work, which they can submit again. This interactive contact with the students provides me with the opportunity to better help them learn the course’s content at their own pace and focused on their own interests.”



An Coppens (@AnCoppens)

Leading Gamification Design Expert in Employee and Learner Engagement at Gamification Nation


“My biggest gamification success story is from working on a sales gamification project. [The] overall business objective was to increase performance and integrate new starters in a better way. What happened: [I] explored how the successfull salespeople worked then mapped out activity based targets for new starters that mimicked the behavioral actions of the successful salespeople. [I] put together an incentive program on a monthly and quarterly basis which combined activity and deals based targets, so that everyone had an equal chance to take part.

All Achievements were tracked publicly [by] the deal maker, [who] walked up to a whiteboard to add in their deal, which resulted in a manager making lots of noise with rattlers, bells, etc. Although embarrassing at first, the fact that it was also followed by true congratulations, people soon got over it, [which] lifted the spirits every time.

New joiners were given a rigorous training program and clear activity targets to help them get used to what is required. They were also given a relative leaderboard so they were being measured against peers who started in the same quarter as them.

It was a program that started in one office, and due to the positive feedback, [it] got rolled out in 5 more offices. For one of the branches it meant a trebling in monthly sales turnover as well as additional headcount as a result to cope with the business.”



Roman Rackwitz (@RomanRackwitz)

CEO at Engaginglab GmbH and Board of Directors at Schultheiß Software AG


Looking back and thinking about what was my biggest success in gamification, I have to admit that I’m still very excited remembering how we started Germany’s first official lecture on ‘Gamification in Human Resource & Marketing’ at the university ‘Munich Business School’.

It proved that gamification finally achieved a stage behind pure hype and wasn’t just seen as a buzzword anymore. As a consequence, of course, we gained more attention for the topic within German speaking countries and that again led to different TV appearances, bigger interviews, another lectureship in Switzerland, and so on.

Of course, not to forget the business point of view, it led to a huge growth in inquiries and the realization of gamification -projects.

The topic gained momentum and now, looking at the presence, I’m pretty sure that the lectures at the ‘Munich Business School’ played, at least a little bit, in helping to push gamification forward to survive all the hype and buzz.

As I already fell in love with the idea of how to use principles of what makes activities that we are doing voluntarily – like games, sports, and hobbies – to improve the conditions that humans are facing while doing less exciting activities, in 2007, it is amazing to look back and to think about what happened during the last (almost a) decade.

At the end: we survived and could prove that gamification can be a helpful way to implement conditinos that enhance the motivation, the volition and even the execution skills of humans. That’s my personal success story.”

*If you happen to speak German, check out Roman’s lecture from 2015 on gamification!)



Dade Ronan (@DadeRonan)

WordPress Developer, Gamification Expert


“‘What has been my biggest gamification success story?’

Typical Measurement of Success

Most people measure success by numbers. For example:

  • How much money they made
  • How many cards they have
  • How many countries they have been to
  • How much internet traffic they have
  • How many trophies they have won
  • How many customers they have acquired
  • How many sales they made
  • Etc.

If your goal is to increase in anything, and after a certain period of time you have shown an increase, then it is usually considered to be a success. The increase in these goals are often displayed in various bar charts or as gamification likes to use, leaderboards. Whereas gamification helps to motivate users by way of game mechanics to achieve some organizational goal.

Although, for any person or organization, these goals predominately provide great extrinsic value because of the materialistic reward in nature. They may also come with extremely high public prestige and honor. This placates to their ego, sense of achievement and accomplishment.

For me personally, I look at success as an intrinsically valued measurement. I want to achieve something that is not measured on a graph, that gives me personal satisfaction and honors God. Thus, to answer the question, ‘What has been my biggest gamification success story?’ would seem at odds with anything relating to any kind of religious achievement, but it is not. If people’s lives are changed for the better either spiritually, physically, or mentally, then I feel like I have been a success in helping that person. When a life is changed, that gives me the most happiness.

Like Jane McGonigal said about her book SuperBetter.

‘SuperBetter’ is fundamentally about a mind shift. It’s about claiming your power to be in charge of how you spend your time and energy, and focusing it on the things that matter the most to you. Focusing on things that will bring real happiness, real well-being.

I am currently the president of CoR (City of Refuge Inc. Christian Gaming Community) clan. Just like every other online gaming clan, member activity and user engagement is extremely important, otherwise you have a dead and inactive organization. City of Refuge began to experience this problem about 6 years ago. To resolve that problem, I implemented a simple gamification system that awarded badges and ribbons, promotions, and a leaderboard.

We managed our community from a forum. I installed an awards mod and then heavily modified the awards mod. I created over 12 military style achievement ribbons, 16 team badges, and 25 rank badges that can be earned by various activities. Promotions were given based on the ribbons and other activity factors.

This in and of itself would not seem to be a major accomplishment, and I do not see it as such. I used gamifications game mechanics as a tool to motivate individuals to accomplish my organizational goal.

What sets this apart from other gamification systems is its ability to keep members engaged and active for a higher purpose. Even though the rewards are a digital form of extrinsic value, the real intrinsic value came from what happened afterwards as a result of continued engagement and activity.

  • Two members who were contemplating suicide were intervened by me from a conversation I had with them.
  • Two marriages were restored from my counseling on how to be a godly husband an have a lasting committed marriage.
  • Four men stopped their addiction to online gaming, which was destroying their family.

These kind of changed lives as a result of incorporating game mechanics into our forums is what I feel is the ultimate measurement of success. Helping people to be SuperBetter and #TotallyAwesome through gamification is an intrinsic value that you cannot put a monetary value on.”

Make sure to check out part III!


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Matt Goldman

Matt Goldman

Matt Goldman is a Content Marketer/Social Media Strategist for Tenfold. His writing has focused on social selling, marketing, as well as gamification.

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