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Game Design : Gamification with Purpose

Gamification is one of the key trends within the field of learning and development. But exactly what is it and can it be used to address the issues you face within your organisation?

One definition of the word gamification is ‘The use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts.’

At Elgood we have been applying game design techniques to organisational challenges for over 40 years.  We have never used the word gamification but it is at the heart of what we do, taking an organisational problem, identifying what would need to change to overcome the problem and creating a game or simulation to convey core messages and influence behaviour.

We believe people learn most effectively when they are relaxed and are able to experiment with ideas. So, it’s no surprise that most of our work involves experiential learning, the cycle of experimentation, experience, reflection and conceptualisation.

To this cycle, we add a variety of game elements to create engagement, free participant’s imagination and help them enter a state of flow.  The state that exists when a person is so absorbed in what they are doing that the activity becomes all-encompassing.

A bespoke business simulation game is one of the most effective methods you can use to improve your team’s understanding and raise their performance, a bespoke solution will ensure you hit your learning targets every time.

Elgood Effective Learning are specialists in the design and facilitation of business simulation games. We create highly effective bespoke solutions to tackle your specific issues, working with you to develop engaging, innovative products that reflect your business and provide dynamic experiential learning for your workforce.

Elgood Effective Learning’s client base encompasses a wide portfolio of businesses, professional institutions and education providers, and continues to expand.

Issues we have helped organisations address include:

  • Communicating new strategic goals to increase staff understanding and enable them to adjust their actions and decision making.
  • Building commercial awareness so staff understand the actions they need to take to maximise organisational success.
  • Explaining ‘how the organisation works’ so new recruits have a real understanding of the business they are joining.
  • Supporting students to develop ‘work ready’ skill to supplement their technical and academic skill.
  • Highlighting the difference in capabilities and thinking required for those stepping into a management role.

Read some of our case studies to see where we have made a difference.

Initially the term gamification was introduced to apply exclusively to video games it now covers many different types of games using the whole spectrum of formats. Anything from a pack of cards to a complex Virtual Reality simulation.

At Elgood we believe the standard game elements of points, badges and leader boards (PBL’s) need to be used sparingly. Our focus is on understanding the core objective, creating the right degree of challenge, the game needs to be not too hard and not too easy and highlighting the meaningful choices players can make within their own environment.

It’s relatively easy to create a game that is fun but if it’s to be effective then it needs to convey information and encourage new ways of thinking and behaving.

Would you like to know more about what it would be like to work with us? Please contact us or take a look at some of our papers:

You might also be interested in this book ‘Gamification for business’.  The book is a collaboration between over 22 game designers covering 5 countries. As well as a chapter looking at seven organisational challenges there are 21 examples of how a business game has been used to tackle issues by the contributors. It includes three contributions from Elgood.

Case Study


Warwickshire County Council

Warwickshire County Council’s radical approach to reassigning skill for future success Like most councils, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) faced the challenge of managing more complex social needs, including those associated with an aging population, during a time of extraordinary budget […] Read More →