Gamification or Game-Based Learning? What’s the Difference?

Gamification and game-based learning (sometimes abbreviated GBL) are both hot topics and the terms are often used interchangeably. They’re not the same thing, but a lot of the definitions and explanations that are floating around aren’t very clear. Hopefully this will help: gamification is icing and GBL is cake.

Gamification, “Icing”

Gamification is primarily used to motivate learners. It is usually applied to content or training that already exists. Basically, you already have a cake but not very many people seem to be eating it. You add icing to the cake, which takes effort but not too much. The icing attracts people’s interest and motivates them to eat the cake. At its heart, it’s still the same cake though.

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