Posted on / by pbbm2u / in Immersive Learning

Gamification Vs. serious games – The Key Difference

“No game is a game until it invokes challenge and sparks learning”, likewise in the digital game-based learning framework  – the learner will have a concrete learning experience which will increase his productivity at work.

Best practices in digital learning course designs aim at –

  1. Solutions to industry specific pain points
  2. Benefit learner to upskill & use the improved experience in their work areas
  3. Enhance employee job performance and training ROI’s

This article speaks about –

  1. What are serious Games – with example
  2. What is Gamification – with example
  3. Key difference between gamification & serious games
  4. Common benefits of gamification & serious games


What are Serious Games?

Serious games are games designed with training value. Participants up-skill and apply the learning outcome practically at their real workplace. The challenge in the game is aimed at achieving or mastering a skill.

Serious games are intended to create educational and informative aims.

They focus on deeper engagement and thoughtful progress while retaining the gamification elements such as badges, point systems, leader boards etc.

Example –

  1. Simulating a Healthcare Vital Science procedure
  2. Voice-based synthetic assistants provide feedback

Learning outcomes –

  1. Promotes the level of engagement
  2. Nurtures emotional association to improve on the subject
  3. Enables course correction
  4. Creates a sense of accountability
  5. Provides motivation for continuous improvement
  6. Drives the focus to up-skill

Industries that use serious games extensively are –

  1. Education
  2. Defence
  3. Health care
  4. City planning
  5. Engineering
  6. Fire Drill
  7. Emergency management & many more


What is Gamification?

It is the assimilation and integration of gaming mechanics, concepts & elements into eLearning. Gamification uses fun as an effective learning tool.

Example –

  1. The learners must complete the first eLearning module to unlock the next module
  2. Participant will be given badges/rewards to boost their morale and build on sense of achievement

Learning outcomes –

  1. Enables social behaviour
  2. Promotes learning
  3. Inspires healthy competition
  4. Creates room for expression

Industries that use Gamification extensively are  –

  1. Marketing
  2. Health care
  3. Education & training
  4. Technology design and many more

If the two eLearning strategies can be explained using 2 terms: Goal and Vision then

Gamification = Goal

Example –

Build a game and apply points system into the task and measure the progress of the participant, this data is the goal which is achieved by applying gamification elements

Serious Games = Vision

Example –

Build a game with a real time scenario, along with specific learning outcome that will impact real situation and then measure the progress of the participant, this data is the vision which is achieved through serious games.


Gamification and serious games – The Key difference

In a digital game-based training system it is important to consider 2 aspects –

  1. Technical aspect
  2. Learning impact

Before getting into designing of the game, if these two aspects are misaligned to the need of the learner then the objective and learning outcome is not achieved as desired.

Instructional design frameworks help increase –

  1. Scope of explicit game design
  2. Training impact
  3. Learner’s participation level
  4. Knowledge retention
  5. Evaluation
  6. Percentage of practical application of learning outcomes in actual tasks


10 Common Benefits of Gamification and Serious games

  1. Intrinsically motivate online learners
  2. Knowledge in practice
  3. Encourage Friendly competition
  4. Influence learning behaviour
  5. Facilitate error into learning
  6. Create a safe environment
  7. Increases retention
  8. Promotes engagement
  9. Skill empowerment
  10. Fun & Learn

By understanding the meaning, difference and outcome of the 2 digital game-based eLearning strategies, designers can create –

  1. Super impactful
  2. Realistic
  3. Valuable and
  4. Relevant content for their participants


Bell Immersive takes Gamified learning solutions one step ahead through VR/AR, making training scenario highly engaging for the user.

We deliver creative, interactive and highly engaging eLearning courses that provide real-time experience to the learner.

To explore more on eLearning services – visit –


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