Growth Gamification Manifesto

Gamification has many 'faces'. It is defined as "the application of game mechanisms in a non-gaming context". This mistakenly suggests that it is about inventing classic games for the workplace or in a customer context.

But the term gamification is more of a mission statement, even a homage to the game - a medium that is highly successful in getting people emotionally excited and keeping them engaged over a long period of time. And it is a symbol for an activity that makes us lose more often than win. Almost like an enjoyable frustration.


We communicate all our experience to develop the original idea of gamification in the sense of intrinsically experienceable motivation and make it applicable.

We continuously develop Growth Gamification through complete transparency of our actions. We distance ourselves from an extrinsic approach to gamification that primarily aims at imposing an obvious game idea on existing conditions. 


Meanwhile, anything that has even the appearance of being playful falls under gamification. These approaches include serious games, game-based learning, simulations, workshop games, Lego serious play, gamification itself, and more. In our eyes, this catch-all of completely different approaches dilutes the original idea of gamification and takes away its unique appeal.

In our eyes, this collection of completely different approaches dilutes the original gamification idea and robs it of its unique appeal.


Therefore, we have Growth Gamification as a term that defines a clearly definable gamification category:

Growth Gamification uses all the mechanisms that characterize intrinsically motivated activities such as play, sports & hobbies and applies them to real-world processes, products, programs and interactions.

But in doing so, we are not creating an artificial gaming environment, either digital or analog. Growth Gamification rather systematically learns from these most successful conditions under which people do their natural best to transfer them to less successful (work) environments, products, customer experiences or services and thus increase their attractiveness.

The goal of Growth Gamification is to enable people to - e.g. in their role as employee or customer - under these more emotional, more binding and self-challenging conditions, not only give their natural best, but can learn and experience progress from this/their best. Just like in the game, where he experiences the playful fascination through these very conditions.


We do not want a separation between game and reality for the user.Rather, we want to use Growth Gamification to design situations - everyday life and the work environment as well as the handling of products and services - in such a way that the natural intrinsic desire to learn of every human being is constantly challenged in them. We believe that this is the easiest and most successful way for people to meet life's growing challenges.  zwischen Spiel und Realitiät entstehen. 

The 6 basic principles behind Growth Gamification

Growth Mindset Principle

Dynamic self-image.
No other situation is more effective at fostering a "growth mindset." There, we assume that we can always evolve and learn anything if we just put in enough work. "Hey, I can learn from this mistake." When something goes wrong, we ask ourselves what we can do better next time. People with this inner conviction love challenges and see failures as steps on their path to success.

Activity principle

Activity focus instead of results focus.
Man plays for the sake of playing. It is not about the result, the victory, but about the way there. An easy victory provides less motivation to stick with it than a narrow failure with the feeling of being able to do it. So it's not about 'celebrating' the result, but enriching the activity itself.

System principle

Content is king, but Context is god.
Our behaviour is shaped by frameworks. User experience, and the resulting behaviours, are subjective, holistic, emergent, situated, and dynamic. Growth Gamification looks at the higher-level system and works with its structures, rather than imposing game mechanisms on an activity in a lab-like fashion.

Competence principle

"In play, we are chasing our 'better selves'."
Intrinsic activities like play, sports & hobbies are characterized by becoming more challenging as you get better. Even in the hobby, where it is we ourselves who determine the 'rules', we look for the 'next step forward'. Homo Ludens proves it: Humans have a desire for performance in which he can grow.

Inherent principle

Inherent skill-based challenges.
Growth Gamification identifies challenges that already lie in the pursuit of the user's needs, their real-world context, and redesigns them in a motivating way. Sebastian Deterding, The Lens of Intrinsic Skill Atoms)

Negative feedback principle

Behavioural change and intrinsic motivation need time to develop. In order for the applied growth gamification to persist for a correspondingly long time, the negative feedback must dominate in corresponding growth gamification designs, whereby certain control variables can be continuously corrected and thus kept constant. On the other hand, positive feedback amplifies itself until the system is in danger of collapsing.


The following guidelines serve as orientation and motivation for us to make our vision a reality:

  • Promoting common definitions, of related genres such as serious games, game-based learning, simulations, gamification, and more, formulated in a consensual and collaborative manner, for clear and better delineation in communicating the issues to the outside world.
  • The creation of an open and official association, to create industry standards and represent the interests from behavioural economics & gamification on an official level.
  • To transparently provide knowledge, methodologies, and resources to the interested community, to improve quality and access to information.

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