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SAM WATTS // How Gamified Learning Experiences Transform Work

Sam Watts from Make Real delivers an inspiring video session about gamification and learning.

There are problems when it comes to online learning platforms. How can training sessions be more engaging, for instance? Gamification could be the answer. Sam Watts from Make Real delivers an inspiring video session about gamification and learning. In this free video, he talks about how to boost engagement in work cultures.

Adding game mechanics into non-game environments 

Some of the main issues in learning platforms include low data retention and lack of engagement. To put it simply, many training experiences are just boring – but gamification can make these sessions more engaging in so many ways. At the online conference Beyond Games last November 2021, Sam Watts (Make Real) discusses how gamification in learning environments taps into our natural curiosity to play.

Gamification not only appeals to the digital generation, but it also provides a shift from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the Intrinsic Motivational Network. This means that there is a specific design that addresses user needs and motivations, which involves engagement and social community. It also involves self-expression, thereby increasing overall engagement.

Barriers to learning and what needs to be done

Watts also touches upon the scale of immersion for the user. Nothing will interrupt their state of flow once they’re engaged in the game. This is the value of gamification in learning. For instance, he shares valuable insights learned from case studies about their past works. This includes the EDF Energy Reactor Runner wherein teams needed to keep a power station running effectively. Teams had specific operational objectives, roles and assigned actions.

The same is true with the Severn Trent Water Chemical Delivery training platform via Oculus Quest VR. Here, teams performed an immersive site inspection that required group investigations to check for clues. As always, barriers to these platforms include the availability of hardware and lack of time. What developers need to do, therefore, is to focus more on 4D rather than 2D, to learn by doing and to engage all a user’s senses. This provides more agency for teams during training. It’s an essential part of the gamification ethos.

Factors to consider include input and deployment options, competitive elements, teamwork and collaboration, accessibility and availability, and so on. Towards the end of this video session, Watts answers a few hand-picked questions from the audience to cap off the talk.

This half-hour session is ideal for anyone who’s always been curious about how gamification can revolutionise learning platforms.

Written By

Catherine plays video games for a living, reads comics for inspiration, and writes because she’s in love with words. Her Young Adult fantasy novel, Of Myths And Men, has been published by Penguin Random House SEA and is her love letter to gamer geeks, mythological creatures, aliens, and epic quests to save the world. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction. Check out her books at, or follow her on FB/IG/Twitter at @thenoobwife.

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