Gamification and Ice Breaking Activities in Business Life

By Yelda Vedia Şimşek

Gamification means adding game mechanisms into other environments like learning, managing, and businesses. This method aims to increase the loyalty of the users by using the participation and entertainment element. To sum up, Gamification makes the definition of friendly competition. On the other hand, ice-breaking activities are applications that improve team dynamics. These aim to instil in employees qualities like cooperation and self-sacrifice for a specific cause. As a result, icebreaking activities and gamification help warm up the conversation among the participants in a group. These also help improve the efficiency and competition of training or meetings by strengthening bonds between participants.

What does Gamification mean?

Gamification means adding game mechanisms into other environments like learning, managing, and businesses. Although the term “gamification” has just begun to be used, the idea and applications which has been used in the past. Loyalty programs and programs to collect bonus points implemented by hotels and airline companies can be given as examples.

Gamification method today; In addition to gaining customers in many different sectors, it is also used for enriching contents, business development, and learning. This method aims to increase the loyalty of the users by using the elements of participation and entertainment. Gamification applications can be used to increase the use of a website or to encourage its users. This also helps to increase the use of certain methods by creating behavioural changes in users, as well as to encourage learning.

Structure of Gamification in business life

According to Kevin Werbach, Associate Professor of University of Pennsylvania, the elements of the game can be divided into three main groups. These elements include; the “dynamic elements, mechanical elements and supplementary elements”. The “dynamic element” signifies the general framework of the game, whereas the “mechanical element” helps to determine the rules and process of the game, along with other “supplementary elements” of the game. For a game to have a successful design, these three elements must be taken into account. It is important to make a balance between all the elements in order to establish a meaningful connection between them.

If we examine the successful games, we can see that these elements are used in a balanced way. These elements also help to establish a meaningful connection. Many applications that we use and hear frequently today are gamification applications. The “foursquare” application, where the users enter the information of their location and gain points as well as awards according to the frequency of use, successfully uses the four basic elements of the game. Nowadays, companies designs their gamification applications for their employees which can be seen frequently. The games that companies put into practice in order to improve their products and applications as well as to increase the level of learning of the subjects they have determined are called “serious games” in the literature.[1]

To sum up Gamification:

  • Implies friendly competition.
  • Assures a sense of success in learners.
  • Helps to grow interest and urge to achieve the desired behavioural changes.
  • Motivates to progress and take charge.

The Link Between Gamification and Ice Breakers in business life

On the other hand, ice-breaking activities in business life are applications that helps to increase team dynamics. These aim to instil in employees qualities like cooperation and self-sacrifice for a specific purpose. It enables the participants to offer the maximum contribution that they can provide in the studies by being free from distinctions such as age and title. It becomes easier to overcome some of the restrictions that we postpone or hesitate to express due to such distinctions. By stimulating the creativity of the participants, it is of great importance that each team member in the team contributes, finding different solutions, and even getting the best results [2].

When meeting participants do know each other or are participating in a regularly scheduled meeting, an icebreaker is still effective to warm up the conversation and make people more comfortable engaging in the meeting. For example, one of the classic icebreaker is known as Two Truths and a Lie. To play this game, ask each participant to give three statements about themselves. Two of them must be true, and one must be a lie. The other participants must then guess which statement of the three is the lie. This icebreaker helps break tension among the group by helping group members learn facts about each other and form deeper bonds [3].

Conclusion: Benefit from Gamification and Ice Breakers in Business

To conclude, icebreaking activities and gamification help warm up the conversation among the participants in a training group or meeting in business. Also, they can help improve the efficiency and competition of training or meetings by strengthening bonds between participants and reducing tension.


[1] http://insankaynaklarigunlugu.com/blog/hayatinda-oyunlastirma-gamification-uygulamalari/ (21.10.2020).

[2] http://www.aktiviteyonetimi.com/takim.php (23.10.2020).

[3] https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-an-ice-breaker-1918156 (24.10.2020).