Introducing...the lightweight gamification model

I am introducing a new model called ‘lightweight gamification’ which is targeted at individuals and SMEs who want to run gamified programs but don’t have the time and resources needed to think through, build and roll out a heavyweight gamification program.

Lightweight Gamification focuses attention on the following four key rules:

  1. Design for feedback not reward
  2. Focus on the player’s personal journey
  3. Prioritise implicitly tracked metrics
  4. Throttle the feedback to sustain engagement

It is accompanied by a diagram which gamifiers can use to plan their program – what is the player’s existing journey and epic goal, which existing activities can we track and feed back their progress on (via a leaderboard) and how often do we feedback in a throttled manner (weekly or monthly work well).


In lightweight gamification we are not trying to drive massive engagement, only retention – if a player comes back every week to check their score and optimise their performance then we have achieved our objectives.

The focus is on intrinsic reward and existing behaviours – we are simply adding some useful, contextual feedback. Another way to describe it is ‘crowd coaching’.

I’ve written in more detail about lightweight gamification on the leaderboarded blog.

Leaderboarded is the ideal tool to implement lightweight gamification – you can even start with a single leaderboard! I’d appreciate your comments and feedback!

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