Gamification is a relatively new term that refers to the use of game theory and game design in non-game contexts to engage people and solve problems. I have a long history with video games and board games and have identified as a “gamer” and game designer all my life.
There is a lot of science that can be applied to game design. Behavior science, motivational theories, and neurophysiology are things every game designer encounters while they’re designing the experience their players engage with. Understanding a vast range of disciplines helps us design games but it can also help us design websites, buildings, laws, and organizations.
Gamification does not necessarily aim at creating games or adding game-like elements to places they don’t belong. However if adding “fun” helps us design solutions to our problems then thinking in terms of games is certain to help us solve problems and have fun at the same time.