A Study in Gamification: Portland Fit

Gamification that’s easy to see

Gamification is easy to describe through a classic video game.

They each start with a Problem
“Bowser has kidnapped the princess!”

Along the way, you can see your Progress
“You have just Leveled Up!”

As you succeed, your legacy is left behind as a Status
“You’ve earned a High score!”

It may be easy to look at gamification as something used in video games, but its usage goes far beyond that.

Gamification that’s harder to see

Remember when your kindergarten teacher gave you a star for that flawless rendition of the ABC’s you belted out? (I do.)

That’s gamification.

Remember how that free coffee or sandwich you earned by getting a small card stamped 6 times tasted slightly better than the ones you paid for?

That’s gamification.

Gamification can be seen everywhere. Take the hospitality industry-

Whether it be a flight, cruise, or hotel stay; the first time you interact with these companies, you’re offered to sign up for a membership rewards program. The game begins.

Earn enough points and you become a “Preferred/Platinum/Executive” member, gaining additional priviliges. You’ve leveled up.

An announcement comes over a P.A. system at a crowded airport gate. “Preferred members boarding now”. You saunter over and board early in front of other travelers, (lowly basic members and plebian non-members). You’ve announced your ‘status’. You’re no longer a noob at this game.

PortlandFit is a training program for runners and walkers of all abilities, each with an end goal of competing in an event. They utilize gamification to help their members acheive their fitness goals.

A color coded system divides runners by how fast they run. As runners improve they can move their way up to a higher color, (if that’s their goal and intention).

When you sign up for a program you get a badge. This is shared on your PortlandFit profile, and your Facebook or other networks if you choose.

This badge signals your first step forward, the game begins. Throughout your training, progress can be viewed through your profile; all of this building toward your big event.

Additional Great Perks when joining Portland Fit

  • Day-by-Day training schedules
  • Weekly Group Runs/Walks
  • Seminars
  • Free Massages

We’re proud to partner with Portland Fit. Their program is a great way to keep people motivated and focusing on achieving their fitness goals.

It’s not difficult to see more use of gamification in the business world: a salesman is trying to complete ‘missions’ (selling 110% of quota for instance). Their progress is tracked, and the first one to ‘complete their mission’ earns Level 40 SalesmanElite status and a bonus.

Gamification: it’s not just about saving the princess anymore.


Portland Fit was Voted “Best Running Club” in 2011 by Northwest by Competitor NW Magazine