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If you are a Harry Potter fan, I am sure the title would have rung a bell☺. Well if you aren’t, I am pretty sure you know who Harry Potter is.

Harry Potter and the famed Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Did you know even the wizards couldn’t resist using gamification? You ask how?

Well, remember Hogwarts and how the school was divided into 4 houses— Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, which compete for points to win the yearly house cup. These houses compete all year round by earning and losing points for various activities. All these points are stored in House point hourglasses that would serve as a competitive leaderboard to let students know how well their house is faring vis-à-vis the others.

Whenever students did good deeds or answered a question correctly in the class, their respective houses would be instantly be credited with points. Infact the phrase “10 points for Gryffindor” became hugely famous for the plot when the smart wit Hermione (Emma Watson) was awarded points by teachers on giving all the correct answers in the class. Interestingly rumor has it, that when actress Emma Watson went to Brown University to complete her studies, she was jokingly teased “10 points for Gryffindor" by her classmates every time she answered a question correctly in the class!

Coming back to Harry Potter, don’t all these points, leaderboards, real time awards/feedback reek of gamification? I think it is a fantastic use case of how gamification was used to make learning more engaging for the students.

From world of magic, Harry Potter has casted his spell in the real world as well. Recently, I read about Bunchball designing Harry Potter based programs for Syracuse University's business school in order to gamify their extracurricular activities with the end goal of motivating students. The website is themed on Harry Potter and is akin to Hogwarts where students are divided into “houses” and complete tasks to amass points and badges. No brownie points for guessing how it is being received by students ☺

When I think of uses cases like these, I feel although the term “gamification” has been introduced a decade back, the concept of gamification dates back to as long as you can think. If you sit back and deliberate a little, you will find many instances in our lives where we unknowingly use gamification.

Now is the time to acknowledge the power of gamification and use it in business world scenarios. All you have to do is to use the magic spell “Alohomora” and unlock the magical doors of gamification that lead to increased user engagement.

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