Gamification: what it is and why it matters to digital health behavior change developers

JMIR Serious Games. 2013 Dec 12;1(1):e3. doi: 10.2196/games.3139.


This editorial provides a behavioral science view on gamification and health behavior change, describes its principles and mechanisms, and reviews some of the evidence for its efficacy. Furthermore, this editorial explores the relation between gamification and behavior change frameworks used in the health sciences and shows how gamification principles are closely related to principles that have been proven to work in health behavior change technology. Finally, this editorial provides criteria that can be used to assess when gamification provides a potentially promising framework for digital health interventions.

Keywords: behavioral medicine; behavioral research; behavioral sciences; behaviour and behavior mechanisms; computer games; experimental game; health psychology; interactive games; persuasive communication; psychology.

Publication types

  • Editorial