Bribes, Incentives, Bonuses, Awards and Rewards in Gamification

Incentive and rewards 2 Bribes Incentives Bonuses Awards and Rewards in Gamification

Recently there has been some conversation in the Gamification Hub and other areas about the difference between things like bribes, incentives and so on.

It is actually an interesting and very relevant question in gamification circles as they all get mentioned from time to time, so I thought I would tackle it a little here.

First, let’s look at the standard definitions (from

  • Bribe:
    • Dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favour by a gift of money or other inducement.
    • A thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something
    • A payment or concession to stimulate greater output or investment.
    •  A sum of money added to a person’s wages as a reward for good performance.  
    • Give or order the giving of (something) as an official payment, compensation, or prize to (someone).
    • A thing given in recognition of service, effort, or achievement

    The first thing that strikes me is how similar bribe and incentive are in meaning. The only real difference is the intent of the person who is offering up the “something” to persuade the receiver to do an activity. Read More ...

4 Ways Extrinsic rewards bit me in the ass

Not long ago I wrote about my daughters school and their usage of certificates to incentivise reading. The idea is that if a child reads a certain amount each half term, they can get a bronze, silver or gold certificate.

As you may remember, I have spent a lot of time trying to encourage my daughter to read. I thought I had cracked it after long gamified engagement. Little did I know, that in the background the school was undoing all my (and my wife’s) hard work.

Olivia has consistently got Gold awards for her reading, we have ensured that every school night for the entire school year she has read. Two weeks ago, she missed two days. This did not seem like that big a deal, two days in an entire year should not mean much in the long run. Read More ...

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