There’s a reason why video games are such a popular pastime for adults and children alike. They keep the users engaged by dividing the steps required to accomplish a task and rewarding them at every step of the way through points or in-game items.

This strength leads to more immersion for the player and creates a sense of involvement with the content and story. The concept that makes this a successful practice has been studied for years and dubbed gamification.

The main application of this concept has been to make educational content more appealing. And it has found its place in the office setting.

A study found that 83% of employees said gamification makes them feel more motivated for training.

Since one of the main struggles with cyber security awareness programs is getting employees engaged in the required content, gamification features are a real boon.

Statistics on gamification in the workplace

Source: Kiwi LMS

Let’s look at a few reasons why you should consider gamification in your cyber security awareness programs.

1.  Immersive Content

One of the main reasons video games hook the players is that they have exciting storylines with engaging characters and captivating worlds.

While this might not be a realistic goal for a cyber security awareness campaign, it’s still no excuse to have text-based content with a simple quiz at the end and expect all your users to stay interested.

In the era your users live in, they’re used to multiple types of content and stimulation, and your campaign should be no different.

For example, you can use animated videos with two characters that go through the discussed topics instead of the typically written introductions.

Don’t be afraid to use humor around subjects like password creation to keep the users engaged and to allow them to relate to the situation.

Another great tool in your arsenal should be to tie the game’s story to the bigger subjects in a campaign. Bonus points if you can link it to the reality of your organization as well.

Create an experience that puts users at the center of the action and pushes them to care about the issues you cover.

2.  Increases Participation and Course Completion

If your users have fun while learning about cyber security, they’re more likely to complete the course and maybe even look forward to the next one. This can only happen if the program’s content is engaging and relevant.

One of the great tools to get people involved in your cyber security awareness campaign is allocating points for quizzes and a leaderboard to track everyone’s progress.

This encourages them to go through all the content so they can later compare their score with their coworkers and further increases their immersion in the content.

A leaderboard not only increases the chances a user will complete the content to claim their spot in the leaderboard, but it can also help the campaign’s optics across the company.

For example, division managers would be encouraged to tell their employees to complete the course so they make a strong showing on the global organization leaderboard.

3.  Gamified Learning for Better Engagement

Most cyber security awareness programs follow the same formula: an introduction, a teaching section, and a quiz to test the users on the content. Any opportunity to break from that mold should be taken as it will inevitably lead to better engagement.

People enjoy video games because of their interactive nature. When selecting a cyber security awareness platform, pay close attention to their different learning options.

In some cases, they can come very close to features in a non-eLearning video game.

An example would be leveraging a mystery-style game where users must click on different image elements to find clues related to the subject being covered.

This format provides a nice break from the typical learning methods and ensures the user remains engaged with the content.

4.  Facilitate Behavior Change

A common issue with cyber security awareness campaigns is that users don’t think the content is directed at them specifically.

Employees complete the required material but never integrate it into their lives because the content doesn’t resonate with them enough.

One of the best solutions to this issue is gamification. When users have to interact with the content and get feedback loops in the form of points, they become more involved with the subjects. This leads to easier retention of the concepts and, ultimately, positive behavior changes.

A great example would be a reproduction of an email client where users must click on the elements they believe constitute a fraudulent email or phishing attempt.

Since they’ve already identified the issues in the same setting they use daily, users will be more vigilant once they get back to their actual email client.

5.  Level Up Existing Campaigns and Programs

The beauty of gamification is that it doesn’t only apply to your future campaigns and program. These elements can be integrated into your regular programs that have to be re-run every few months, like password strength and phishing.

A simple quiz can become much more engaging if you add a time limit, making the user competitive towards themselves to remember the answer in time.


The Gamification Era

The eLearning gamification market was expected to reach 1.8 million dollars in 2023. Gamification has proven time and again to improve educational programs and is a logical next step.

Making a significant for cyber security awareness programs when it comes to driving up engagement and retention, gamification is a simple and efficient way to ensure your users learn what you’re teaching and integrate it into their day-to-day lives.


Gamification for Cyber Security Awareness Training Success

Read the whitepaper to learn how to best motivate and engage your users with your security awareness program and more!