Game-based training backed by science

If you want to understand gamified training, you have come to the right place.

The psychology of behavioral change

Attensi implements the COM-B model of behavioral change, which carries over 5,000 academic citations on effective behavioral change intervention¹. In this model, any behavioral change intervention needs to be effective across three areas:

Do you have what you need to change your behavior – the knowledge required to act? (If you’re learning to play tennis, do you know the rules?)

Do you have a chance to practice the desired behavior? (If you’re learning to play tennis, do you have access to a tennis court and the time to use it?)

Easily overlooked, and arguably the most important – do you want to change your behavior? (Do you want to learn to play tennis?)

At Attensi, we use gamification to as an effective tool for behavioral change interventions, built on the bedrock of sound science. Games and game mechanics are uniquely potent across all three parts of the COM-B model of behavioral change.

The inherent ‘stickiness’ of games supports knowledge retention – the capability to change. Our simulated situations offer people unlimited opportunities to practice their behaviors. Beyond points and leaderboards, the immersive narratives and multidimensional feedback build a lasting sense of motivation in learners.

How does gamified training and game-based solutions leverage several mechanisms that contribute to behavioral change?

Games are powerful tools for reshaping the way we think, act, and see the world.

They create safe spaces where the freedom to fail is part of the fun, where picking yourself up to try again is part of the design, and where learning happens in its most natural form. Simply act and see what happens next.

Gamification in training is often thought of as just points, badges, and leaderboards. These are important (we use them), but there’s more to it than that.

At Attensi, our game-based learning combines game mechanics, psychology, and technology to drive lasting behavioral change at scale.

How it works:

1. Engagement

Games capture attention and maintain engagement through interactive and enjoyable experiences, making users more receptive to new information and behaviors.

2. Active participation

Players are active participants in the game world, allowing them to apply knowledge and skills in a safe and supportive environment.

3. Immediate feedback

Games provide instant feedback on actions and decisions, allowing players to learn from their mistakes and make better decisions.

4. Progression and rewards

Game-based solutions incorporate progress tracking and reward systems, reinforcing desired behaviors and providing a sense of achievement.

Game-based training triggers core human needs and drivers

Game mechanics are strategically aligned with fundamental human drivers, effectively tapping into the need for achievement and collection through features like achievements, modules, and star ratings. Simultaneously, competitiveness is fostered via leaderboards and affirmative feedback, creating a sense of camaraderie within groups. Additionally, games skillfully cater to the innate demand for instinctive reactions by incorporating elements of fear, surprise, or failure, which in turn elicit potent emotional responses.

Remarkably, gaming possesses the innate ability to profoundly stimulate the human brain. This assertion is substantiated by the observation of brain activity using methodologies like heat maps and MRIs, unequivocally demonstrating that games intricately engage diverse brain regions, thereby evoking robust emotional reactions. This captivating engagement originates from games adroitly resonating with core human drivers and needs, encompassing cognitive aspirations, imaginative faculties, social interplay, and automatic responses.

As a result, game-based training emerges as an exceptional catalyst for activating essential human needs and drivers. The potency of games lies in their capacity to simultaneously trigger multiple psychological drivers and responses, thus granting a comprehensive understanding of the profound impact of game mechanics. These mechanics, intricately designed to cater to the human desire for achievement, competitiveness, social integration, and instinctual reactions, unveil an avenue that remarkably aligns with authentic human motivations.

  • Collection of achievements, stars, and completion of training modules.
  • Competition to top the leaderboard, acquire the most points and achievements, or complete the most levels.
  • Storytelling through games, your people do more than just hear anecdotes and pieces of ‘tribal knowledge’ – they live the experiences of your best performers and your biggest pitfalls.
  • Social belonging fulfills our need to be a member of teams, have a shared common goal, or share achievements.
  • Danger response our reaction to visual surprises, noises, and sounds, threatening voices, animations, and accidents.

The Attensi Behavior Model

To achieve real-world behavior change, we use the Attensi Behavior Model, consisting of three key dimensions: motivation, knowledge, capability, exposure, and practice. Game-based solutions that score high on these dimensions have the potential to drive behavior change effectively. Motivation is enhanced through emotional triggers and a sense of mastery, while knowledge is built through repetition and practice exposure.

Where does gamified simulation training fit in your organization?

Here are some examples:

Corporate culture training

Align your team members with your company culture through gamified simulations. From mission and values to goals and vision, our training ensures everyone is on the same page.

Sales training

Boost the skills of your sales team with engaging simulations tailored to your organization’s needs. From upskilling techniques to facing the C-Suite, our authentic simulations prepare them for real-world challenges.

Compliance training

Make regulatory and compliance training enjoyable. Combine vital industry information with gamified simulation to enhance knowledge retention, covering topics from health and safety to anti-money laundering.

Health and Safety training

Increase incident reporting and preparedness for emergencies. Provide your team with the safety reassurance they need to excel in their roles.

Leadership training

Shape your organization from the top down with our groundbreaking leadership training. Nurture existing skills and foster a continuous learning mindset.

Onboarding training

Give your new recruits a dynamic start with mobile gamified training before they even walk through the door.

We’re the experts in gamification, with over 500 solutions, 700k players, and 60 million playthroughs to date. We grew out of game development, and that’s stayed part of our DNA (and our technology). But it’s our scientifically grounded, psychologically driven approach to training design that makes our work, work.

Tap into our expertise and find out what gamification can do for you.

Get ready to level up your training


  1. Michie, S., Van Stralen, M.M. and West, R. (2011) The Behaviour Change Wheel: A New Method for Characterising and Designing Behaviour Change Interventions. Implement Science, 6, 42