Gamification and stock exchange

A couple of years ago I took a MOOC course about gamification. I was short on time so I just watched the videos and skipped evaluations. I didn’t need any certificate, just desire for knowledge.

It’s still available and really recommend it. Very comprehensive and clear examples, also bringing guests to explain specific topics. Link here: Gamification at Coursera.

I also have people I know that invest in the stock exchange. Funny thing, I made the connection that people engage so heavily and is able to loose so much money because of the gamification elements it inherently contains.

In fact in Spain we say “jugar a la bolsa”.

“Bolsa” is the stock exchange and “jugar” can be translated as playing but also as gambling. Popular wisdom makes it clear!


According to Bartle’s types, I think the stock exchange traders fall into the Achievers category. Check this article for interesting content on gamification elements.

What are the elements from stock exchange that relate to gamification? from my point of view, quite many:

  • learning curve and mastery. People get more experience as they trade, win and make mistakes.
  • direct and immediate feedback. People can get immediate feedback on how they are doing with their decisions. If strategy is good there are immediate rewards.
  • clear goals. Earn money, right? but the challenge is to master when to sell if a stock price is increasing, before it starts falling. So the goal is to earn as much money as possible.
  • meaningful choice. People decide which shares to invest in, when to buy and when to sell. They have access to information to make meaningful decisions.
  • increasing challenge.  The more experience the more different types of derivatives and other products they can trade. And the more they want to earn,
  • reload or infinite lives. People can loose a lot of money, their whole fortune, but there is always the feeling people can recover. “One more game and I win!”
  • socializing. People meet and chat with other traders, have references of people with more success, sort of leaderboard.

If you are curious to know what type of gamer you are, check the quiz on gamerdna.
[Update March 2017: site is no longer available]

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