Boss Fight at YTA, an illustration of Gamification in Training by Zero Generation

The Gamification framework we are using was created by Andrzej Marczewski and consists of three phases: Define, Design, Refine. There is a video at the end of the post if you’d prefer a different/complementary way of engaging with the content of this post.


A proper gamification process starts with a problem to solve. On our major events: Leadership Summer School and Youth Trainers’ Academy (YTA), we often have a lot of participants (30+) and trainers (6+). Even though participants have the possibility to interact with trainers during training sessions, because of the intensity of the different learning activities proposed, it may be challenging for trainers to have meaningful interactions with each participant (and vice-versa).

Group Picture — YTA 2019 Vilnius


We decided to go for the following game scenario:
- Trainer XYZ owns tokens of a specific colour(yellow) that participants can get only from her/him to complete their set.
- S/he sets a challenge (the same for all).
- Each participant, at a time of their choosing during the event, go to Trainer XYZ to discover the challenge and related instructions.
- After completing the task, the participant ask to meet Trainer XYZ.
If the participant succeeds, s/he got the token; otherwise, s/he can try again.


Game Element

The main Game element we chose was the Boss Fights.

Mega Man 3 — Stage Select


Next, for trainers having to act as “Bosses”, beyond walking the talk, we also had to make the tasks interesting and valuable enough for us to run them (as game masters) and for participants (sense of meaningful accomplishment) to want to win. Hence we went through some cycles of constructive feedback to improve the concept.


Most participants got into this gamified activity during the event with various level of engagement. A few took it very seriously and went all-in to win all the pieces. Many fought to get some but not all. A couple didn’t engage with the activity.

GT #14 Boss Fight in Training Event