Common Craft's latest video explains gamification in clear and concise terms.
Gamification is something that I had to experience first-hand in order to really understand why it appeals to so many students and teachers. I experienced it when I started using the Strava app to track my bike rides. Once I started using it, I realized why kids like digital badges. More of that story is found in my post, What Strava Taught Me About Why Kids Love ClassDojo and Digital Badges.