This fantastic infographic from Upside Learning clarifies the difference between gaming (just for fun), game-based learning (using a game to learn something) and gamification (using game mechanics – like scoring – to motivate people.)
Often, when people outside the field talk about using a game to transform someone, they mention how games can “make learning fun”. Game-based learning can be so much more than that, particularly when it uses all the affordances of games to provide motivation, expose users to content in new ways, and offer safe places to learn, experiment and fail. Gamification is not the application of games to learning. In the serious games field, gamification is viewed as a much simpler approach — one that uses game-based approaches to provide incentives for behavior, where game-based learning engages learners in ways that reflect the complexities of learning. While there are certainly great examples of gamification for creating short-term behavior change, enabling repetitive practice and memorization, or encouraging competitive achievement, game-based learning address a wider range of desired change.