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Gamification is the application of elements of gaming design and game mechanics in a non-game context. Game players regularly exhibit risk-taking, strategising and problem solving; behaviours that are ideally required in a cyber security professional. Gamification mechanics and game design techniques engage and motivate people to achieve their goals, encourage participation and usage. Gamification design principles include:


Creating personal goals, creating communities of interest, guiding the user through a meaningful story, creating social context meaning


An achievement flow, interesting challenges, clear design and goals, feedback, awareness of unintended behaviour


Voluntary play, being aware of losing autonomy and devaluing the activity by avoiding over-justification.

Gamified Training Environment for Cyber Security

Gamification is defined as applying game mechanics in a non-gaming context; Game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail and problem solving; behaviours that are ideally suited for effective cyber security training.

Attacker-centric Cyber Security

An effective cyber security training calls for change of behaviour; the understanding of how different people perceive risks is critical to effective training. Most existing gamified training use defensive strategies, in line with the current dominant practice in cyber security, which is, to react, largely, to attacks and not engage in anticipatory or offensive strategies. There is a general lack of attacker-centricity, the characteristics of attackers are seldom incorporated in training to understand these attackers or anticipate their attacks.

Challenge-Based learning practices for Cyber Security

Challenge-based leaning is a student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject through the experience of solving an open-ended challenge. Students identify what they need to learn, thus it does not depend on assumptions by the tutor. Some students start with much more basic learning goals than others. This ensures that the learning is relevant to everyone – it starts from students’ current knowledge base.

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