June 26, 2012


What do you mean the term is over?

Alright, I know I am breaking the 4th wall here and all... but I actually just wanted to post one more gamification related thing prior to term 2 since it is relevant and pretty cool.  Plus, hopefully it can help some of those out there who are still reading this blog (if said person actually exists).

If you are learning a 2nd language, you ought to check out Duolingo.  I believe they are still in their beta stage, but they are offering their service for free right now with a really interesting secondary benefit.  Not only have they gamified language learning, like sites such as Busuu, but they are doing it in order to translate the web at the same time.  Kinda like the Captchas that you always see that secretly translate old documents, Duolingo is actually doing some good through gamification.  I am sure there is some money to be made too, but who I am to blame them.

Currently they only provide English, German, and Spanish; however there will be more in the future.

June 19, 2012

India's largest online food guide - Gamified!

If you haven't heard of Zomato.com, you need to check it out! As the title says, it is the largest food portal (see numbers below) in the country and soon expanding to Singapore in September 2012.

So, why are we talking about it? The special news is that, as of this week, they have gamified themselves!! Haven't we been telling you gamification is the emerging technology to watch out for?

To know more about this, here's a short interview I managed to conduct with the the co-founder of Zomato, Pankaj Chaddah (yes I have fancy connections :P)

Q1. What motivated Zomato.com to come up with the review leaderboards and badges? 
PC: "We introduced these social features on Zomato to increase user engagement and build a platform which would be more than just information about restaurants. We want to push users to contribute more in terms of actions performed on Zomato (reviews, ratings) than use Zomato as just a website to check out details on restaurants. The perfect way to push more user activity is gratification and there is no greater gratification than featuring on the home page of the website as a leader and having a lot of followers reading and valuing your reviews."

Q2. Are there other game mechanics you have used in your website (apart from reviews) or that you intend to? 
PC: "Right now we are using ratings, reviews and follows are the key user actions. We will create engaging features around sharing pictures, QnA for food experts and check-ins very soon."

Q3. What are your views on gamification in the online business industry? Does it have a real future or is it just fad? Why? 
PC: "Gamification works if it is based on a useful platform as you are leveraging the content of the platform. Gamification is highly replicable and you will never be able to sustain the thrill of the platform for users unless there is useful content (content is king!). We hope to have the right mix of content and gamification."

Zomato.com has seized the opportunity that gamification and social networking provide. Not only will this help expand their user base (network effects) but also keep these users hooked! Despite the replicability of gamification that Pankaj mentions, I think by being one of the firsts and the largest to incorporate it, they are creating high switching costs, which is something anybody would want in this business.

So here's wishing them the best, all the way from Madrid.

PS. Guess who made it to their leaderboard.

June 18, 2012

Farmville has more accounts than Twitter

The title above may surprise many people, but it is actually a information taken from a news dated of march  2010. It was then that the number of active monthly accounts of Farmville surpassed the number of accounts of twitter (83 million against 75 million respectively)1, and, it still has more active accounts  today. But, if we stop and think about this information, what does it really means? Are people more interested in online games than in a powerful communication tool such as twitter?


 Well the answer is no. Twitter and Farmville are two very distinct products, and a simple comparison can result in a erroneous conclusion. Twitter has a more personal connection to its user, it is a tool of communication that allows a spread of ideas, feeling and thoughts. It is much harder for a twitter user to change to another form of communication, (also due to its network effect) than it is for a Farmville user to play another game. Farmville has a excellent capacity of attracting users, but  it has no strong appeal to maintain its user for a long period of time.
The real conclusion we can make from this is that online games such as Farmville have the incredible capacity of attracting millions of users and of transforming a common activity such as watering plants and planting crops into an exciting and challenging game. This actually shows that if applied efficiently, gamification can transform any kind of activity into something captivating and entertaining. That's one of the greatest value that gamification has brought. It seems that Facebook (where Farmville is played) has really grasped this idea and has increased tremendously its games portfolio, attracting more users and keeping them actively checking in everyday, which for Facebook simply means making more revenue.

1. Webtrends, March 8, 2010

June 17, 2012

Recommendations for Education

Is this really the future?

We have given you quite a few articles and posts on gamification within the field of education, but it is now time to tell you what we think of the process overall.  It is good to hear the news regarding it, but as quasi-experts in our field, we'd like to open a discussion based around it.

First, I think we need to break it down into two categories:
1) self-learning
2) classroom learning

The impact that gamification has had on the self-learning is rather remarkable.  Due to the internet, more and more people have access to information about whatever they want.  If I want to become the next expert on underwater basket weaving, there are now places online where I can find information to help me.  However, where does gamification play a role in this?  We have already mentioned how there are places such as busuu.com that are designed to help you learn via the main tenets of gamification.  Similarly, people have designed programs like Epic Win that can help you in general to set and plan for your goals.  Thus, I am not overly worried for the future of gamification in self-learning, since that field is not only growing but showing actual results.

Perhaps here gamification can help

What I am worried about is gamification in the classroom.  As a former teacher, I have seen very few applications of this succeed.  Even if we go back to the old days of Oregon Trail, you can simply determine from most kids that these days were simply days to celebrate thanks to extra rest.  Minor games are of course always welcome and able to help draw the students' attention, but can it really go beyond this?  I am going to argue that at this point, it can't.  Gamification is great for inspiring the whole class temporarily, but given current programs and technology it is nearly impossible to go beyond that.  Does that make it a fad or something inconsequential?

I would argue no.  Elements of gamification are surely applicable to the field as a whole, such as trying to inspire and educate through say leaderboards within the classroom.  Plus, gamifying education has occurred ever since the first Homo Sapien taught another how to throw a weapon.  Even though we are amazed by how quickly and rapidly gamification has changed self-learning opportunities, we need to step back and have appropriate expectations for the field overall.  As long as we do that, we can continue to see minute gains in the classroom while experiencing revolution outside of it.

June 16, 2012

1984: Gamification Style

I know you're jealous of my Paint skills

Who would think that Gamification would come under such a firestorm?  Take a gander at this article from Rough Type, where the author deals with whether-or-not companies who use gamification to enhance their work quantity and quality are really just exploiting people.  Business are increasingly relying on their customers to fix, market, make, and even develop some of their products.  This is what the Economist has referred to as "unsourcing", where you can simply drop your employees and force your customers to work for you.

This sounds like a horrible, dystopic future in which we'll will be forced to make our own french fries via a "game" at McDonalds.  Companies will no longer have employees, but only customers who will have to spend their own time to create their consumable.  However, we have seen that this really can't be the case.  In order to make an "unsourced" model, you need to be able to offer some carrot to your customers.  While fame and love do act as motivation in terms of crowd-sourcing, they can't be the only contributing factors when you're making demands as a company.  The most successful crowd-sourcing examples through gamification have primarily been non-profits such as Fold-It. It will be much, much harder to convince the public to work for your for-profit business, even if it has an element of gamification behind it.  So before your company drops all your employees and tries to gamify the business such as Topcoder did, you ought to think twice.

Therefore do not fret.  Gamification is not an evil.  You will not be seeing "War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength" on this blog anytime soon.

June 14, 2012

Put the FUN in FUNdraising

There’s nothing better than the feeling you get from helping others, and that alone should be a good reason to do it. However, if you have ever tried to rally people around a cause you know how hard it is. Sometimes there are barriers that prevent them from really connecting with the cause, maybe they just don’t see the benefit they get from helping... and let’s face it, for some, the warm and fuzzy feeling is just not enough.

This is where gamification comes in! If you are in the process of developing a fundraising campaign, here are 5 things you should know that will help you get closer to your goal.

1. Educate about the issue. But we don’t mean it in the boring way! Engage your audience; make them see the problem through different eyes so they become more aware and receptive. See here a great example by McKinney and Urban Ministries of Durham.

2. Reward user behavior. You can provide tangible or intangible rewards for EVERY contribution. Points  can be exchanged for discounts from your local partners or badges that provide a sense of accomplishment and encourage repeated behavior.

3. Build a community around your cause. Leaderboards motivate people to participate and help everyone keep the goal in mind. Engage users and create friendly competition to benefit the cause.

4. Leverage Social Media. Let people brag about it! Allowing users to share their contributions in social media will not only validate their participation, but it will also help drive incremental traffic to your cause and consequently, more support!

5. Make it FUN! Take a look at some of the examples we have provided through our blog. There is no doubt that even the most serious and not so serious activities can benefit from gamification.

We hope this helps you and good luck!

Lolcats and Fantasy Leagues

I promise you, this is somewhat relevant

I was reading yet another article about Gamification, since that has seem to become my primary hobby these days, and came to a small realization: that gamification is superficial.  Now, I know that this directly conflicts with some of our previous entries such as how gamification is helping hospitalized children, but for 99% of the applications... gamification is superficial.

Now before we pack up this blog because we feel hurt by this fact, the author at Gamemaki made a good point, which is "So what?"  So what if most of the applications are superficial?  The vast majority of our lives are based around the small, inconsequential elements of our daily lives.  And while it is true that gamification has immense impacts on education, job hunting, and such... the fact remains that the vast majority of our day revolves around LoLcats and Memes.  Therefore, if gamification helps enrich our lives in those areas, perhaps it can still be a good and important thing.

After thinking about Clay Shirky's TED talk on Cognitive Surplus, I came to the realization that in order to develop the good sort of gamification (education, jobs, etc), we have to have the bad elements of gamification (fantasy leagues, Areyouhotornot, etc).  The principles that have helped form the positives were initially tested in order to simply entertain us all.  Therefore, I must agree with our friends at Gamemaki... it is true that gamification is 99% superficial.  So what?

June 11, 2012

Gamification in Education Pt 3

How I wish...

In our on-going series of gamification in education, we have seen quite a bit of the positives that come along with an increased emphasis on making learning fun for students.  While I am not going to go all negative on you like some of my colleagues have done, I do believe that this new article puts a little bit of a damper on the effort.  While gamification still has high hopes, it is simply not a panacea for poor teachers.  As a quote from the article states:

“To be honest, I am probably the limiting factor in my students’ enjoyment and full appreciation of it.”
Therefore, what you put in is what you get out.  It becomes evident that while you read the article, this teacher was being a bit tough on herself; however the main principle holds.  I can tell you from personal experience that teaching games, by themselves, will not improve your class.  The games have to not only be designed well, but also have to be managed well in the class.  And while the payoff may be nice, there tends to be a lot of work involved in it compared to simply teaching.

I believe though that what we ought to really focus on here is the replicability of said games.  Given that software (especially freeware) is incredibly cheap to replicate and to receive, a unified platform for teachers to pass and share new games would be tremendously helpful and time-saving.  While it is true that many of the major education businesses do offer such services as a price, teachers themselves can not typically afford it.  Therefore, some sort of combination between open-source and gamification would do a lot of good for teachers and students.

Hmmm... perhaps there is an idea for a new website / business (Ive obviously spent too much time at IE)...

June 9, 2012

Chess and Gamification

#3 in "Gamification Chess", #1 in Amusing Chess Pictures

Say what you will about will about IE students, but we do not rest on our laurels.  Upon seeing that we were #3 in the Google Rankings for "Gamification Chess", we decided that we would not stop writing about the subject until we are #1.  You've been put on notice Game Craft.

Anyways, while I am hoping this post isn't too esoteric, the fact is that studying the game of chess has historically been a rather dull activity.  While this may seem odd given that you're studying for a game, the fact is true.  The tried-and-true method has always been to study the games of former masters, while at the same time delving deep into books upon books of theory.  I can honestly say that after the 20th book discussing the benefits of 2... exf4*, I nearly gave up on the game out of boredom.

However, thankfully the chess community developed ways to gamify learning about the game.  Using elements of gamification, Conventka offered software to make the study of tactics interesting.  Building on this and on the concept of collective intelligence, Chessgames.com has gamified the study of chess even further... by implementing a ranking system as well as puzzles everyday for its members.  Similarly, it has provided a social platform that enhances gamification so that studying games and tactics is no longer a monotonous activity.

As a user of the aforementioned systems, I can honestly say that it has kept me in the game much longer than I would've been without said services.  If it can maintain my interest in chess, imagine what it can do for society as a whole.

* +10 points to whoever can tell me what this basic opening is in the comments

June 7, 2012

Fly to San Francisco with GAMEON!

The GSummit SF 2012

The 3rd gamification summit is taking place in San Francisco this year. G-summit 2012 is the only global event that gathers Gamification leaders & fans in one space. Leaders are the pioneering firms that provide a platform to gamify your web (such as Bunchball), as well as companies in various industries that have adopted the concept of gamification and are making the most out of it (such as health & education). Fans are those that have interest in this field, support it, but are still not convinced in the returns from spending $ to install it in their business.

This year’s summit is taking place from the 19th till the 22nd of June 2012. If you don’t have the time to fly over to SF to personally attend it, or maybe you cannot afford it, GAMEON will fly you there. We will be covering all the events taking place on the days of the summit, and making our best to communicate with presenters and organizers to get updated on the hottest and most up to date topics in Gamification.

The video below is a GSummit 2011 Recap, may give you an idea of what to expect in the 2012 summit:

Event information:

This year’s summit will feature various speakers, interactive ideation sessions, and workshops. Out of the 3 summit days, 2 will be dedicated to conferences, and 1 full day will be dedicated to a workshop.

A glance on the program

Guest speakers will be from companies such as ORACLE, SAP, SALESFORCE … the keynote, will be addressed by JP Rangaswami & Dave Anderson, the first being the Chief Scientist at Salesforce.com, and the second the director of MileagePlus at United Airlines. The audience will enjoy several success stories and experience the best practices that drive engagement among the various sectors of branding, finance, publishing, and health … attendees will also take part in the social networking event, where they will have the chance to share their thoughts and ideas with visionaries, authors and experts in the field. Last but not least, you will have the chance to participate in a hands-on gamification workshop on day 3. To know more on registration, kindly check the table below.


 Sources: www.eventbrite.com, http://fora.tv/conference/gamification_summit_2012, www.youtube.com

June 5, 2012

Gamification in the Social Media

Foto do perfilEven if you're not an expert in games or social media, you might have seen such names as FarmVille, FourSquare or Nike plus. These are all examples of games that utilizes social media as a "scoreboard" for the progress of players in each game. So how is this different from the old loyalty games so normally utilized by airlines and hotels. In these social games there are no real financial reward. Of course using foursquare you can obtain access to some special discount, but that is not the main goal of the game.
So, what is attracting players to these social games? What researchers have found out is that there is another kind of reward system that players value more than the common financial reward. What researchers such as Dan Pink found out was, that in most cases people would be happier with recognition than with actual financial reward. In other words people were looking for status.

So, what better place to display your status or performance in a game than in your social application such as Facebook. Its a way of making it public! Not long ago, a player needed to go to the arcade to see what were the highest scoring players in each machine, but now everything is informed through social media.
What game developers, such as Zynga (creator of FarmVille and CityVille) realized was that this information could be very useful in developing a game. If we analyze FarmVille, there is actual no money output. No actual financial return for players. You can put money in the game, but there is no way to obtain any actual financial return. All the player can achieve is virtual reward and display that award to his friends. By analyzing the success of these games, we can assume that there is really something else that these players are looking for, and it is not money.

June 2, 2012

Win a job!?!

Happy Hour is a new game, released on 29th May. In the game, you are a bartender who needs to tell which drink customers (many) want by the expressions on their faces, sell it to them and clean up, all in a short span of time.
Who should care about this game? Employers who want to hire bartenders, and potential candidates looking for this job.

The Economist just featured an article on the gamification of hiring. The article talks about how Knack, a start-up, is engaged in developing custom-made gaming solutions to improve hiring processes by testing cognitive skills and providing future performance indicators. They further test pattern recognition, emotional intelligence, risk appetite and adaptability to changing situations. Guess some clients who are on board with Knack to improve their hiring processes: Bain & Company and Shell.

Bas van de Haterd, a fellow blogger (much more accomplished) believes the use of gamification in recruitment is still in its infancy but has a huge future. He gives further examples of a game such as wordfeud could be used to sieve through candidates for journalist, media and PR roles.

Is it a coincidence that in this I find a creative combination of principles I have learnt in my life? Gamification is joining the dots between B. F. Skinner's reinforcement theory I studied in university and my work in recruitment.

These principles of reinforcement and inducing repeat behavior or stickiness have been successfully explored by gamification experts. Now it's up to employers, if they want to join the group of innovators who seek to apply it, and if they want to do that early enough or be boring and wait.

P.S. Tip for candidates, start looking for ways to beat this system. While you're at it, improve your visibility on LinkedIn by checking the 'completeness' of your profile. That's LinkedIn's gamified way of encouraging you to make the most exhaustive profile, for your and their benefit.

IE Business School Gamified!

Continuing our focus on education, we would like to provide you a great and succesful example of gamification applied in an academic environment. Specifically, IE Business School is one of the most active business school in the world in offering innovative and engaging teaching techniques to its MBA and Master's students. At IE, faculty members continuously ask themselves: how can we enhance the learning experience of our students in the most effective way?

The result of this constant research is that nowadays interactive tools, on-line gamified lectures and business cases are adopted daily in many classes at IE.

A key person who is investing great efforts in making this tecnique more and more popular is the economics professor Gayle Allard. Thanks to her contribution, the business school has developed two interesting games to teach the economics dynamics in the real world.

The latest game just released by IE is "10 Downing Street", an economic policy simulation game in which students adopt the role of the British prime minister.

Furthermore, "10 Downing Street" game provided IE with a wide coverage in the main international newspapers as recently written in an article in the New York Times and El Pais

Previously, Ms. Allard launched another very popular game "Making money on oil" that is currently used by many students. In this game, students are commodity traders betting on the evolution of the oil price consequently to certain events.

As current IE students, we had the opportunity to directly experience this game during the Managerial Economics class with Professor Allard. It has been absolutely a great way to understand the economics dynamics in a extremely funny, engaging and challenging way!

May 31, 2012

People who are Better People than Me

Alright, in our previous posts on education (such as this), we have focused on gamification around the world.  Now we are going to bring it back to my home country, the United States, where you can find a lot of new start-ups trying to integrate gamification into their products. Gamedesk, a non-profit out of California, is trying to do this on a much broader scale by targeting at-risk youth.  To quote Beth Shiroshi from AT&T (Hat tip Coexist and Mindflash)

"We decided we were going to aim for exponential change in education"

That is a huge statement, but yet again it just goes to show that gamification isn't simply a nice buzzword... it is actually a revolution in how we combine learning with psychology.  And while it is sure nice to make a buck or two off of this new technique, it is good to know that there are groups of people out there such as Gamedesk who are doing this for free.

May 29, 2012



In previous blog postings, we have defined Gamification, shown statistical data on Gamification utilization in different businesses, and gave examples on different industries that use Gamification (Health & Education). Now comes the time to MEET NITRO!

Nitro, a product introduced by BunchBall [an industry leader in gamification, founded on 2005, based in silion valley] - is a cloud-based platform that promises to bring gamification to your doorstep! According to bunchball.com, “Nitro currently serves up to 70 million unique users and 2.3 billion actions each month”. These numbers are worth a pause!

What does Nitro do? 

Nitro basically employs game mechanics to any website or online service, in order to elevate/ push engagement and loyalty in your community to the next level. Think of it as spicing up your site or online service, in a smart way, that enables you to keep the reader/ participant coming over and over, Grow your audience, and Turn USERS into FANS, Increase sales & productivity…


What are your viewers doing? Results of viewer’s behaviors? Rewards change without re-engineering? Users behavior analysis?
Utilizing NITRO & NITRO ANALYTICS in REAL-TIME, you will be able to manage all of the above mentioned.

The video below, titled "Nitro For Salesforce: Gamification app for Salesforce.com!" illustrates how to motivate and enhance your sales force team utilizing Gamification, through the NITRO platform. Manual incentive programs are obsolete .. Welcome to a gamified world!

(source: www.bunchball.com & www.youtube.com)

Gamification in the Workplace?

No, really... I'm working

Most of our posts thus far have been about how gamification relates to actual products.  This is for good reason, since there has been a great focus on how making mundane tasks fun can increase one's level of interest in said activity.  However, Forbes recently had a great article on how gamification can increase work production in three areas that people don't normally think about: 1) Recruiting 2) Learning and Development and 3) Health.  

Given that we have now moved into a knowledge-based economy, businesses have to have a renewed focus on making their employee's lives better.  Seeing that money alone is not a good motivator, businesses have turned to other methods to try to attract new employees and enliven those that they currently have.  While slides and swings in the office are a good start, perhaps gamifying the office is a better solution?

Is gamification BS?

While doing some research for our blog I ran into a very interesting posting by Ian Bogost who firmly believes gamification is an evil tool that serves no purpose but to comfort marketing folks about having a game strategy.

Bogosts describes gamification as a perversion to what once was the "mysterious , magical, powerful" world of videogames turning them into nothing more than another greedy media to hypnotize consumers.

As you know by now, here at Game On, we believe gamification is a lot more than low quality, empty videogames. For us this is one more tool to engage your consumers and if anything else, make their every day more fun (while keeping brand in mind). We are aware that there are a lot of empty applications out there, but hey! if there is something that can push us to help others, workout, be more productive and have fun at the same time, we are all for it!

What about you? Do you see a value in gamification or think it is just another marketing fad?

May 26, 2012

Gamification in Indian Education

Will gamification in India lead to more Chess champions?
Sorry, had to get my chess picture quota of the day

My previous article on Gamification within Education dealt with the general concept; however a new story recently came out about gamification within the Indian education system.  To quote the piece:

Gamification, or using gaming techniques to explain concepts, is a happening trend among Indian students these days. It has been identified as among the Top-10 technology trends for 2012 by audit and consultancy firm Deloitte. Classtopper.com, for one, has over 10,000 users logging in just a month after its launch in India. 

 This just further goes to show that not only is gamification a major education issue, but it is also a business as well.  The article (which you can find here) talks about how gamification in India affects both the young and the old.  Therefore not only does it go across educational subjects, but it pretty much can be applied to everyone from ages 3 to 103 (Sorry great-grandma!).

Helping while you learn

This time instead of sharing another business application of gamification I would like to introduce you to freerice.com. This free, non-for profit site was founded in 2007 by the United Nations World Food Programme and through a very simple yet addictive game allows you to collect rice that will then be donated to hungry countries all around the globe.

The game consists of guessing questions, for every correct answer you donate 10 grains of rice. This might sound like a little, but in 4 years freerice.com has donated 6100 metric tons of rice and fed millions of people in places like Cambodia, Haiti, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. 

As you can see from our last couple of posts gamification goes well beyond a money making tool. It can also be used to create awareness of a social problem and help us get through difficult situations. 

May 24, 2012

Gamification in Hospitals

Going along with the theme of Gamification in fields with social consequences, here is a story about how Gamification is helping patients within a hospital overcome their difficulties.  Produced by Cundari, the application allows kids to express their pain and also do daily activities designed to overcome it.  Seeing as this is currently being developed for young kids with Cancer, it simply goes to show that gamification can have powerful applications beyond the juvenile traits some assign to games.

Take a look at the main article here http://bit.ly/KSl69V, and a massive hat-tip to our friends over at http://gamification.co/

May 20, 2012

It’s all part of a Game

Is this gaming concept something new? Or have companies been using this concept for a long time? Although many of us might think that this is an innovation, using gamification as a relationship tool has existed for a long time.

The first example that strikes the mind is the award’s points in your credit card. Yes, you might be thinking, “why didn’t I think of that?” Well, awarding points is just one type of game strategy that companies use better classify and maintain you as a customer. Airline companies also use gaming strategies, but in a different way, they want to turn a sporadic flyer into a frequent flyer. How do they do it? Well, if you fly 50 thousand miles, you get one ticket for free, or if you fly a certain amount of miles in one year, you’ll receive an upgrade in your status (see table).

Does this sound just a little bit like a game? Where someone needs to collect points in order to get a price. Now, going back to the credit card example, doesn’t this also apply? Don’t we have to keep buying in order to obtain more points?

And for what, to get prices, free airline tickets, access to private lounges, etc. This are just some examples of how gamification has worked in the past and is still at work now.

But the question you might be asking yourself now is, how have this evolved. I know that this has existed for a long time but what are the new trends in gamification.

I can assure you dear reader, that this blog will answer all of those questions in the future.

May 10, 2012

Enterprise Gamification

Do you guys remember the first post was a little bit about the blogging team? Well hello, I'm the HR one. So duh, guess what caught my eye when I was reading up on gamification. It’s use as human resource strategy!

Jeanne Meister co-founder of HR research firm Future Workplace and co-author of the book The 2020 Workplace says,"Games help you develop the types of skills you'll need to be successful in the future workplace: collaboration, negotiating, influencing, management of virtual teams,"

This emerging trend is called Enterprise Gamification and here are a few examples I read on business insider, illustrating the same:

Recruiting: Companies are experimenting with games on Facebook to recruit new hires. For example, about a year ago Marriott launched the My Marriott Hotel game on Facebook, patterned after Farmville and Cityville. Gamers create their own restaurant and hotel where they buy equipment, hire and train employees. They earn points for happy customers and lose points for bad service. Those who are good at the game are encouraged to apply for some of the company's 50,000 job openings worldwide.”

I was a recruiter, so I say bravo Marriot, for being so creative and a leader!

Training: Turning corporate training into games is a no brainer. Meister travels around giving seminars. She used to send participants reading material to prep for her classes. Recently, she converted that stuff into a game on her web site using a tool from Badgeville.com. The first two participants in each class to finish the game, win a gift card. Instead of participants blowing off the reading assignment, now they race to finish it.

Making dull jobs fun: The Royal Observatory Greenwich needed to analyze over 100,000 images of solar storms, but sifting through these to find the important ones was a dull chore for scientists, reports the Gamification blog. So they tapped into an army of citizen volunteers willing to help. But these volunteers needed training to know what to look for. So they created a game called My Solar Stormwatch. As volunteers gained knowledge to interpret the images, they unlocked new, harder levels of the game. Everyone won.

Games are fun, addictive, challenging and, done right, tap into our competitive sides that make us want to work harder.”

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/lookout-this-is-the-next-big-it-buzzword-and-its-awesome-2012-4#ixzz1stmxlLaj

May 7, 2012

Jane McGonigal talks about Gamification on TED

 I love TED talks! I learn more from them than from reading something so I want you to see this to really understand the power of what we call gamification. And yes also to enjoy the creativity of the talk as is prevalent in most TED talks. How our lives have changed because of technology is just amazing. Here is a sneak peak of the amazing that lies ahead.

Introducing to you Jane McGonigal, speaking passionately about the world of games and using it to make a better world. #socialentrepreneurship #revolutionary.

May 3, 2012

Gamification in Education Pt. 1

We all remember sitting in a classroom, staring at a screen for hours upon hours wishing that we could play a game. Even on those lucky days when our teachers said we had games, the end result was usually just a poor excuse for entertainment. Whether you are from the generation that had Hangman, Oregon Trail, or even Angry Birds, you probably realized that there were better ways to learn material while still having fun.

As a former teacher myself, I know that I struggled constantly to maintain my students’ attention. Despite the dulcet tone of my voice, I had the usual gaggle of sleepers and day-dreamers. Like most teachers, I tried to integrate some fun into my lectures. I made sure to include tongue-twisters and word games in my English classes, while my science students were able to perform experiments and egg drops (ridiculously amusing when you have to save the egg from a two-story drop). However, the classes that my students looked forward to the most were the ones when we pulled out the computer and played educational games there.

This new generation doesn’t just think different figuratively, they think differently in a neuroscientific way. Given the recent study on the mind of regular teenage gamers, it is safe to say that many youth respond better to educational tools that mimic the games that they play for fun. A Psychology Today report expanded on this further by stating that this research can be used by “teachers to increase their [students] brains' motivation to be attentive class participants, do homework with focus, and even reverse school negativity to reignite the joy of learning.” While this is all fine and dandy for the younger generations, is there anything that can be extrapolated to the population as a whole?

That is of course debatable, but I know for myself as a language learner (and I guess as an MBA student too), I struggle to motivate myself when I can only see the big picture. Thankfully, Busuu.com has taken this knowledge about gamification and created a language-learning tool that will suite most of us better than rote language learning. By incorporating a step-by-step language lesson, along with various games to keep us interested, Busuu successfully combines the world of gaming with languages. And you know it has to be a good website since it was built by a couple of IE Business School alums.

So while most of us had to go through learning conjugations and math formulas in a rote fashion, the kids today will likely be able to enjoy school learning a bit more than we did thanks to gamification.

1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-15720178
2) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/radical-teaching/201110/neuroscience-insights-video-game-drug-addiction
3) http://www.busuu.com/

April 24, 2012

Why does it Work? - Future of Gamification.

 ‘’why does Gamification work?’’

The concept of ‘’games’’ is adopted in this regard, since by human nature (for elders as much as it is for youngsters), games satisfy ones curiosity. 

Many reasons as to why people may love such games, and yes, some get addicted to them. One can think of the stress relief and relaxation these games provide, as they trigger a different part of the brains. The new broad dimension of social networking and mental simulation are yet other reasons that are driving these numbers higher with every tick of the clock. 
Not to miss on the competitive spirit, the fun and the excitement this tool provides to the user… a set of reasons that a Tv, a radio or a billboard lack in the 21st century!

Gamification is the future:

The following schematic shows the spot gamification occupies with respect to other emerging technologies in the year 2011, taken from: www.bunnerworks.com

According to www.mashable.com, in an article written by Sarah Kessler, the number of players per day that play social games has jumped over 30 million players worldwide. When comparing this number to 24 million views for the prime TV show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ one got to pause and think twice of the power this social gaming has!

According to the same article, some 56 million Americans spend their time playing social games !!!

April 20, 2012

Become a Google Doodler

Become a Google Doodler - Apply now!

Women's Day 2012
Woman's Day 2012
Designers, creatives, and illustrators pay attention: Google is desperatly looking for a full-time «doodler».

What is a doodler? The doodlers are those designers that every day reinterpret the Google logo in different amazing ways using as main inspirational driver a specific event that happened in the past.
Ernest Shackleton's Birthday
This represents a great example of gamification since it is an engaging way to spread information among all Internet users in a non-gaming context, like the homepage of a web search engine.

In particular, google doodle daily provides information on some specific historical events or commemorations that we would never have known otherwise.
Some examples of google doodles are related to the date of birth of an important personality, date of an important discovery, commemoration of a day, etc.

The job offer has been recently published some days ago on the Google website on the section jobs.
Anniversary of the First Man in the Space
The only requisites are a strong “sense of humour” and a passion for all the historic, artistic and creative things.
Surely, the candidates need to be able to draw, but remember that it’s the first impression the most important one!