2016 Roundup

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It’s that time of year again! The end of year round up. Quite a lot of blogs this year, though a little slower at the end ūüėČ

It has been a mixed year for me. It was my first full year of working in gamification, for better or worse! I’m very happy where I am though so all good. I’ve spoken about everything from the future to how I shave since the start of the year.

A massive highlight was getting the Contribution to the Industry award at Gamification World Congress, which was a huge honour!

Well, for now, have an awesome Christmas and a good start to 2017, speak soon!

1) Leaderboards: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Posted on December 16, 2016Leaderboards: The Good, The Bad and The UglyLeaderboards have been a staple of gaming and gamification for as long as both have existed. From Space Invaders, to baseball, to your gamified CRM system – all have had leaderboards in there somewhere. The reasoning goes “if you are the top, you feel special and if you are at the bottom, you don’t want‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

2) The Mercenary User Type

Posted on December 14, 2016The Mercenary User TypeWith the news that a hacker group is using gamification to try and get people to engage in DDoS attacks, I got to thinking about what type of user may wish to engage with this. Initially,¬†the Disruptor sprang to mind, more specifically the Destroyer type. They act on the system to disrupt it and normally‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

3) Exploring the Meta-Rules of Play

Posted on December 9, 2016Exploring the Meta-Rules of PlayIn my last blog, I introduced the concept of Meta-Rules. These were the non-system or inherent rules that actually guide how people play. I spoke about them rather abstractly, describing them in the following way These [meta-rules] rules are beyond what you would consider written or system imposed rules. These are fluid rules that can‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Gaming

4) Playing with Thought Experiments and Meta-Rules

Posted on November 22, 2016Playing with Thought Experiments and Meta-RulesNo great insights into gamification in this post, more me revisiting play, toys and games – again. When I need to clear my mind of clutter, I tend to consider the nature of play. That is probably why I write about it so much! I doodle about it on the plane, at night, when I‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Gaming

5) Gamification as a Strategy

Posted on November 14, 2016Gamification as a StrategyThe world loves a good aaS. Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Cloud as a Service. Everything these days seems to be “as a Service”. That means, of course, that Gamification platform providers have started to speak about Gamification as a Service. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, though I do find‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

6) Experience Points and Gamification – Getting it Wrong

Posted on November 7, 2016Experience Points and Gamification - Getting it WrongGamification often uses points, deal with it. They can form a solid backbone to a system, after all, they are just a granular form of tracking and record keeping! My issue today is with a misconception about using experience points in gamification. In games, we know that experience points are used in many titles. In‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Gaming

7) GWC16 – Well That Just Happened!

Posted on October 31, 2016GWC16 - Well That Just Happened!Last week was the 5th edition of Gamification World Congress. I have to admit, it was great fun. There were some extremely¬†good talks, I especially enjoyed the parallel¬†stage that had¬†a nice mix of academic and practical talks going on. A couple of highlights for me were Kevin Werbach and Yu Kai Chou. Kevin spoke about‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

8) Come and Play with Ninja Monkey Bot

Posted on October 17, 2016Come and Play with Ninja Monkey BotI’m playing with an AI bot, meet Ninja Monkey Bot. It is a learning bot, with a few pre-programmed answers. Have a play! More…Posted in Gamification

9) The Future of Gamification

Posted on October 10, 2016The Future of GamificationRecently I was honoured to be asked to be part of a documentary¬†about games, their history, and evolution. One of the questions that I was asked that really got me thinking was “What is the future of gamification?” I am asked this quite often and tend to go with a safe answer. In my view,‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

10) Play in Context

Posted on September 26, 2016Play in ContextAs you may know, the concept of play is very important to me. I feel that it is one of the true keys to engagement in adults, but as I was speaking about recently, adults often have no idea how to play. They have the intrinsic desire to play battered out of them by the‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

11) Product Gamification Summit

Posted on September 23, 2016Product Gamification SummitHi Guys Recently I had the opportunity to record an interview about gamification for the Product Gamification Summit. This is an online event with free and paid options that contains interviews with about 30 experts in product creation, gamification and¬†monetization. You will get to see favorites of mine like Amy Jo Kim, Nir Eyal, Roman‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

12) I’m Too Busy and Important to Play Games

Posted on September 20, 2016I'm Too Busy and Important to Play GamesEveryone who is involved in gamification has hit this same problem, someone who thinks they are just too busy or important to play games. You are in a meeting, selling gamification like a bad ass and you get hit with a comment like “I don’t like games” or “My employees¬†are busy and important, they won’t‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

13) Gamification User Types HEXAD Validation Study

Posted on September 16, 2016Gamification User Types HEXAD Validation StudyI thought it would be good to finally show you all the research results from Austrian Institute of Technology and HCI Games Group, Games Institute, University of Waterloo and of course Gamified UK around the User Types and the survey. The link below will take you to a blog written by one of the researchers,‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

14) 10 Top Gamification Tips – And A Question

Posted on September 13, 201610 Top Gamification Tips - And A QuestionHi there you lovely, lovely gamification enthusiasts! First off, I wanted to collate 10 tips for gamification greatness that I published on Twitter not long ago. Keep these in mind and you are destined for great things… probably. Recognise don‚Äôt bribe. Challenge don‚Äôt patronise. Focus on solving the problem not on forcing fun. Record everything‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

15) Making a Free To Play (F2P) Strategy That Doesn’t Suck

Posted on September 6, 2016Making a Free To Play (F2P) Strategy That Doesn't SuckAs a parent, Free To Play (F2P) games are the joy and bane of my life in equal measure. Kids these days seem to be near impossible to entertain for any length of time. This being the case, video games are like comics were in my day – plentiful and cheap, especially on mobile platforms.‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Gaming, Rants

16) Fun and Gamification?

Posted on August 30, 2016Fun and Gamification?Often when people talk about gamification, they speak about adding fun to everyday work related¬†tasks. The whole Mary Poppins “A Spoonful of Sugar” analogy pops up regularly. ¬†Anyone who has stuck with this blog for a while will know exactly how I feel about her… The trouble with fun is how you define it. The‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

17) What Can My Shaving Routine Teach Us About Gamification?

Posted on August 22, 2016What Can My Shaving Routine Teach Us About Gamification?Yeah I know, a bizarre title for a blog. Anyone who follows me on twitter will know that I am a bit obsessed with finding a decent shave. I have always hated shaving with a passion. My skin always comes out in a rash, it is time-consuming and just a ball ache. I have tried‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

18) Three Rules for Meaningful Rewards in Gamification

Posted on August 20, 2016Three Rules for Meaningful Rewards in GamificationRewards can be very powerful, which is why I have spoken about them so many times! I already wrote about the three keys of rewards (Relevant, In-Time and Meaningful). However, I wanted to just blast out a quick post on the meaningful bit of that! 1 and 2 are essential, 3 is a very big‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

19) Target Gamification – My Top 9 Gamification Elements

Posted on August 18, 2016Target Gamification - My Top 9 Gamification ElementsThere are some questions I am asked more than others. Today I want to give a slightly longer answer to one of them than usual! The question? “What is your favourite gamification element?” My usual answer fluctuates between feedback (which covers anything from verbal to full online economies) or progress, which I have written about‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

20) Gamified UK Gamification Consultancy is in Business

Posted on August 15, 2016Gamified UK Gamification Consultancy is in BusinessI am excited to announce that as of today, Gamified UK is officially¬†opening it’s doors as a gamification consultancy. Offering services such as solution design, talks, training and software audits I plan to add more value to the gamification industry by doing what I love. What does this mean for the site? Well, I will‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

21) What’s in a Name Like Dave Rage?

Posted on August 2, 2016What's in a Name Like Dave Rage?A question that I am asked quite often, relates to my chosen Twitter name – @daverage. Before we get into that, I want to clear one thing up. It is Dave Rage, not the Excel function, DAverage! Back to the story. ¬†Dave has-been with me since university. On one of the first nights in the‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Just for Fun, Social Media

22) Using familiarity and Nostalgia to Boost Gamification and On-Boarding

Posted on July 27, 2016Using familiarity and Nostalgia to Boost Gamification and On-BoardingIf there is one thing that Pokemon Go has shown me, it‚Äôs that nostalgia is a powerful tool in onboarding. The main reason I played it to start with? I used to love Pokemon ‚Äď just like everyone else I knew. I was around 16 or 17 when it first appeared on the Gameboy in‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Gaming

23) Pokemon Go: The Good, The Bad and Some Lessons

Posted on July 22, 2016Pokemon Go: The Good, The Bad and Some LessonsWriting about Pokemon Go is almost as popular as actually playing it, so I thought I would join in the trend. TL:TR It’s great fun¬†but needs to have some careful consideration around safety concerns In case you have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, let me just set the scene.‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification, Gaming, Just for Fun, Technology

24) Save Your Best Songs for the Encore

Posted on July 19, 2016Save Your Best Songs for the EncoreYears ago I read an interview with a musician (whose name escapes me), where he was giving advice to new musicians. There was lots of good stuff, but the one that really stuck with me was this. Save your best songs for the encore, even if you never get the chance to play them. At‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification, Gaming, Opinion

25) New Gamification User Type Test

Posted on July 13, 2016New Gamification User Type TestHi all. Lots of changes on the go at the moment, but one big one is an overhaul of the User Type Test. In collaboration with the Austrian Institute of Technology and HCI Games Group, this new test has been validated and should provide a much more accurate set of results over time. It is‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

26) [News] RNLI creates Minecraft beach survival game to teach water safety to children

Posted on July 6, 2016[News] RNLI creates Minecraft beach survival game to teach water safety to childrenThis Summer, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is launching year two of the charity‚Äôs Beach Builder Challenge using the interactive video game, Minecraft, which allows children to create and build virtual worlds. The Beach Builder Challenge, available to play from 1 August, has been created by the RNLI to teach children about beach and‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification, Gaming

27) Choice Architecture and Gamification

Posted on July 4, 2016Choice Architecture and GamificationThe more I play games, the more I realise just how important having choices that are meaningful, or at least feel meaningful. One of the key features that separates games from other media is that the player is put at the centre of the story and can interact with it, you are not just “along‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

28) 6 Tips for Short Term Gamification

Posted on June 23, 20166 Tips for Short Term GamificationA question I get asked a great deal is “Are points, badges and leaderboards enough?” The stock answer from me is usually a resounding “No, you must consider motivation and the needs of the user, think RAMP and more…” In fairness, this is good advice and you should consider intrinsic motivation over extrinsic and the‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

29) A Story of Loyalty: Gamification World Congress 2015 Talk

Posted on June 15, 2016A Story of Loyalty: Gamification World Congress 2015 TalkJust thought I would share the video of my talk on loyalty and Christmas turkey from Gamification World Congress 2015 0 https://youtu.be/iA906TwIHUU To give some context for the start – Bart Briers had just described me as The King of Gamification! At the end, I also caught him out as the talk was only 12‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Loyalty

30) Using Boredom and Curiosity to your Advantage

Posted on June 13, 2016Using Boredom and Curiosity to your AdvantageCuriosity is something that always interests me. I have written about it in the past, but was drawn to looking at it again recently. There are several theories about what curiosity is and how it works;¬†Curiosity Drive Theory, Optimal Arousal Theory, Incongruity Theory and probably more. They all deal with different aspects of what curiosity‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

31) Honesty and Transparency

Posted on June 10, 2016Honesty and TransparencyToday I have been reminded about the importance of Honesty and Transparency when dealing with people. If I ask a question from someone who is in a service industry, what I hope for is an honest and transparent answer. What you often get is a baffling set of half-truths and utter bullshit. I have spoken‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Rants

32) Are You Building a Solution Looking for a Problem?

Posted on May 31, 2016Are You Building a Solution Looking for a Problem?One of the big issues I see in gamification and many young industries is the issue of building a solution for problems that don’t really exist! “We are using a gamified solution to increase engagement”. “Awesome, why?” “Um, because it will¬†increase engagement…” “Cool, but why, what problem have you identified that can only be solved‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Opinion

33) Learn to Problem Solve, Play and Have Fun – Not Code

Posted on May 24, 2016Learn to Problem Solve, Play and Have Fun - Not CodeI keep seeing articles stating why everyone should learn to code. The same message is aimed at adults and children, pointing to a new type of digital literacy needed to survive in the new world. I myself have known how to do code in one form or another since my dad showed me BASIC at‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

34) What Makes a Good Serious Game?

Posted on May 19, 2016What Makes a Good Serious Game?One of the privileges I¬†have as a gamification “expert”, is to look at many different solutions This includes getting to look at and review serious games from time to time. Over the last couple of years, i have come up with an unwritten list of things I look for in serious games to judge if‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification, Gaming

35) Guest Post: Game Thinking in Business Education

Posted on May 13, 2016Guest Post: Game Thinking in Business EducationAnother guest post, this time from Roberto Alvarez Bucholska. Leave feedback and show your appreciation ‚Äď I am sure he would be happy to answer any questions! Business education may sound very formal and boring to many, but there‚Äôs no reason why studying an MBA can‚Äôt have engaging and fun learning materials. And that‚Äôs what‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification, Gaming

36) What does HEXAD stand for?

Posted on May 11, 2016What does HEXAD stand for?A question no one has been asking was “What does HEXAD actually stand for?” Well, I thought it was time to make something up to satisfy that question that no one wants the answer to! First off, Hexad just means a group or set of six – that is why it was chosen. I needed‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

37) When Should I Start Thinking About Gamification in My Product?

Posted on May 4, 2016When Should I Start Thinking About Gamification in My Product?TL:TR NOW! A question I am often asked is “I am making a new product, when should I start looking at gamification?” That is usually¬†combined with “How much will it cost?” The answer to the second is linked to the first, but the first is much easier to answer! Essentially, if you are considering gamification‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

38) Guest Post: Finding Inspiration in Biology for Creating Game-Like Experiences

Posted on April 25, 2016Guest Post: Finding Inspiration in Biology for Creating Game-Like ExperiencesAnother guest post for you guys from Sal Deniz. I got chatting to him on twitter about his latest project Termling and how he had used his background in biology to create a great avatar maker for his gamified learning app. It is quite technical and speaks about how he leveraged HTML5 canvas and the‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

39) Simulation Breaks Free in Game Thinking

Posted on April 21, 2016Simulation Breaks Free in Game ThinkingWell, it has been a long time coming – but Simulation has finally broken free from Serious Games in my Game Thinking “framework”. It will take a while for me to update everything, but I wanted to share the draft entry for simulations in Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play.User Experience, Gamification and ConsistencySo, once again toilets have taught me something, this time about consistency, and I wanted to pass that on to you. It will seem really simple, but it is something that happens on a regular basis and is annoying as hell. Let me tell you a quick story. I was at Heathrow airport, as I‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

41) Gamification: A thought for those who don’t want it.

Posted on March 31, 2016Gamification: A thought for those who don't want it.One of the blockers for gamification is often staff feeling insulted in some way by it. Whether it is because they feel the money could have been better spent, that the concept is beneath them or just that they are resistant to any change at all. It is true that gamification is often used in‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Opinion

42) New Site Covering Global Serious Games Industry News Launched

Posted on March 30, 2016New Site Covering Global Serious Games Industry News LaunchedI don’t often post press releases on this site, but I thought this one was worth doing! The serious games industry has a new global news site, the first international medium authored by journalists dedicated to covering serious games —¬†www.seriousgamesindustry.com. Updated daily, the site covers worldwide news, interviews and case studies of companies using serious‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Gaming

43) Excel Template to Calculate Activity Value

Posted on March 21, 2016Excel Template to Calculate Activity ValueA while back I wrote an article about how you have to balance the reward value of activities against the value to the client, user and effort. The basic idea was that if a user has to work hard to get a reward, it had better be worth something. At the same time, if the‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

44) Fair Play: More Important than Rules

Posted on March 17, 2016Fair Play: More Important than RulesIn gamification, we often talk about rules. They split games from play, fair from foul. However, just because you have rules, does not mean that everyone will feel that the game is fair! This came to mind when I watched my youngest daughter’s reaction to being told she could not take a teddy bear to‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification, Gaming

45) Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play: Errata

Posted on March 14, 2016Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play: ErrataI would like to thank Alisa Odincova for pointing out an error in the references for Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play. ‚Äú[…] a word like ‚Äúgame‚ÄĚ points to a somewhat diffuse ‚Äúsystem‚ÄĚ of prototype frames, among which some frame-shifts are easy, but others involve more strain‚ÄĚ Ludwig Wittgenstein Marczewski, Andrzej (2015-10-12). Even Ninja Monkeys‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

46) Progress: Central to Gamification

Posted on March 2, 2016Progress: Central to GamificationWhen we look at the 5 Ps of gamification, it is very easy to overlook all of the meanings of Progress. Just as a reminder, the 5 Ps are; Purpose, Progress, Proficiency,¬†Pride and People. 5 P’s of gamification

Progress can mean different things to different people. If you ask the great‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

47) Where is the Killer / Winner Type in your HEXAD?

Posted on February 26, 2016Where is the Killer / Winner Type in your HEXAD?This is a question I get asked all the time. “I love it, but where is the Killer/ Winner type?” The first thing to address here is that Winner and Killer are not interchangeable terms in the world of types. In Bartle’s types, the Killer is a type of player who gets pleasure from domination‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

48) Gamification Thoughts in the Medium of Memes

Posted on February 22, 2016Gamification Thoughts in the Medium of MemesHi all, busy week last week, but did get time to throw out some words of “wisdom” via memes. I thought I would put them here for easy reference and explain on of them a little better! Engagement is… I think this first one is pretty self-explanatory. Engagement is about people‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

49) An Interview With Dr David Chandross

Posted on February 11, 2016An Interview With Dr David ChandrossI have been pleased to call David Chandross a friend for a couple of years now. We ‚Äúmet‚ÄĚ through our shared love of games and gamification over Twitter and Facebook. Since then I have come to know him as a fierce proponent of using games to help people learn and gain a deeper understanding of‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

50) Do Things Just Because They Amuse You

Posted on February 9, 2016Do Things Just Because They Amuse YouAnyone who knows me, knows that I often do stuff simply because it amuses me. A good example of that is the title of my book, Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play. I went through dozens of iterations whilst trying to come up with a name. In the book there is an official reason for‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Opinion

51) Gamification: Meaningful Choice

Posted on February 5, 2016Gamification: Meaningful ChoiceHeavy Rain. That was the name of the game that first made me understand that meaningful choices could take a game to new levels of immersiveness. If you have never heard of it, Heavy Rain was a PS3 exclusive in 2010 from game makers Quantic Dream. You played the roles of several people through a‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

52) “If This Then That” Logic in Gamification

Posted on February 1, 2016One of the things I love about coding is the simple logical basis that it is all built on.¬† A lot of it can be boiled down to four simple words: If This Then That. If a condition is met, then do something. There is obviously more to it than that. We have And, Or,‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

53) Gamification: What’s Play Got to do, (Got to do) with it?

Posted on January 25, 2016Gamification: What's Play Got to do, (Got to do) with it?When I was researching my definition of gamification, I had a few major dilemmas. One of the main ones was the use of Game-Like over Play-Like. Just as a reminder, I define gamification in the following way: The use of game design metaphors to create more game-like and engaging experiences However, it was very nearly:‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification

54) The Gamification Hexad Saves My Classroom! Guest Blog

Posted on January 20, 2016The Gamification Hexad Saves My Classroom! Guest BlogWell, this is a first, but I hope you will agree, it is a good first! I was lucky enough to be asked to scan a chapter of a new book that gamification and education expert Scott Herbert was writing. It was all about how he had been making use of my HEXAD in his‚Ķ More…Posted in Education, Gamification

55) Why Games Are So Important – and other news

Posted on January 11, 2016Why Games Are So Important - and other newsIt’s 2016 and what a lot has gone on already! The biggest change is that I am now no longer part of Capgemini. I am now at¬†G2G3 working on gamification – so a dream come true for me! I want to take a moment to thank everyone at Capgemini that supported me over the last‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification, Gaming

56) Free Chapter – And Some Gamification Tips

Posted on January 2, 2016Free Chapter - And Some Gamification TipsJust as New Year passes us, I thought I would throw out a free chapter from my book. It is one of my favorites actually, all about loyalty! Free Chapter on Loyalty Now¬†for the tips¬†mentioned in the title :). If you are looking at gamification in 2016, there are a few things you really need‚Ķ More…Posted in Gamification


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  1. The best post of the year! ūüôā

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Andrzej Marczewski
About Andrzej Marczewski twitter facebook    
Gamification Consultant with Gamification Nation. I love to write about it, talk about it and bore people to death with it! If you really want to get to know me, check out the About page.

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