What Would Mario Do – A Simple Decision Tool!

Mario 1 1 What Would Mario Do 8211 A Simple Decision Tool

Super Mario Bros on the NES has been around for a very long time now, yet still, it exudes class and is a masterclass in game design. One of the reasons for that, in my view, is the simplistic choices that Mario has to make in the early stages of the game – especially the first screen. He has essentially four choices, two when presented with a bad guy and two when presented with an obstacle.

  • Obstacles: Use it, avoid it
  • Bad guys: Kill it, avoid it

So, when Mario is faced with an obstacle, he can try to break – which might yield goodies or just clear his path. He could try to just move around or over it, or he can use it to get to higher parts of the screen (or lower if you consider a pipe taking him to bonus sections). Read More ...

Game Based Solutions – Focus on Outcomes not Methods

After a lovely 3-week break from writing (my longest since about 2012!!), I am back.

I will get back to the “Introduction” series next week and will hopefully compile them into a new book soon as well.

But I wanted to just share a little thought with you.

Gamification, as a term, seems to be getting less popular. Sure, it is still getting search a lot, but I am seeing fewer people using the term to sell products. It is often relegated to the second or third thing on their list if selling points, rather than the first thing as was popular a few years ago. Read More ...

The Man in the Hat: Anxiety, Public Speaking and Dave Rage

I’ve not been shy about talking about my issues with anxiety and depression over the years. They are a part of my life and something that I am not ashamed of these days.

However, not being ashamed of them does not make them go away!

Anxiety is the biggest problem on a daily basis. A large portion of my time is spent wanting to curl up into a ball and hide from the world. cutting any and all contact with other humans. That is part of the reason that I used to love online gaming. I didn’t have to interact with “real” people, there was no expectation that I would have to make eye contact. I could be Dave Rage, cannon fodder grunt in Call of Duty. Read More ...

The Importance of Definitions (and Why They Don’t Matter)

Yep, paradoxical title alert!

Recently I got into a very interesting debate on LinkedIn about the definition of Gamification. Now, I have long had my definition of gamification, one that doesn’t stray too far from the closest thing we have to a “proper” definition.

  • Mine: The use of game design metaphors to create more game-like and engaging experiences.
  • Proper (From Deterding et al): The application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts

Whichever definition you follow or whomsoever you may ask in the industry, 9 times out of 10 you will get something along those lines. The core of most peoples definition revolves around the use of game “bits” to improve things that are not games. What they don’t often say is that it is creating a game. Read More ...

World Mental Health Day

On World Mental Health day, I thought it was important to remind people of one thing. Mental health is not a rude term. It should not have shame or stigma attached to it. If you suffer from any kind of mental health issue, you should not feel you have to hide it.

Over the last few years, I have made no secrets of my issues and struggles with mental health, issues that have plagued me since I was 9 or 10 trying to manage school whilst being seriously dyslexic, getting no support from the school! This, I am sure, is what triggered the start of my problems with depression and anxiety. My Mum also suffered from similar issues, and at least one of my children has similar. Read More ...