Tagged: game thinking


The Game Thinking Spectrum

A quick thought around my original Game Thinking content from a few years back.

I often listen to others talking about gamification, serious games and the like, as if they had no relationship to each other. Whilst it is true that they all require different approaches to develop solutions with, they should not be considered as totally exclusive of one another.

A good gamification consultant will look at the problem they are given and decide what the best solution is for their client based on their needs, not on the semantics surrounding the difference between gamification and serious games. If the solution requires a game, that is what will get made. If it will benefit from gamification, with some learning based games and maybe even a few pure entertainment games, then that is what will get made! Read More ...


Guest Post: Game Thinking in Business Education

Another guest post, this time from Roberto Alvarez Bucholska. Leave feedback and show your appreciation – I am sure he would be happy to answer any questions!

Business education may sound very formal and boring to many, but there’s no reason why studying an MBA can’t have engaging and fun learning materials. And that’s what I do at IE Business School Publishing. As a project manager, it is my task to take the learning objectives and make materials that are interactive, engaging, and even fun if possible. The department has created around 300 interactive materials in over 10 years of experience. Read More ...


Simulation and Game Thinking

Well, 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.

A simulation is a virtual representation of something from the real world, such as a flight simulator. Often this can be hard to distinguish from a game or a serious game, as they look very game like. The difference is that a simulation does not usually need gameplay elements in order to function and fulfil its designed intent. It exists to allow users to practice an activity in a safe environment. Read More ...


What if we could never use the word Gamification again…?

A few days ago on the awesome Facebook group Gamification Hub – I posed the following question.

Andrzej Marczewski

If the word gamification was banned from all usage – what would you replace it with. I’d go with “game thinking” personally.

What followed was a fantastic conversation that I felt deserved to be shared. This is just a small example of the great content this group generates.

Roman Rackwitz

In this case, I would try to get rid off everything that sounds like game (because it will still confuse everyone). Read More ...


Is it gamification if….?

This is a question I get asked all the time. Is it gamification if x,y or z.  Depending on my mood and their question, I answer a little differently at first but always end the same way. Is it taking something that is not a game and making it more game like in some way? If it is, then you could call it gamification – but you are likely to get people complain one way or the other!

As you may or may not know, I have spent a great deal of time trying to organise my thoughts on this and define gamificaiton, which is how I settled on Game Thinking. This is my umbrella term that covers everything from making interfaces look a little more “gamey”, to making full fledged games. Read More ...


4 part SAMR Model to Analyse Gamification

I love coming up with new models and frameworks, I find them really handy and hope that when I share them that others do as well. However, I am also a great believer in not reinventing the wheel!

Recently I happened to see a comment from one of my favourite people on Twitter, Alice Keeler, that mentioned something called the SAMR model. Now, knowing that Alice is an awesome thought leader in the education space, I knew this was probably a model I wanted to look up – and I was right.

What is SAMR?

SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition. It is a model that is used in education to analyse and validate the potential of new technology in the classroom.  They idea is that you put the new technology in question, into one of these four categories. Read More ...


How to Use Game Thinking

A while back I started to introduce my alternative catch-all to Gamification, that is Game Thinking.

Game Thinking takes four common components of game like or games based solutions and puts them under a single banner. Those are Playful Design / Game inspired design, Serious Games, Games and Gamification / Motivational Design (more on that another day). I was asked recently under what circumstances each would be most appropriate, so I hit powerpoint and made the following matrix thingy!

This is very similar to the Thin Layer vs Deep Level gamification model I presented a while ago – though slightly contradictory on the length of gamification engagement, so forgive that one! Read More ...


Playful design vs Game inspired design

When I first started to describe Game Thinking, I talked about gameful design or game inspired design. Part of me was always split about what I really meant. In my mind, these ideas were based on user interface more than anything. So creating menu systems that mirrored ideas seen in games, or creating slightly more fun look and feel.

It wasn’t until I was messing around with the Snapchat interface that I realised what I was really thinking about – playful design. Design ideas that add to the pleasure of using something whilst not necessarily altering the functionality. The example that Snapchat gave me was something I discovered just by playing with the interface. If you go to your chat stream and slide up, the image at the bottom becomes an animation. At the moment it is of the Snapchat ghosts playing football. Read More ...