Mischief Theatre and the Contract of Play

TT Mischief Theatre and the Contract of Play

The last year or so has been pants to say the least. Personally it has taken a huge toll on my already dubious at times mental health! However, there has been one shining light since the later stages of 2020 – Mischief Movie Night In from Mischief Theatre.

Mischief Theatre is a group of very talented actors who are incredible improvisation performers. In the Movie Night In shows they take ideas from the internet and audience (Zoom and live when available) and create an improvised one hour movie. The story, characters, direction and even the music is all made up as the go along. I’ll be honest, I have never laughed as much in my life as I have at some of these shows! Read More ...

Why “undo” is critical to ludic design

Undo 1614000681 Why 8220 undo 8221 is critical to ludic design

Ludic, or playful design, involves designing products or experiences through the lens of play. How do you make people feel safe to explore, encourage experimentation and even add some fun?

A while back I introduced my Play Framework, so you can find out more there, but essentially it’s all about creating an environment that focuses on Trust, Safety, Autonomy, Dynamic Goals and Lusory Attitude (that is you approach the experience with a playful attitude).

So where does the undo function in a bit of software like Word come into this, how is that helping with ludic design? Feelin safe is all about not fearing failure. If something goes wrong, you need to feel that it is possible to recover. If you fall over, you should know you can get up and try again – see where this is going? Read More ...

Encourage Play, Don’t Force Fun

Pool table 1570703002 Encourage Play Don t Force Fun

I’ve said it here many times, you can’t force people to have fun. Putting a pool table in the coffee room, forcing everyone to play an online game and join a leaderboard, team building games during inductions etc. All generally seek to force you to have a fun experience. However, as soon as something becomes mandatory or forced, it is very hard (but not impossible) to find it enjoyable.

Of course, if the experience is well designed, even if you are forced to engage with it, it can be fun. There are times during some of those “ice breaker” games that I hate so much, that despite myself I find I am having fun. But those tend to be the ones that create an environment that encourages play – even if it is a little bit structured. Read More ...

Introduction to Gamification Part 3: Games, Play and Toys

Intro to Gamification Part 3 Introduction to Gamification Part 3 Games Play and Toys

In the last part of my introduction to gamification, I explained a little about my thoughts on Games Based Solutions, but I didn’t really explain what a game actually is. The reason for that is, it is a little complicated from an academic perspective. Now, that doesn’t really affect you in a business setting or as you undertake your job as a gamification designer, but it is always useful to have a deeper understanding of things you are speaking about.

Play

Let’s start with play as this is the foundation of games. There are many thoughts on play, I have a whole ebook and sections of Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play dedicated to it. However, in this introduction series, I want to try and keep things simple! Read More ...

Practical Play Framework

Practical Play Framework 2 Practical Play Framework

Serious games and serious play both have an issue. The issue is, the word serious. It sounds far too, well, serious!

I have heard lots of people complaining about this, somewhat misunderstanding what the serious refers to. “Why can’t it be fun, not serious?” “Serious does not sound fun, that can’t be right!”

Obviously the serious in these terms is there to differentiate entertainment focused and non-entertainment focused games. That is to say, games that we play just to enjoy the experience and games that we play to achieve something, such as learning and skills acquisition. Read More ...