Keeping Children Safe in the Internet Age

Age ratings Keeping Children Safe in the Internet Age

The world children are growing up in now is very different to the world their parents grew up in. Whilst many of the dangers may have stayed the same, the way they present themselves is often beyond the scope of understanding of many parents out there because they have no relevant personal experience to give it all context.

What I want to offer here is a little bit of advice about keeping children safe online and in games, based on my personal experience covering all of those various angles I have mentioned! This is not a definitive list of advice, but I hope it can help some of you. Read More ...

The Paradox of Play

Blurred play The Paradox of Play

Play from the Start

When we are born, we don’t have a set of predefined rules imprinted on us about what we should and shouldn’t do or how we should and shouldn’t do it! Babies have a totally open and clear mind.

They spend their time learning everything they can, using all their senses. They learn the sound of their mother’s voice, the feel of her touch, the scent of her hair, all before they even open their eyes to learn what she looks like.

From that moment on, they are exploring their environment and learning. Everything is new to them, it’s exciting and probably terrifying in equal measure. Strange faces, strange smells, and tastes. People playing peekaboo, talking in strange voices and making odd sounds that should probably mean something, but don’t. They get bounced on knees, thrown in the air, passed around and cuddled like a toy. The experience new things called emotions; love, fear, joy, sadness and more. Read More ...

Strategy: A missing component in Gamification

Chess 1488370945 Strategy A missing component in Gamification

One of the more common questions I get about gamification is “what is the difference between games and gamification”. I have spent lots of time writing about that exact issue, the Game Thinking pieces are my most concrete thoughts about the topic. However, just recently I was playing North vs South on the iPhone and was struck by a blindingly obvious part of games that seems to be missing from most if not all gamification.


Gamification is, in general, becoming much better implemented. The use of narrative, onboarding, intrinsic motivation, well thought out rewards and more. That said strategy does seem to be missing. What do I mean by strategy? Well, the need to plan and consider your actions to create the most desired or best possible outcome. On the surface, it doesn’t seem that gamification offers much opportunity to plan or consider what the consequences of certain actions might be. You just do what the system asks of you and get rewarded! Read More ...

Learning From Games: Battlefield 1, RAMP, User Types and Awesome Gaming

Gamified battlefiled1 Learning From Games Battlefield 1 RAMP User Types and Awesome Gaming

Over Christmas, I started to play Battlefield 1, a game that I was especially looking forward to given my love of the series. I’ve not had as much time to play video games as I would have liked over the last 12 months, so I’ve been making the most of this opportunity. I may even review it for my old and neglected games review site!

Anyway, back on topic. I’ve always loved the series because of how good the multiplayer experience is. Back when Battlefield 1942 first came out it broke the mould by not even bothering with a single player game, a brave and clever move as it turned out. It also put a much tighter focus on teamwork with its “Conquest” mode. This saw teams holding key strategic points on the map for as long as possible. Achieving this required good balance of character classes and a level of teamwork beyond just rushing off and killing things. Read More ...

Exploring the Meta-Rules of Play

Meta rules Exploring the Meta Rules of Play

In 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 change moment by moment. These are the rules that define how play unfolds. These are the unspoken rules that children manage to communicate to each other when they are playing, where the situation is constantly changing, but they always seem to be able to adapt to the changes without fuss Read More ...