Playing with Thought Experiments and Meta-Rules

Play thinking 2 Playing with Thought Experiments and Meta Rules

No 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 have time to kill. I always come back to play. Dutch, a friend of mine in the gamification world likened it to Einstein’s “thought experiments”. Of course, I am not comparing myself to Einstein. The only things we have / had in common is dyslexia and a love (at one time) of physics. Read More ...

GWC16 – 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 the need for more rigour in the industry, to start using more empirical data and not just intuition – a cause close to my heart these days! Yu Kai, in the face of his slides not working, pulled off a fabulous talk from the heart about the industry and how important games are to him and us all. Read More ...

Play in Context

As 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 “real” world. Unlike children, they don’t see the potential for play in the world around them. Some blame work for this – they often say that the opposite of play is work. However, I prefer to go with Dr. Stuart Brown’s (founder of the National Institute of Play)  analysis in this case, that the opposite of play is actually depression. Read More ...

I’m Too Busy and Important to Play Games

Everyone 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 want to play games”.

It stops you in your tracks. Your funky coloured trousers and gamification issue converse and hoody seem suddenly childish, your theme and mini games feel unimportant and you start to doubt the point of gamification at all. Talk of millennials and the need to engage them in different ways begins, but this company is full of 50-year-olds so that matters not. Games just have no place in the real world. Every preprogrammed gamification response is met with the same look of disdain. Read More ...

Fair Play: More Important than Rules

In 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 the nursery. The reasons / rules were explained, but that was not of consequence. Up until this point she had always brought toys in and more importantly – so had her friends. “It’s not fair” was about all we could understand through the distraught crying! Read More ...

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