Sandy Chen--Author, Designer


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“What's in a Name? Serious Games vs Gamification”

Though serious games and gamification seem to have strong similarities in purpose, desire, and methodology, there are differences in these approaches that can lead to wildly divergent results. Discover what happens when a project is viewed through the “lenses” of serious game developers or gamification experts

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  • Hi I’m Sande Chen. I am the co-author of the book Serious Games Games That Educate Train and Inform. I work as a consultant on serious game and I come from the entertainment game industry, where I have worked as a writer, a designer, and a producer on projects, big and small, for various platforms, including Facebook, console, Web, PC, and mobile. In addition, I have experience working on a gamification project.
  • My topic today is on serious games and gamification. I confess when I first heard of gamification, I thought it was just another way to say serious games – that they were interchangeable I believe that there is confusion and rightly so, between these two terms. They seem to have the same purpose: Both seem to be methodologies that incorporate gameplay mechanics to increase motivation, solidify learning objectives, and spark overall engagement in non-entertainment fields. I have heard others say serious games are a subset of gamification or vice versa. That Serious Games are open-ended simulations whereas gamification are games, or that serious games has no real-world application and is truly in the theoretical realm whereas gamification is the practice of applying game theory to non-entertainment fields. Still others say to me, it’s just a marketing term. Gamification sounds WAY BETTER than serious games.
  • Is it marketing?
  • Term came about at that time because serious game developers wanted to be taken “seriously.” And if you said the word “GAME” then people in those non-entertainment fields, [especially education or the military], thought games were not serious, were not useful, were frivolous pasttimes for kids.
  • Skill transfer, knowledge transfer, attittude transfer…. To deliver a message, teach a lesson, provide an experience. BY INTENTION, or INTENT Contrast bet/ Entertainment Games -- frivolous
  • Expanded definition – game technology, reappropriation of existing entertainment games. Definition of Serious Games since then has broadened
  • Progress bar, feedback mechanisms.
  • FURTHER YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES (whether it’s to promote TV shows, or shopping, or an online community)
  • Anorexia – self-identity, treatment of phobias and anxiety This is a woman who had physical improvement despite not being able to stand on her own. She watched and controlled her avatar in SL perform tai chi exercises each morning as a daily routine.
  • Cross between fitocracy and chore wars – gamification “ Glorified pedometer” “gamification can only take you so far” --
  • Quests are transparent. The only game terminology that’s being used is “quest” You could also call it “workout” schedule.
  • Research Goals. Straight Out Extrinisic Motivation. Decorate Your House. To Buy Power-Ups
  • Fitocracy naysayer – because fitocracy emphasizes community interaction, it’s more about people talking about fitness rather than going out and doing anything about being fit.
  • Sandy Chen--Author, Designer

    1. 1. What’s in a Name? Serious Games vs. Gamification Serious Play Conference August 20, 2013 Sande Chen
    3. 3. EDGY Gamification fFU N
    5. 5. A serious game is a game in which education (in its various forms) is the primary goal, rather than entertainment. From Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train and Inform by David Michael and Sande Chen What is a Serious Game?
    6. 6. The application of gaming technology, process, and design to the solution of problems faced by businesses and other organizations (traditionally non- game markets) Daniel Cook, What is a Serious Game?
    7. 7. The process of game-thinking and game mechanics to engage users and solve problems (in non-game contexts) From Gamification by Design by Gabe Zichermann and Christopher Cunningham What is Gamification?
    8. 8. noun the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service: an_english/gamification What is Gamification?
    9. 9. What are “Game Elements”?
    10. 10. i.e. Points, Badges, Leaderboards
    11. 11. • Visited site 10 • Left Comment 30 • Shared Page 20 • Etc
    15. 15. Virtual World Simulator
    16. 16. Virtual Environments
    17. 17. Gamified Quests
    18. 18. • The player is asked about fitness goals in order to develop a proper training schedule. • Player given a choice of physical activities that would fulfill the weekly “quest.” Virtual “quest” would illustrate how to complete quest properly. • Players check in or send confirmation of activities. Fitness Quests
    19. 19. Variety of quests to meet specific health needs and combat boredom.
    20. 20. Variety of Verifiable Input Devices
    22. 22. User Pages, Badges, & Leaderboards to track participant progress
    23. 23. • Players input spent calories to charge up the Orbs that defend the community against the ever-encroaching Shadow. • Players learn valuable stress reduction skills from the Guardians of the Light. • Players can view a comparative progress report based on individual health or community health. Wither Mechanic
    24. 24. • Blood Pressure • Weight • Aerobic Activity • Virtual Aerobic Activity • Meditative Practices Training • Etc Assigned Point Values in Redeemable Currency Usable in Virtual World Measurements
    25. 25. • Daily Measurements are Broccoli o Are Rewards enough Incentive? o “Glorified Pedometer” • Trainers could be Broccoli o Are Rewards enough Incentive? • Not much of a game o Is it actually Fun? o Requires Community and Social Interaction Objections
    27. 27. An Augmented Reality Game to promote physical and mental well-being GLOW : An Immersive Experience
    28. 28. A Cohesive World COHESION IMMERSION MEANING
    29. 29. Lumeria
    30. 30. • Players collect virtual supplies, uncover clues, and participate in an epic race to recharge an ailing society decimated by an insidious virus. • Players can engage in meditative mini- games, practice yoga, and converse with non-playing characters (NPCs). • Players can view a comparative progress report based on individual health or Adventure Thriller
    31. 31. • Players input spent calories to charge up the Orbs that defend the community against the ever-encroaching Shadow. • Players learn valuable stress reduction skills from the Guardians of the Light. • Players can view a comparative progress report based on individual health or community health. Wither Mechanic (Gamification)
    32. 32. Lumeria is the last refuge of humankind. As an inexplicable virus ravages the populace, the remnants of the digerati download their minds into avatars that live in this vast virtual world. Most Lumerians exist only in digital form, but a few have bodies on stasis. GLOW Story Concept
    33. 33. Life for you, though, is about to change. Lately, the virus has found its way into the digital networks, threatening life in Lumeria. As one of few with available bodies, you are selected for a special mission and sent via side-stepping technology to a parallel world with no taint of the deadly virus. GLOW Story Concept Cont’d
    34. 34. YOUR GOAL It is there where you hope to put together a cure to stop the virus while at the same time, unravel the mystery behind the virus’ beginnings. GLOW Story Concept Cont’d
    35. 35. Since the virus can be spread to Lumeria, it is imperative that you check your vitals and go through a health check before each re- entry to Lumeria. And of course, you wouldn’t want to lose that body of yours… Measurements
    36. 36. • Give players a gameplay reason to learn while entertaining • Players learn through the process of playing the game. “Stealth Learning”
    37. 37. Serious Games are about Game Systems Gamification is about Game Elements In conclusion
    38. 38. Sande Chen @sandechen
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