GamificationShould you give a $%!# ? Noah Falstein
My Background in Brief• Started in the games industry in 1980• Many years on games of all sorts – Sinistar, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, recently Mata Hari, Alan Wake• In 1996 started The Inspiracy – have worked since as a freelance designer and producer on all kinds of titles• Increasingly working on Serious Games
What’s in a name?Simulation EdutainmentSerious Games Gamification
Simulations• Popular since 70’s – Military is still fond of it – But it’s a restricted subset, best for vehicles – Tended to be literal, expensive (esp motion) – Also feels old, creaky now
Edutainment• Popular in 80’s – More market-speak – Glib mashup name – Jazzercise, Dancercise, Infotainment – does not inspire trust – Much of Edutainment was tainted by the Chocolate Covered Broccoli fallacy
Serious Games• Popular in 00’s – Serious implies “very great, bad, dangerous, harmful, or difficult to handle” (#1 def) – Others are not frivolous, trivial or superficial – Some Serious Games aren’t even games
Gamification• Popular now – since 2010 – Best analysis of flaws from Ian Bogost: • www.bogost.com/blog/gamification_is_bullshit.shtml – Another Marketing term – Oversimplified, makes it sound easy, reassuring, “just sprinkle on badges, score” – Chef: “I’m too tired to make dinner, I’ll just cookify some food”
Serious benefits• But there are many positives too• I’ll use the term Serious Games because I find it the most inclusive, and least odious – if you don’t like it, sorry!
What are Serious Games?• A purpose beyond entertainment• Sample fields: – Military – Government (NASA, State Dept, etc.) – Education – all levels – Simulation – Training (esp. Corporate) – First Responders – Social Causes/Political/Commentary – Health (Examples just from this one area)
Creative: Folding@home• Use networked PC, PS3 to do research• Use old skills, new ways, avoid burnout
Challenging: Driving While Distracted• Designed to be played during fMRI• Stretch your abilities – hardest goals!
Commercial: Wii Fit• 22 million units as of May 2010• Make money, diversify studios, income
Compassionate: Dance Dance Revolution• Verified fitness increase, weight loss• Help people with real world problems
Consequential: ReMission• Study in Pediatrics: Saves kids w/cancer• Serve society, fix problems, save lives!
In Summary• Creative – Fresh approaches, redefining games• Challenging – Interesting problems, different fields• Commercial – First steps into what will be a huge market• Compassionate – Helping people with real world problems• Consequential – Shaping opinions, instructing, saving lives!