Gamification: Should you care?


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Brief presentation of some reasons why serious games/gamification are bad names but good causes, when done right.

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Gamification: Should you care?

  1. 1. GamificationShould you give a $%!# ? Noah Falstein
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. What’s in a name?Simulation EdutainmentSerious Games Gamification
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. Gamification• Popular now – since 2010 – Best analysis of flaws from Ian Bogost: • – 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”
  8. 8. 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!
  9. 9. 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)
  10. 10. Creative: Folding@home• Use networked PC, PS3 to do research• Use old skills, new ways, avoid burnout
  11. 11. Challenging: Driving While Distracted• Designed to be played during fMRI• Stretch your abilities – hardest goals!
  12. 12. Commercial: Wii Fit• 22 million units as of May 2010• Make money, diversify studios, income
  13. 13. Compassionate: Dance Dance Revolution• Verified fitness increase, weight loss• Help people with real world problems
  14. 14. Consequential: ReMission• Study in Pediatrics: Saves kids w/cancer• Serve society, fix problems, save lives!
  15. 15. 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!
  16. 16. Thank you!Noah FalsteinThe InspiracyEmail:www.theinspiracy.comTwitter, Skype: nfalstein