Gamification, bridging worlds and persons


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Talk presented at Challenges of ICT for Public Policy - Expert Workshop.
London, UK, 2011

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Gamification, bridging worlds and persons

  1. 1. Gamification , bridging Worlds and Persons Nelson Zagalo, Universidade do Minho Challenges of ICT for Public Policy. Expert Workshop. London, UK, 23 March 2011 Universidade do Minho
  2. 2. What do we research? "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand ” Confucius, 551 AC - 479 AC Human and Social Engagement making use of Communication Technologies. Computer research making use of user ’s data.
  3. 3. Our world is evolving into a new realm, where technology is part of our daily life. Not any technology, but digital networked technology, where every machine communicates with every machine, where all data is becoming available to everyone. Technologies and interconnections Central Hubs : computers and servers Networks : online + apps (Facebook, Google, Second Life, etc) Transmitters : GPS, Mobiles Sensors: accelerometers, physiological devices Consequence Metrics for anything and anywhere, in the name of understanding humans needs and consequently to improve human workflows.
  4. 4. “ Achievements and incentives that have wired us into playing Facebook games compulsively will soon be built into everything. Your toothbrush , for instance, will give you 10 achievement points for brushing your teeth in the morning. Then it will give you more points for brushing for the right amount of time . Then it will give you points for brushing every morning in a week . ” Beyond Facebook (Schell, 2010)
  5. 5. The most recognized is the marketing strategy of “loyalty programs”, which can be translated in frequent-flyers programs or supermarkets discount cards. These strategies served companies to persuade customers in coming back for more. In terms of gamification we consider these as simplistic examples, because they mostly make use of only one game mechanic type: the “pointification”. Past examples: loyalty programs Gamification goals is not simply to put game strategies at use of another domain, but instead to really bring the game enjoyment into other dimensions of our lives. Using games to teach, or talk about real life domains is not new, we had that in the 90 ’s with the concept of “ Edutainment ”, and then again in 2000’s with the “ Serious Games ” label. The main problem with these approaches was that, they had no real interest in entertaining the player but only to teach specific content and transmit a specific set of learning messages, independently of the structure, form and gameplay used. Past examples: edutainment & serious games
  6. 6. Projects like “Nike+” make use of shoes equipped with sensors, connected with an iPod and to a social network, where all “friends” can follow the achievements of each other, creating a sort of social pressure. There are not only points, but also goals with respective achievements which can contribute to status differentiation, and the integration of these mechanics within a social network creates a balance where each practitioner persuades the other, with no need for an external element to serve as coach. Project example: Nike+ More Examples Learning and education (Consumer, Digital and Ethics Literacy) Human habits Marketing Religion
  7. 7. Gamification is about translating the way people get engaged in playing games and virtual worlds (e.g. Facebook or Second Life) into real life daily routines like: brushing teeth, eating cereals, or just walking as physical maintenance. For the player this will represent a bridging between worlds and persons. All actions performed by the person be in virtual or real worlds will be accounted and become part of a game interaction through mechanics - points, scores, goals. Data is available to all players in the network and this makes possible social pressure and consequently influence individual behaviours.
  8. 8. 1. Interconnection of databases (for Institutions, companies, etc.) Create standards for privacy that can be used by companies and governments. Easy and comprehensible regulation, that we can access and fill online, that we can understand use and comply with. 2. Ethic ’s Literacy (people, users, players) (e.g. Facebook only obliges you to share real data, but you have the right to share only the amount of data you like.) What we miss is a literacy on ethics. And yes, you need to say what is good and what is bad. This is the base of any group, community, and then of any society. Our relations between humans are based on common perspectives of the world. Before you had religion, and now you have governments to rule this What have the policy to do?
  9. 9. Gamification, bridging Worlds and Persons Nelson Zagalo, Universidade do Minho [email_address] Universidade do Minho