Bart Hufen about Gamification during TedX Hilversum

This is my talk about the power of play and unlocking creativity to solve problems versus using the game-loop for routine to become better. Feedback is welcome through Twitter @BartHufen #gamification

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Gamification Academy & Game Studies

This year, BrandNewGame and its partners will develop a whole new view on applied game design and gamification development. The model we developed, used and refined will be used in the 9 levels of the ‘Gamification Academy’.  If you are interested in learning more about the Gamification Academy, please send an email to eva at brandnewgame.nl or enroll at the University of Amsterdam. Read the flyer below for more information!

Game studies UvA flyer 2015

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Google’s Aprils fools’ joke – genius gamification project

By Menno Gottmer – Player 2 @BrandNewGame

Last Tuesday companies around the world were once more pranking people on a massive scale. While most of these Aprils fools’ jokes were actually dull, cheesy, or even straight down terrible, one was so ingenious that many still wish it wasn’t actually a joke.

One day before April the first, Google released the following video on YouTube with the title “Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge”.

According to the video’s description: “Dozens of wild Pokémon have taken up residence on streets, amidst forests and atop mountains throughout Google Maps. To catch ’em all, grab your Poké Ball and the newest version of Google Maps for iPhone or Android. Then tap the search bar, “press start,” and begin your quest.”

The video, now seen by more than 12 million viewers, features the announcement of a new job role at Google: “Pokémon Master”. In the video, the Vice President of Google Maps, Brian McClendon, explains a challenge where applicants for this job position have to catch 150 wild Pokémon in various real-world locations using the Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge application. The video features various scenes of applicants trying to catch wild Pokémon in all types of terrain, such as deserts, mountains, forests, and the open sea. McClendon states that “the winner will start at Google at September 1st 2014.”

While this video was convincingly shot, and people at Google (in cooperation with Nintendo) obviously put some real effort into it, it was also obviously a joke. However, to everyone’s surprise, on the next day people using the Google Maps application on IOS or Android could actually see the icons of little Pokémon creatures scattered across the entire world.

What it basically came down to is that only for that day, Google integrated a feature in the Android and IOS Google Maps application, which allowed people to ‘catch’ wild Pokémon by clicking on their icon, and pressing on the button that appeared in the bottom right. The cached Pokémon were subsequently transferred to the ‘Pokédex’, a build-in system that kept track all your newly acquired Pokémon, and also showed how many Pokémon you still has to catch.

People around the world were notifying everyone on the Web about this joke-intended game, and within no time many people were putting aside their mandatory work for a way more fun activity: catching Pokémon! This reaction that was posted on the game related news website Kotaku sums up what many felt during that day:These people were taking the task to catch all 150 Pokémon very seriously. As a result, an entire community emerged that day, consisting of many Pokémon collectors who were helping each other in their shared quest to find all the Pokemon’s locations. Most were located at well-known landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China.

As a gamification enthusiast, I am very eager to find out how many users were using Google Maps during that day, and how these numbers compare to ordinary days. From what I’ve read on social media, blogs, and news websites, many people really enjoyed this gamified version of Google Maps. If Google wants to get more people using the Google Maps application on IOS and Android, similar gamified initiatives seem to be a very effective method. However, the duration of such gamified initiatives remains an interesting point of discussion. From what I’ve read, people were sad that the Pokémon initiative was only for one day. On the other hand, if you are trying to navigate to a particular location and there would be multiple Pokémon icons in your way, that would be somewhat annoying. Anyway, I can’t wait for Google’s next Aprils fools’ joke.

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Neurensics proves positive effects of gamification on our brain

Thanks to Neurensics the positive effect of gamification on our brain has been scientifically proven.

By Menno Gottmer – Player 2 @BrandNewGame

Neurensics is a neuromarketing research and consulting firm based in Holland, that has direct access to high-end neuroimaging techniques. Using these techniques Neurensics can measure the brain activity of potential customers, and subsequently determine the objective motives of these customers. As a result, Neurensics can provide their clients with unique insights into what customers are actually experiencing in their brains when dealing with certain images, products, advertisements, logos and games.

Neurensic’s research has been especially fruitful for KLM, the Royal Dutch Airlines. Early 2012, KLM developed a strategy with the qualitative objective to connect KLM to holiday spirit, and the quantitative objective to acquire people’s email addresses and their preferred holiday destinations. This was a necessary strategy, because KLM was still too often seen as expensive and merely for business, and therefore not top of mind at many holidaymakers. To reach this objective, KLM’s advertising agency developed a thematic campaign with the theme “To what new memory can we bring you?”, for which they created a television commercial.

Besides this campaign, the Crossmedia Division of the Telegraaf Media Group developed an activation campaign. The core of this activation campaign was the “KLM Vakantiespel”, an online revamped version of the well-known Memory card game. Before players could start playing the “KLM Vakantiespel”, they had to upload their portrait photo. The game then processed these photos in various vacation scenario images. As a result, in these images, you as a player could see yourself in a not yet enjoyed holiday in the Middle East, Africa, or any other distant KLM destination. These images were your ‘new memories’, as it were. For each found image match, you received a stamp in your virtual passport with the destination depicted on those matching images. After you finished the game you were asked to choose your preferable holiday destination from all the received stamps. After this, you immediately heard if you won any prices. Every day players could win two tickets to a ‘new memory’. In total, the “KLM Vakantiespel” was played more than 67,000 times, and more than 31,000 players left their email addresses and preferred holiday destinations behind.

Using the neuroimaging techniques of Neurensics, both the thematic campaign and the activation campaign were studied for their effects on the consumer’s brain. The thematic campaign’s television commercial scored positive in the brain on dimensions that are important for buying behaviour. However, Neurensics’ results also showed that the sought connection between KLM and holiday spirit was not made, something the activation campaign’s “KLM Vakantiespel” díd achieve. Neurensics’ objective neurological research showed that the game brought its players in the holiday spirit and also made the KLM brand significantly more relevant to the players. These are interesting results, not only because for the first time the relationship between gamification and brain activity has been demonstrated, but also because previous neurological research already showed that future buying behaviour and self-relevance are strongly interconnected. In short, Neurensics’ research has shown for the first time that keeping people busy with a brand via a game has great value to advertisers.

Unfortunately, many famous brands still turn towards traditional one-way advertising methods, such as television and radio commercials. Although gamification and serious games are becoming increasingly more used for various purposes by various companies, they are still not used that much for brand related purposes. While working at BrandNewGame, I learned that among many of the biggest brands there is still a largely negative connotation towards gaming in general. It would be wise for them to stop burying their heads in the sand, and look at the scientific facts that research firms such as Neurensics provide.

 

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Serious games proven effective as a learning tool

TNO – The leading Dutch research company recently published a report of their extensive research how serious games contribute to the effectiveness of ‘learning’ in an educational environment. The stunning conclusions can be read in the summary below.

“They conclude that play has a firm foundation in evolution and individual development. It not only drives the physical, social and cognitive development of animals and man, but also functions as a behavior generator that simulates the development of new types of behavior and skills.”

There are three main motivators in play: development of competence, the feeling and experience of ‘autonomy’ and self-realization. External conditions that help to increase motivation are feedback and rewards, meaningful goals (in the game) and rules that restrict us to achieve these goals. These elements are all present in my basic ‘Game Design Mechanics’ model that I published over a year ago and it’s nice to see that TNO has scientifically proven I was right 😉

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BrandNewGame – Project overview in less than 5 minutes

 

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One Gamification & Two Serious Game projects LIVE!

I apoligize to people that visit my blog regularly… I have been so busy in the past three months that I did not have time to write new posts…

First of all I am working on a new book called ‘Playing on the Job’ – which will be about using games as a way to make work more fun and effective for employees.

Secondly I am working on a new method of brainstorming, called ‘GameStorm’ (for now)… Check the screenshot. It starts with ‘setting the challenge’ in 1 of the 4 quadrants and then starting with 4/5 people to define actions that people need to start or stop doing to achieve the set challenge, but also define activities that people currently do that are neither productive or destructive (mostly routine work). This way you can eliminate processes and ‘work’ that actually has no effect on the set challenge and optimization of profit… More about the GameStorm later…

Upcoming Monday, we (me and my many partners) will launch three projects.

1. MT Challenge – a gamification tool that improves the chance that students (freshmen) achieve all points in their first year of college

2. Serious Game to train people on a new product (a knowledge game)

3. Serious Game to train staff to listen better to their customers

So all-in-all I have been quite busy… Also I finally achieved the ‘brandnewgame.com’ url – so chances are that this address and my email will change somewhere end of this year… It will also spare me from spam I hope… 😉

For now… check out the screens and I hope I can tell you more about my book, the GameStorm and the results of the projects I mentioned above within two months…

Game On!

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Gamification Workshop Istanbul #3

The video below gives you an impression of the Gamification Workshop I host 4 times a year in Turkey (Istanbul) and soon also in Holland (Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam). The video (and program) is based on a 2-day workshop, but also comes in a 1-day and even 1/2 day format. Check the links below to subscribe to any form you like.

You can subscribe here for the upcoming events:

Gamification Workshop Istanbul #4: www.4pio.com
This is a 2 day program. Dates to be confirmed, but expected on 28 & 29 November 2013

Gamification Workshop Rotterdam #1: www.eurib.nl
This is 1/2 day program on 27-9 2013 for € 245,-

Check out the scores here of this Masterclass

HR – The Next Level

90 minute Gamification Workshop – More information here: http://www.hrthenextlevel.nl

Gamification Workshop Utrecht #1: www.nima.nl
This is a 1 day program on 20-11 2013 for € 595,-

Gamification Workshop Amsterdam #1: www.brandnewgame.nl … opening soon…

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Gamification Bullshit Bingo…

Hi guys,

I would like to spice up my gamification masterclasses by adding this ‘BULLSHIT BINGO’ scorecard (just to increase the level of FUN and attention)… Please share this on Twitter if you think I should use it @BartHufen #Gamification #Bingo.

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Which mind games do you play…?

I always pretend I am not allowed to touch the edges of tiles and can only step on the white stripes at cross-overs…

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