Start working 24/7 and be happy!

This is a very personal blog, I hope you appreciate it. 

In 2016 I almost crashed on the highway while driving my Audi TT sports car. That particular morning I already felt weary and dizzy during a meeting, but did not give it much attention at the time. After the meeting, I went for a short walk with a colleague and decided to call my parents if they were able to drive me and my car back home. They said they could, but eventually I decided to drive home myself around noon (stubborn?). As soon as I drove up the highway, It felt like a heavy blanked was pulled over my head and pushed me down… I managed to get off at the next exit – fortunately enough, the route to a hospital. I quickly called my parents from my car at a stop-sign explaining they needed to come a.s.ap. as I thought I was having a brain stroke… I parked my car as quick as I could, managed to get out and shouted to two elderly ladies that I wasn’t doing well… They got me inside the emergency entrance where I was rushed to a bed for further examination. After a series of tests, deposit of blood and pee and even a CT brain-scan a doctor came to me and said: “After all the tests we have done in the past three hours, we see no reason to keep you here…”

Victim of my ambitions 

I was stunned. What was wrong with me? Nothing? How could that be? I clearly felt bad and almost fainted?! My parents arrived at the hospital and drove me home. While driving, my dad and I discussed what could have let up to this event. The day before, I visited my parents with my partner, telling them she was pregnant. The week earlier I sent the final manuscript of my (Dutch) book ‘Gamification als motor van verandering‘ to my publisher for production. We also just released the second version of one of our biggest international projects. So you could say I completed some ‘epic projects’.

I often say, as a joke, that I am the victim or a slave of my own ambitions and this is very true. As soon as I finished my Masters of Brand Management and started BrandNewGame my ambitions were quite high and I find it hard to be pleased… The people I have worked since I founded BrandNewGame in 2009 either have the same high standards, or don’t work with me anymore. I guess my ambitions helped to be able to work for great brands like Vodafone, Foot Locker Europe and Air France KLM, but it is also a burden to drive yourself towards the ambitious goals I have constantly…

Dare to be non-productive : play! 

I guess for a long time I had not been listening to my own motto: ‘work hard, play hard’. I was only working really hard, although it never felt as working… My work is so much fun that I never perceive it as working (except for writing books and blogs ;-). On the other hand I was playing loads of games as well? I guess we need to add another dimension to work hard, play hard, which is: rest hard… If a day has 24 hours of which we need 6 to sleep, 6 to travel and eat, 6 to work… you still have 6 to have fun or ‘do nothing’… For me this was the moment to call a coach I met 6 months earlier. He coached me during my preparations for my TedXTalk about gamification in 2016. The first few meetings with him I cried a lot. Not because I was sad, but because it frustrated me that other people in the world have a – maybe less fortunate life than I am leading – so how unfair is it for me to complaint that I am not ‘happy ‘..?! I learned that all I needed to do was: stand still more often… better yet: stand still every day! He said: “Why don’t you do the Yoga exercises I taught you every morning and evening and give yourself 10 minutes a day to meditate and do nothing…?” This seemed (and appeared) to be the best advice I ever had.

I want, I know, I’m able and I dare!

In my most recent book I came up with a model that unveils the key-processes that determine the effectiveness / impact of your actions. It is the combination of:

I want + know + am able + dare to do what is needed to be done. In this case, I needed to dare to ‘do nothing’ more often… I forgot that as a human being you cannot always be pushing for more and more but need to stand still more often to load your battery. In my country about 1 million people have suffered or are suffering from a burnout… Guess why Yoga is so popular in the past ten years…

So the key message of this very personal blog is to combine being active and passive like yin and yang. If you are active, you can use the power of the combination of want+know+able+dare for 100% power. But you also need to pay attention to: not wanting anything, clearing your mind, doing nothing physically (resting consciously or doing yoga exercises). But I guess I never dared to do that…

Work 24/7

To live a happy life, I advice you to work 24/7 from now on. I mean, work 24 hours a week… This means 6 hours every day, for 4 days in every week… Why is it that a lot of pop-stars (Tim Bergling / Avicii recently) and even very successful business men commit suicide? Because they are the victim of their incredibly large ambitions. Success for them is achieving better, bigger, more epic challenges… But nothing lies after the biggest challenge, except for another bigger challenge you create yourself… It helped us in our evolution to where we are today, but we need to become happy with less ‘more and more’… I challenge you to apply intrinsic happiness and passiveness more often during the day. Define what is ‘success’ for you. Maybe start by working 24/7 from now on so you have time to let the answers come while you meditate and do nothing  😉

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Which actions generate exponential growth

During a GameStorm session in 2017 the objective for the session was inspired by the book ‘Bold‘ – which I can highly recommend. The objective that we defined was: “How can organizations create exponential growth?” This is a description of what came out of the session:

The challenges that the team defined for there organization were:

  1. The purpose of our organization is not inspiring (recognizable?)
  2. Lack of focus (no vision, mission or inspiring purpose)
  3. Ill use of the time we have (meetings, chatting, e-mailing)

The actions that were chosen that most likely keep challenge 1 in place were:

  1. Write down a very broad purpose statement with lots of business lingo
  2. We would rather execute work for clients than bother writing down our purpose
  3. Let one department, management (or even one director) write down the purpose statement

The actions that were chosen to overcome the challenge 1 (the purpose is not inspiring), were:

  1. Make your purpose statement visual or create an inspiring movie
  2. We will organize a day during which we will define the purpose together with the whole team
  3. We organize a ‘thank-you’ event each quarter to celebrate succes, the bigger our succes – the bigger the event will be.

The destructive actions that were chosen that most likely keep challenge 2 in place (Lack of focus), were:

  1. Say yes to each new request or opportunity
  2. Create a project team for each new idea
  3. Assign teams to a different project, half-way the project they were working on

The constructive actions that were chosen to overcome the challenge 2, were:

  1. We aim all actions towards the same purpose and manage departments on why & what should be achieved, not how.
  2. I give people time and budget to do training to develop skills they expect to need to achieve the set objective (purpose)
  3. I help the team to celebrate and visualize both their efforts and results on a Kanban-board and review the actions each day

The actions that were chosen that most likely keep challenge 3 in place (Ill use of the time we have), were:

  1. Doing other people’s work, because it has to be done
  2. Appreciating and rewarding people that participate in more than 20 (!) projects
  3. We start every week with ‘leaning up’ followed by a daily scrum, a week-meeting and a specialist-session…

The actions that were chosen to overcome the challenge 3, were:

  1. We will give people time and budget to do a time management training (2nd time)
  2. We reduce the work-week to 32 hours (and pay 40) and note the actions that I stop executing.
  3. We will start to observe and measure which tasks are repetitive and will automate or outsource them

Three of the actions mentioned regarded development or training or employees or reducing ‘work-hours’. Personally I take about 30% of my time to read and write publications and do presentations about what I read or wrote. Forcing myself to read what’s new, innovative or just interesting keeps my mind open to new ways of looking at things. Sharing this knowledge with others gives me both a sense or purpose and fulfillment. And apart from that, presenting the information in my own way enables me to actually ‘master’ what I read or wrote. What inspires me most is reading books or watching documentaries outside of my business (branding / organizational change and gamification). I strongly encourage organizations to facilitate employees in developing new skills, interests and explore usage of their talents in different areas of their business. Why not rotate people from time to time through different departments surrounding different purposes. Let them join meetings they usually would not be in and ask for their non-biased opinion. We can sometimes solve problems faster using actions that lie outside of the area that created those problems. You could rotate people according to the four progressive processes I defined in my latest book; think, make, sell and improve.

As for the reduction of working-time… I plan to work 24/7 from now on; meaning 24 hours per week. In practice this means I leave my house AFTER traffic to drive to work, so I am in the office around 10 o’ clock and leave again around 16:00 hours BEFORE traffic. Effectively I work 6 hours in the office and I do the necessary phone calls in the car. I should mention that I indeed use those 6 hours to focus only on the things that are in my agenda. And I plan and execute like a German (diligently).

On Friday I don’t work, it’s my dad-day. I understand not all companies and jobs can work like this, unless you rotate tasks and occasionally the CEO should pick up the phone or answer some complaints… To my opinion that should be the job of the CEO anyway – collecting feedback to improve the organization as a whole based on a shared vision and purpose using the key-competences and talents of all members.

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VR will never become mass-market

Is this a bold statement? I guess it is. The upcoming Christmas period and the year 2018 will prove me right or wrong. Why am I still so sceptic about VR? Because I have been in the games industry since 1999 (on and off) and I have seen a lot of digital products come and go, although whole markets believed it would be ‘the next thing’.

Let me back up my bold statement with some facts…

Fact 1: Alternative user interfaces have a hard time conquering the consumers space.

Take Layar, QR-code readers, Leap motion, PlayStation Move, Xbox Kinect, most of them didn’t become as successful as expected. The main reason being, human beings enjoy tactile feedback. What do I mean by that? The physical component.

We need to touch and feel what we are doing. Even e-readers have a hard time these days. Why? Maybe because we just love to turn pages of a book and feel we are gradually progressing…  Physical books are still outselling digital books and there is a bigger growth in sales these days, even amongst the new generations (x, y and z if you believe in those categories)!

Fact 2: Google Glass was killed as a project 

First of all the Google glasses looked like crap, and we as human beings are still fools for style. Steve Jobs got that. But even if Google Glasses would look like Armani or Ray-Ban glasses one could argue, whether it would become successful. There is just not enough added value yet using glasses as an extra layer on the real world. Yes, if I would be single and Tinder would create an app showing me extra information on who is available in a club or restaurant that night, maybe matching up with people would work thanks to glasses… But no – I don’t think we will see that in the near future. I am aware that Google re-started investing in Glass, but we’ll see how…

Do I believe Google Glasses and VR could work in specific situations? Yes of course. Using glasses in a training or working environment definitely has potential to become huge. That’s the business I am in! But consumer markets, I don’t think so.

Fact 3: 3D TV never became mass market 

Do you remember when Sony, LG and Samsung tried to conquer the market with 3D television? Everyone in the TV industry believed that – after HD TV – we needed 3D. But after a few years of disappointing sales, everyone dropped it. Why? Because we will not wear an extra pair of glasses in front of a TV for a meagerly improved experience.

Why do you think contact lenses became so popular? People don’t like to wear glasses!

Fact 4: It is non-social to wear glasses that completely remove you from the real-space. 

Erasing the existing environment by putting on glasses is scary. Yes, you can (only) do it sitting down, but then the only types of games that work are games where you remain seated… Flight simulators, driving / racing in a car, sitting in a train, on a rollercoaster, tied to a chair… But how many game-genres can tie into those situations and remain relevant?

Apart from that, when are you really alone to play a VR game? Basically people that are single and live alone are the main target. Fortunately we are still social human beings, so in the essence no one wants to be alone all the time. Therefore the window of opportunity to remain relevant at all times in the living room is really small….

Only if the sex industry combines high-end footage with physical toys (feedback) that are better than the real-life experience (and prevent you from getting STD’s), I give VR a chance. I know Pornhub is looking into VR, so … who knows… A golden rule when looking at innovations remains: just because it is possible, doesn’t mean it’s better than the current situation or even useful…

When will we know that I am right? Well… PlayStation will aggressively target the market during this X-Mas, and then developers will have maybe a year or two to come up with the ‘killer-app’ or kill-game that will make it worth to invest in VR. Will I buy a VR system myself? Of course, as soon as Red Dead Redemption 2 hits the marketplace, I buy the PS4 and the best VR set imaginable, just to remain up-to-date with things that are happening 😉

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Your business model is being disrupted…

Most companies don’t realize it yet, but their business model is being corrupted… disrupted. Competitors come from area’s you would never expect them to come from. Hotels nowadays compete with private homes that are rented out through Air BNB, the taxi industrie compete with people driving people in their privately owned cars. Will energy companies soon loose their business to private energy providers? What can companies and their employees do to stop being a victim of continuous change and the accelerating speed of it…? How can you become a game changer like – for instance – Red Bull was in the nineties? There is a simple five-step program for that, which supports continuous change (or progress as I call it).

It all starts with exploring your current business playground and recognizing the most important (potential) players… Once you know who will play a role on your playground, you can uncover if their influence is growing or declining and whether that is good or bad. What you then do in detail will be explained in our GameStorm Trooper training on 13 & 14 September. The next steps are: determine the…

  1. Purpose of the most important players and define how your organization can contribute to that
  2. Players: who are they? And what drives their actions? In other words, what do they want, know, able to and dare to do on the professional playground?
  3. Proces: which key processes determine your progressive growth (or decline) in other words: which actions can lead to synergy regarding your turn-over and costs.
  4. Performance: how well do you do? Versus competitors, versus last years, versus your power?
  5. Play: last but not least: if you underperform as an organization? How can you change the way people work, or actually: how can employees change their way of working?

The answer lies in the GameStorm methodology that I developed in 2012, which has been played by over 1.000 professionals since then. It helps companies to support employees to continuous change their routine in a fun and functional manner. Change is inevitable but often perceived as annoying. Therefore we make it fun to start with (and effective in the long run). The GameStorm uses game mechanics that make most games so addictive, like setting a goal, defining obstacles, providing players with dilemma’s (they have to make choices), voting on actions and calculating the impact of their old and new behavior. The GameStorm helped over 100 companies to transform their challenges into change and create perpetual progress by executing it each fiscal quarter. If you want to know how we do this, join the Gamification Academy and get an official certificate and start playing around with problems! More information can be found here.

Afraid to be disrupted? Organize for flexibility!

About the necessary transformation from organizational pyramids to processing power for similar purposes… 

 social-pyramid-ancient-egypt 

I was doing research for my new book ‘Playing on the job’ (working title) when I stumbled upon this picture of how a kingdom worked in the middle ages and concluded that this is actually how a lot of organizations (and countries) still work. Where a pyramid is actually a solid structure that can last for centuries – as an organizational structure it is far from ideal. For some reason we just never seem to have found an alternative in the past centuries and even decades. One of the main reasons for this is the internal obstacles that need to be overcome… The most dominant obstacles I discovered during my research are: 

  1. organizational structure 
  2. systems / software 
  3. lack of support (from either management or employees) to change, often caused by the ruling company culture. 

Why organizational change is so hard to achieve is that in most cases the current structure is perceived as solid and the software and systems (compliance, legal, business rules, KPI’s) keep the structure in it’s place. If not the structure and systems, the lack of support ensures that the desired change will actually never take place. You could say that change will never happen if the culture doesn’t allow it to happen. 

Inspired by games and game mechanics I’ve come up with a new structure that might help organizations to transform, continuously and infinitely. It all starts with defining the purpose on different levels: 

  1. Purpose or mission for the entire organization 
  2. Objective for a business unit or department 
  3. Goals for individual business leaders, managers or category members 
  4. Challenges for employees 

We often see that different departments have different KPI’s. If you create islands in your organization and hold them accountable for different KPI’s they will never work together, let alone help each other to achieve those challenges, goals or objectives. If you make all departments responsible for the same / similar goals they most likely will help each other…

During my years in advertising we developed a lot of ‘brand books’ explaining the brand values and positioning of a particular company or brand. Of course it also described the purpose (or mission) of the company. What we never did was explaining how these values or how the main purpose could work or how they were relevant for individual departments or employees. The main thing that drives people in life is purpose, often fueled by curiosity and lust for more… (better, faster, stronger).

model_3.5

So a pyramid is an excellent structure in terms of building a long lasting organization, given that you align purpose with objectives, goals and challenges. However to overcome those challenges and to be able to achieve the set goals and objectives, a pyramid is terrible structure to work with. Especially in this digital age where the internet and international scale of the economy forces organizations to become more agile, lean and responsive a new way of ‘organizing’ is needed. So how can you organize for flexibility? 

Inspired by games I came up with the following evolution which could lead to a revolution in your organization and help you to withstand disruption. Instead of working in a hierarchic structure, managers (and employees) should work around in a processes that supports the purpose in the pyramid. So to organize for flexibility companies should transform from a hierarchic / pyramid structure to a process oriented structure. I gave an example below for the sales process.

 model_1.7

A CEO wants to have happy clients. This can be achieved by building an appealing brand (C), which is the CMO’s task. To be able to build a strong brand and make clients happy, the company needs to have the right information about the clients needs and whereabouts (i). If that is all in place, the Chief Commercial Officer can sell the right, relevant products to the right clients within the right context (time and place) through the right channels.
Instead of communicating these KPI’s in a hierarchic way (top down), you should look for the interdependent relationship of these KPI’s as a process. In other words: how can an appealing brand gather information on and create customer insights that lead to better products and eventually more sales? Instead of rewarding departments for individual objectives, you can reward all contributors to the process equally for their efforts or effect on the process.

If you want me to explain how this could work for your organization, send an email to Bart at BrandNewGame (dot com  ;-).

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Twitch: gamers watching gamers playing games

Dota 2 Tournament finals In the year 2000, being a product manager at Atari (formally know as Infogrames) I organized one of the first online game competitions in the Benelux with a real-life finale called ‘Gamer of the Year’. Thanks to the support of Clanbase we managed to start with an on-line competition amongst players of Unreal Tournament – one of the games in my portfolio. After the on-line pre-rounds, we held a grand finale in Antwerp, sponsored by Diesel and Red Bull, for the 64 best players in the Benelux. I never expected that e-sports would take off after that – and for a long time – it actually didn’t. Sure, there were a lot of tournaments going on on-line and offline (LAN-Parties) using games like Quake, Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike and later Call of Duty, but never on a global scale and with the financial support it deserved. Since 2013 however, this all changed. I guess it all accelerated thanks to  Twitch.tv founded in 2011.
Twitch is an online streaming video service where gamers can watch gamers playing games. To be honest I never saw the fun in that, but nowadays it is so popular that Twitch is in the Top 10 websites responsible for the most data traffic in the world, alongside Amazon, Facebook and Google… The first company – Amazon – bought Twitch recently for a little under ONE BILLION DOLLARS ! Can you imagine that a video streaming service, launched four years ago has generated so much interest in four years time that it is worth that much money?! How much is one billion dollars spread over four years of days or hours…? Well… it’s $ 694.444,- per day… Or a little under $ 30.000 per hour in the past four years. So Twitch is huge – and online gaming is huge. Games like Candy Crush (less hardcore than Call of Duty maybe), are being played by 50 million people on Facebook – and by estimate – another 50 million people play it on their mobile phones. A game like DOTA2 (more hardcode than Candy Crush 😉 is being played by one million gamers every day. Defense of the Alliance 2, originally a modification for Warcraft 3 is a favorite amongst gamers that participate in competitions. Why don’t you take a wild guess, how much prize money was available in 2015 during the finals of a DOTA2 competition in China. I will state the answer below – not to spoil your fun of guessing. The winning team ‘Evil Geniuses’ (from the USA) left the battle field with more than six million dollars to give you a feeling about the seriousness of playing games as e-sports athlete these days. Companies often ask if gaming is big – and how big it is. Well, if I tell you that the average football players in Europe earn less than three million if you play in the Premier League (UK) and a meagre €300.000 in The Netherlands… you might want to switch to playing digital games… The total prize money of the finals of The International 2015 was 18 million dollars. Apart from the money, the fanbase is so involved and committed that cinema’s organize live finals where gamers gather to view their heroes! Will that be the future of cinema’s…? Proving a theater for watching gamers playing games…? It just might…

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Presentations – upcoming Q4 2015

For all you globetrotters that want to meet me in person, here’s a quick overview of upcoming events where I will talk about my biggest hobby: games in relationship with brand- / marketing- and (change) management.

Bart Hufen tijdens Creative Trends 2011Join me on the following dates in the following locations for a sneak preview about me new book:

Adfolive (NL) : 15-9 2015 workshop Gamification (closed session)

University of Amsterdam (NL): 23-9 2015 workshop setting goals for serious games (closed session)

University of Amsterdam (NL): 7-10 2015 workshop project management & production of serious games (closed session)

Amsterdam Dance Event ADE (NL): 15-10 2015:  moderating a panel session about music for games and other media (open session)

Bosnia Agile Day (Sarajevo): 17-10-2015 presentation how game mechanics can help companies to become more agile (open session)

Agile in Africa (Ghana – Accra): presentation how game mechanics can help companies to become more agile (open session)

Inzet op maat (NL): 3-11-2015 presentation and sharing successes of recent projects (open session)

WEKA HR Strategie (NL): 11-11 2015 presentation and sharing successes of recent projects (two open sessions)

HRM & het onderwijs (NL): 17-11 2015 presentation and sharing successes of recent projects (open session)

HR Goes digital (NL): 19-11 2015 presentation and sharing successes of recent projects (open session)

 

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Q&A With Jane McGonigal

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) interviewed researcher, game designer and author Jane McGonigal. Her newest book, “SuperBetter,” which releases September 15, explores a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways games—including video games, sports and puzzles—change how people respond to stress, challenges and pain and how to cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting what McGonigal calls a more gameful mindset. Read the interview below – with a big thanks to ESA for sharing! 

  1. Please briefly introduce yourself and your work.

janeI’m a researcher, author and game designer who has spent the past 15 years trying to prototype and provide scientific evidence for the ways in which games can help us become the best versions of ourselves: happier, braver, more resilient, better problem-solvers and better allies to our friends and family.

Most recently, my work has focused on how games can improve mental and physical health. There’s a rapidly growing body of evidence in the scientific literature that ordinary video games can be a powerful tool for treating depression, anxiety and even chronic pain. I’ve spent the past five years researching this topic – I’ve read literally more than 1,000 studies in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and medicine.

Now, I’m publishing my “SuperBetter” book to help get this entire, emerging field of research into the hands of the game-playing public and also game developers. I want the public to understand how video games can be played with purpose – that is, with the knowledge that you’re not just having fun, but you’re also developing important psychological resources, like creativity, determination, optimism, curiosity and resilience in the face of setbacks. And I want game developers to understand how to make games that bring even more of these benefits to their players.

  1. How did you first become interested in working with video games?

That’s a very long story that starts with me researching and making games as a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley, although I guess it starts even earlier, when I was 10 years old and designed my first video game with ASCII art on a Commodore 64 computer.

But the really pivotal experience for me, more recently, in guiding me to the work I’m doing today was the mild traumatic brain injury that I suffered in 2009. Thirty-four days after the injury, I decided to try to bring my game designer skills to the problem, and I invented a game to help my brain heal and to deal with the severe depression and anxiety.

That has been a real turning point in my game development career, as that game (SuperBetter) has now been used by half a million people to improve their mental and physical health and has created some amazing research opportunities for me with organizations like the National Institutes of Health. All of this has convinced me that game design is going to be one of the most important areas of research and discovery in medicine and clinical psychology over the next decade.

  1. What excites you most in your day-to-day job?

Data! Scientific data is what excites me. Every time a new study on the real-life impact of gameplay comes out, I devour it.

Even more exciting is doing original research and seeing the results. For example, with SuperBetter, we’ve done two major studies so far. First, a randomized, controlled study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania found that playing SuperBetter for 30 days significantly reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety, and increases optimism, social support and players’ self-confidence. The study also found that people who followed the SuperBetter rules for one month were significantly happier and more satisfied with their lives.

More recently, a clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Ohio State University Medical Research Center and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital found that the SuperBettergame improves mood, decreases anxiety and suffering, and strengthens family relationships during traumatic brain injury rehabilitation and recovery. Honestly, there is nothing more exciting than getting solid scientific evidence that a game you’ve made is changing people’s lives and helping them get happier and healthier from extremely difficult challenges.

Note from myself: It is interesting to see that Jane is addressing the four quadrants I always use to determine our key drives for game design: physical, mental, emotional and social elements. You can find them in the handouts (slide 34) for the Gamification Workshop presentation on this page. Of course these are based on the Insights model, which are based on Quinn… But I guess we – as human beings – are always looking for rational (mental), physical, emotional (social) and spiritual challenges: or active and passive events. Often spiritual is left out in favor of social. Maybe social can be the opposite of spiritual? Spiritual meaning: inside my mind, where as social means: outside my mind in interaction with others…?

Superbetter schema

  1. Where do you see video games in 10 years? What broader applications across society can we expect in games’ future?

A decade from now, ordinary video games will be understood as an important tool in creating mental health and well-being. I forecast with very high confidence that games will be used to treat depression, anxiety, pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a complement to, or in many cases be prescribed in lieu of, pharmaceutical treatment.
Note from myself: Obviously Jane is talking about serious games here. Since 2010 we have published a lot of serious games in for companies like Foot Locker Europe and NN Global. Unfortunately we cannot disclose all of our projects online, but the ones we are allowed to talk (and write) about can be found on our project page.

  1. What is your favorite video game and why?

I’ll go with the scientific literature here again, and say that Tetris has been the most extensively studied game for accomplishing everything from preventing flashbacks after witnessing a trauma – so it could be used as a cognitive vaccine against PTSD; to reducing cravings for cigarettes and junk food by 25 percent – so it can be used as a tool in behavior change and fighting addiction; to creating the same blood flow patterns in the brain as meditation – so it can be used to improve attention and improve the body’s ability to recover from stress.

Everyone should have Tetris on their phone. We should have PSAs explaining how to use it for all of these benefits. And I’m ready to give Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov the Nobel Prize in Games.

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Six years of BrandNewGame

While E3 is taking place in LA at this moment, our silly little company BrandNewGame celebrates its sixth anniversary tomorrow. We’ve evolved from a one-man band in 2009 to a one-man one girl duo in 2015, with almost 18 people surrounding us, divided in two companies, to produce the great projects we deliver for our clients. So a big thanks to Today who takes care of the design side of things and to Weirdbeard who develop our ideas technically (programming and game design stuff).

The past six years have been a rollercoaster for me from starting from scratch (literally) writing a book about how you can use games as a branding and marketing tool in 2010 (free download still at www.brandnewplayground.com) to talking during SXSW with Suvi Helminen, meeting Ahmet Akdag in Istanbul where we organize our Gamification Workshops and launching our GameStorm – change management game – at Foot Locker Europe with 800 store managers in four different cities (unfortunately I cannot disclose anything about that). I hope you find all our updates useful!

Anyway I would just like to say THANK YOU to all the people that made our success possible, both partners and clients. We would never have succeeded without you!

Let’s continu to Play for Progress!

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Friday Fun: Tetra Pac-Man

Okay, so it’s Friday… and for me Friday is about FUN…

There’s a lecture about packaging design net week in Utrecht and one of my partners said that the guy that would present there is a real ‘Tetra pak man”… so I’d thought I’d search for a nice pic for that name: Tetra Pac-Man and this is what came up… thanks for creating it, creator…

Tetra Pac Man_905

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