Free Demo of Power Play

A free game? Sure! No strings attached? Nope! A freemium model with in-game purchases? Hell no!

Our game Power Play provides a perfect experience to play with a colleague if you wonder how you can use a serious games to:

  1. Address compliance / code of conduct issues
  2. Discuss complex or sensitive situations on the work floor
  3. Give insight in the consequences of peoples actions
  4. Want to bring company values to life
  5. If you love Hearthstone, but are looking for a ‘serious game’ alternative 😉

The game is relatively easy, watch this video for a short (5 minute) explanation or read on…

As soon as you register, you can enter the game and start by choosing either an opponent or a ‘file’. A file is a situation you would like to practice. You can experience how your actions will affect the situation at hand. For instance if a colleague is scared to address a certain situation you probably require a certain level of ‘bravery’ to ‘unnerve’ this situation effectively. The game works in turns, so as soon as you start playing for a certain file, you and your opponent receive a set of cards that represent actions. These actions cost a certain amount of energy and have various impact on your company values. In this case these values are 4 key processes that influence the impact of your actions. They are: will-power, knowledge, abilities and guts (bravery). Each turn your energy level grows and you play more actions – that hopefully unnerve the situation before your opponent saves the day…

Just practice together and let us know how your experience was through Twitter @BartHufen #powerplay #gamification.

This product is based on a game we developed for ING Insurance (now called NN Group) which was released in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Posted in agile, Gamification, Serious game | Comments Off on Free Demo of Power Play

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.

Posted in Bart Hufen, GameStorm, Gamification, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Which actions generate exponential growth

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 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.

Posted in advergame, Advertising, augmented reality, Gamification | No Comments »

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.


Posted in advergame, Advertising, gamevertising, Gamification, Gaming research | No Comments »

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 😉

Posted in Gamification, Playing on the Job, Serious game | No Comments »

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 ‘’ 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!

Posted in Bart Hufen, Gamification, Personnel | No Comments »

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:
This is a 2 day program. Dates to be confirmed, but expected on 28 & 29 November 2013

Gamification Workshop Rotterdam #1:
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:

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

Gamification Workshop Amsterdam #1: … opening soon…

Posted in Events, Gamification | 1 Comment »