Gamification of education in USA

From our friends over at the ESA.

Grant Enables Teachers to Deploy Educational Technology in the Classroom

September 23, 2014 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESAF) today announced the winners of its 2014 Education Challenge Grant. With ESAF’s support, Bronx Compass High School in Bronx, NY; Dunlap Community Schools in Dunlap, IL; and Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson, WI, will leverage video game technology to create engaging learning experiences for their students.

“Educators increasingly use video games to create new and exciting ways for their students to learn and to foster their development of valuable 21st century skills,” said Jenny Lai, vice president of ESAF. “We are proud to support these schools and look forward to seeing the results of their innovative programs.”

This year’s Education Challenge Grant winners were selected by a distinguished panel of judges, who chose schools based on the creativity of their proposals to integrate video games and technology into their curricula.

Now in its third year, ESAF’s Education Challenge Grant is the result of a partnership between the Federation of American Scientists, the Association for Middle Level Education, and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The grant is part of ESAF’s efforts to help promote video games and game technology as educational tools.

2014 ESA Foundation Education Challenge Grant Recipients

  • Bronx Compass High School
    Location: Bronx, NY
    Project Title: Serious Video Games Development
    Students in grades 9-11 will work with mentors to design and produce computer games that address real world issues. By integrating humanities and technology curricula, the program will challenge students to communicate and empathize with the daily challenges faced by inner city youth.
  • Dunlap Community Schools
    Location: Dunlap, IL
    Project Title: Simulating STEM with SimCity
    Students in grades 7-8 at Dunlap Middle School and Dunlap Valley Middle School will use SimCity to understand the core elements of science, technology, engineering, and math topics by conceiving, designing, building, destroying, and eventually rebuilding a virtualcity. Students will work in small groups to identify problems that arise during the design process and develop solutions, leading to a successfully operating city. The game will be fully integrated into the class, and students will be evaluated based on the number of achievements earned throughout the game.
  • Jefferson Middle School
    Location: Jefferson, WI
    Project Title: Minecraft Government and Economics
    Eighth-grade students will use Minecraft to construct their own civilization while developing a greater understanding of American government and economics. Throughout the course, students will blog about their settlements and attempt to persuade their fellow classmates to adopt certain economic ideas.

About ESA Foundation
Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation (ESAF) works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology to create educational opportunities. ESAF is primarily supported by proceeds from its signature annual fundraiser, “Nite to Unite – for Kids” and other charitable initiatives. For more information about ESAF, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @ESA_ Foundation.

Posted in Trends | 1 Comment »

A Second Layer on Life

In April I posted a short video from Google about the future of ‘mobile’ and the Google Goggles project (project glass).

This is how we will experience life in the future according to Sight Systems.

It starts out nicely and confirms that Gamification is the future, but the power of programmers seem to get out of hand if we don’t watch out…

Posted in Mobile, Trends, video | No Comments »

Future of Fundraising

I would like to develop a sound vision about the future of fund raising. Of course I have some ideas myself based on consumer trends, but I would like to ask YOU what you feel is the future of fundraising.

Please answer this question for me: What will the world of ‘fundraising’ look like in 2017?

Take into consideration: mobile, social media, gamification, retail, peer-to-peer, cloud computing, augmented reality, layer, Smart TV, …? What trends did I miss?

Please share your comments below!

Posted in Trends | 2 Comments »

Pepsi about: Future of Advertising

Most content is about The Netherlands – sorry about that…
View more PowerPoint from iMMovator

Posted in Trends | No Comments »

Top Trends I spotted at GDC Europe & Gamescom 2011


Last week I attended GDC Europe and Gamescom 2011 to spot the emerging trends for the upcoming year of game-development and how brands can utilize games as a marketing tool. These are my findings:

The workshop with Epic’s Developing Director was packed! 

1. A new business model: Free games & In game Micro transactions 

As described in my book (and earlier in the book ‘Free’ by Chris Anderson) the freemium model is a good way to quickly reach a large audience and then find ways to make money of your gathered crowd. The games industry is learning from these options and below I describe some options for your brand. Most of the options are especially interesting for digital content.

1. Provide a FREE tool (app), light version of your product (demo) or medium (website) to build up a large crowd and transform that crowd into a community encouraging them to become active on your platform (create postings, feedback, interact, helping each other, upload content, etc.) maybe even using a gamification layer to encourage people even more and challenging them to level-up and remain active.
2. Create innovative business models, not just selling banners and letting your community members pay for their membership. There are numerous examples of companies making an excellent turnover by selling additional services or in-game (virtual) products. Why not a pay per play model for games, literally paying per level I play. There’s so many games I never finished playing because I lost interest or just couldn’t push on. Most of FarmVille-like games use a freemium model where the game is free but you can buy interesting goods that help you booking results quicker.
In-game Transactions are key to make money on platforms like Facebook.
3. Promote sharing the game and create multiple discount. It lengthens the success of your game if you add multiplayer and let your crowd promote the content to other people by a ‘share’-button (or LIKE!)…

There was quite a row of people waiting to see Battlefield 3

Check a case description about the freemium model here by Flurry.

2. Social, Social, Social Gaming Platforms 

It seems that most game publishers are focussing on building their own platforms. After MSN Games, Spil Games, Zylom, Facebook, Steam (Valve), Electronic Arts and many, many others, it looks like all publishers want to either have their own community of gamers (like Steam and EA) or are trying to plug their content on large community networks with certain specific target group, for instance Vkontakte in Russia or Qzone in China.

3. Controlling movement – movement controls

After I visited the booths of Microsoft (Kinect), PlayStation (Move) and Nintendo (Wii and U-Play) I could only conclude that they all believe that movement games are our new ‘living room entertainment’ concept. Games vary from sailing, rowing, fitness, running, boxing, cycling and even fishing (if that’s a sport to you ;-)! It’s a good development considering obesity with kids (especially in USA) and the fact that children are challenged to move actively – even when it’s raining.

4. Device Independent Gameplay  

In the past game developers would ‘port’ existing PC games to other Platforms without regarding the specific context the games would be played in on that specific platform. Luckily these days developers and publishers spend more time redesigning their intellectual property to other platforms which can easily turn into great new gameplay elements and enriched ways of play. For instance – it was quite impressive to see this first person shooter on an iPad – it looks like Unreal Tournament in 2000!

Thanks to Unity, games can look amazing on different platforms (phone, PC, PlayStation etc,). Unity is a stunning ‘easily-create-your-own-game’ engine for game designers that like programming the easy way.   It’s comparable to a programming tool like HTML5 but Unity is compatible with all platforms and is not just web-or browser-based. This tool makes it possible to – for instance – chop wood with your mobile phone on a train trip in a mobile mini-game and utilizing the ‘money’ you made chopping wood in the train on your PlayStation console as soon as you get home and continue playing that same type of game (World of Warcraft for instance).

5. Cloud Gaming 

Another trend game developers expect is what I call ‘Cloud Gaming’. Companies like Onlive and IQU are providing this game content and are serving you content that you do not even have to ‘own’ or download on your PC, console or Phone. I mentioned this trend in my book already. Consuming digital content will evolve from ‘owning’ content to being able to ‘acces’ content. The business models are either subscriptions or an in-game economy based on micro transactions.

6. Games for a Greater Good and Serious Gaming

Although there weren’t much companies around during GDC I am still convinced that the interest to use games for serious objectives and public welfare is still rising. In one month I have been approached to speak at an event in New York, London and Moscow, so it must be a ‘hot-topic’. One of the few companies I met during GDC was Playdom (Jude Ower). Jude is looking for venture capitalists and game developers that wish to team up and develop game concepts that can contribute to a better world. Fee
l free to find more information about that on their website: They are based in London (United Kingdom).

7. Intelligent Interaction Design: Dynamic Content! 

Companies that still own a website without interactive or dynamic options really need to wake up (yes yes, mine is under construction)… Dynamic Feedback is the new norm. This means that based on the database that is filled with information about your visitors (thanks to cookies), the database should show different information based on your consumers surf-behavior. It means that when I always immediately click ‘Products’ when I come to your companies website, after my third visit ‘Products’ is the landingpage or at least dominant on the landingpage of your website. The same goes for gaming portals. If visitor X always plays puzzle games on your website, the amount of suggestions on the right hand side should show at least 8/10 puzzle games (and maybe two featured games). It’s all about showing and sharing relevant information. This enhances the chance that consumers will forward, share, show (or LIKE) it to friends.

8. Gamification

Of course this is a running topic on my weblog and although there were especially programmers on the GDC Gamification is a topic that definitely has potential according to all the game developers I spoke with during my three days in Cologne.

My latest presentation about Gamification is available on Slideshare!

To end with some more pictures of the Gamescom in a short film.

Posted in Trends | No Comments »

Twelevision = TV + Twitter


Will this be the future of social TV? – Sharing stuff we say about our favorite shows? Why not switching on Facetime or Skype while watching TV? I use Skype when I play multiplayer games with my friends…

Posted in Trends | No Comments »

i'm watch – color collection


Will this be the future ‘standard’ of time-management…? A watch that connects to your mobile devices to manage your life-time… What only Michael Knight could do, we will be able to do as well shortly, if we want.

What does this have to do with gaming and branding? I don’t know yet, but I just thought I’d share this watch with you all 😉

You can order it here: 

Posted in Trends | 1 Comment »

Trends 2011: The young generation – a historical overview!

>My conclusion of this great video is that:

1. Young generations never change in behavior
2. We all want to make a difference
3. We still want to be individuals that belong to groups (which is a paradox 😉
4. Nowadays we have unlimited options to claim 5 seconds of fame and leave a digital footprint
5. We want to share with our friends, relatives and connections what we do, when, where and how

We All Want to Be Young from box1824 on Vimeo.

The movie “We All Want to Be Young” is the outcome of several studies developed by BOX1824 in the past 5 years. BOX1824 is a Brazilian research company specialized in behavioral sciences and consumer trends.

This movie has an open license by Creative Commons.

Written and directed by Lena Maciel, Lucas Liedke and Rony Rodrigues.

Zeppelin Films

Posted in consumer, Research, Trends | No Comments »

Sony Press Conference, Part 1 – E3 2010


The future of gaming according to Sony PlayStation…

Posted in Events, Innovation, PlayStation, Trends | No Comments »

Brand New Game Digital Interactive Branding

>The latest insights on Digital Interactive Branding using the CoCha model as a tool to develop an interactive branding strategy within the renewed media landscape.

Posted in consumer, inspiration, Presentation, Social media, Trends | No Comments »