Gamification – brilliant talk

Where to start on the brilliant talk on Gamification by Gabe Zichermann this morning?

While many institutions may now be thinking of nipping out and developing a game to help further their recruitment, it was some of the drivers and theory behind the success of Gamification that were so interesting for me.

Gabe started with a compelling story about a 10 year old boy who saved his family from a potentially fatal car crash, using his knowledge of driving he’d acquired as part of a game. This was an example of the use of fluid intelligence (the capacity to think logically and solve problems in novel situations) that Gabe touched on throughout his presentation.

He talked about how fluid intelligence combined with creativity can solve challenging problems.

Gabe went on to talk about an ‘engagement crisis’: how the next generation particularly are distracted by more things (our use of multiple screens/devices etc) and where Gamification can help them to engage and focus. Gamification is not the answer to everything, but if you take the best ideas and games and apply them for business or other purposes they can be used strategically and tactically.

Essentially, Gamification can help people experience or feel a product and this approach is much better than simply telling them about it. Gamification can help people to achieve or feel success which your brain responds to well. He described the chemical process of challenge, achievement and finally success! This success can be experienced when you’re playing a game or engaged in Gamification.

Gamification can also help people to push the boundaries of reality in a contained way. Gabe gave a brilliant example of the game Civilisation (yes I do remember this game…) which allows people to experience reality, be aspirational but also to fail safely.

Gabe ended to say that with the advent of new technology people will follow and find their own happiness and that their attention will be focused on where the most amount of positive reinforcement is. He finished by saying that nothing is a given anymore and that if we don’t give the next generation what they want – they will just start a competitor – this is what makes them different.

It was a brilliant talk and impossible to capture but it certainly got me thinking about the possibilities of the future, the current generation, the next generation and whether I should get my 8 year old son Minecraft after all…





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