Gamification Nation Gamification design for business results Tue, 08 Oct 2019 08:00:29 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Gamification design for business results Gamification Nation Gamification design for business results Gamification Nation Podcast 29: What can gamification unlock in the workplace? Tue, 08 Oct 2019 08:00:29 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show. This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamification can unlock in the...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 29: What can gamification unlock in the workplace?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show.

This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamification can unlock in the workplace? A big question and it was one that I was asked by a journalist recently who was writing about gamification and other new technologies in the workplace and gamification is obviously considered as one of those So my answer was, first of all to say it’s a big question.

What are the opportunities? Well the opportunities are quite large. If you think about it most young people will have played games at some point. They may not all be lets say Esports Gamers or really into the big multiplayer online games, but most people have used regularly social media regular games like things you play on your mobile the casual variety and in the wider spectrum of games like multiplayer online games, role-playing games. I would even consider Sports board Games Etc as part of the larger gaming picture. So most young people know that and most young people have on their devices things that are gamified from the get-go. Then they end up in the workplace and they come across often very archaic looking systems or boring interfaces of the things that we use every day.

I mean, you know, there’s nothing wrong with your Word and Excel and Office products, absolutely, nothing wrong, very functional very, you know very much fit for purpose. So you wouldn’t expect there to be game mechanics on top of it. But what gamification can unlock is productivity to use those tools, productivity to complete.

So if we look out workplace productivity most managers would love to know how long are my people working on things? What does it take for them to complete an item Etc who’s in trouble? Who needs my help? Who’s actually doing very well and you know happy to keep plodding along without any hand-holding or anything else?

So those kinds of things are really vital for a manager to know and vital for a person to understand. And often for the individual we don’t get feedback on our productivity or performance until it’s too late or the person either quits or you as a manager have to have a word with the fact that you know, it’s not as good as you wanted it to be but if people knew as and when they went how things were progressing and what was good about it, you know, they would already be at a better starting point.

So that’s the first thing I would say. So what kind it unlock? More productivity, more feedback without having to be there in person. I only think there’s still a place for the person face-to-face conversation too, I so wouldn’t rule out one over the other but we work with a number of systems where you can have dashboards to see about your performance to look at completion to see how you’re doing within the team, to get basically completion rewards, completion unlocking either rewards in the shape of little items or something that you can eventually trade in for real-world items.

So whether that is a badge or real-world item, it’s a reward for something you’ve done or simply a dashboard that gives you the impression. Okay. This is where I’m at. This is where I need to go. This is how we’re doing.

This is how my work is actually having an impact on the larger company because most of us, especially — and I remember when I was in large organizations, would love to know how our work actually makes a difference to anyone because even the smallest item or smallest thing can have an impact but you don’t always know.

So knowing the bigger picture goals and how your personal goals play into that can be very interesting very rewarding and actually make people feel good about what they do.
I truly believe in workplace productivity and gamification. I think that the two kind of work quite well together. I’m also a big fan of Health trackers and fitness trackers, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. The other one that I think works and you know where gamification can house a lot of opportunities in the workplace is to tie learning to productivity.

A lot of the time people go on courses and or take e-learning programs and then they need to make the bridge and putting it into practice. That’s not always a loop that people take so easily and I think this is where gamification can bridge the gap. Where when you have short quest so you’ve just completed a course on negotiation skills and then the next call you take on the phone is from a client where you have to negotiate and I’d say a deal if people see you do that you can do a number of things.

First of all, you can self report on how you felt what you tried how you actually applied something that you took from the course into practice if other people spotted you doing it they can give you feedback on how well you execute it. And if you are on a system where clients also give feedback they can also let you know how well that was received or you could tie it into net promoter scores or things like that.

So, I think you know gamification has the opportunity to make the journey connected and smoother from one end to the other, from training all the way into practice and then again in the training space gamification will tell you or will or should give you indications of progression, indications of habit building, indications of how deep you know the topic.

It can provide for testing things in a safe environment without having to risk. Let’s say, a major equipment failure or major damage to life or other important things in a business. It allows for reflection. And I think good gamification should make you think should make you realize mmmm. It’s not a guarantee that I’m going to do fantastically well, it should be challenging. It should stretch you and sort of say. Oh, how am I going to reach that top level and you keep trying until you get there. So there is a number of things that gamification can unlock and it’s you know, productivity resourcefulness practical implementation of on the job skill.

It can give you feedback and it can keep you on track as in on track to whatever your goal destination is whether that is a promotion whether that is learning a specific skill, whether that is just completion of work, so. From my perspective, it’s quite a linear approach to how we perform things.

And if you have gamification where storylines come in, where simulations are possible, where role-plays are possible you add another layer of reality of learning reflecting what actually happens. I’m making it life like so scenarios are a good example of feedback loops in the scenarios are another good example of gamification actually aiding the learner to be their best self to get better and to perform at a higher level.

So it kind of all look a million of thing. In our feedback what we hear regularly it unlock more confidence. We retain more information. We pushed ourselves further to achieve more. Competition was fun. We learned more about other people in the team.

We had to collaborate and co-create that made us think on how we actually do things for real. So, you know, those are the kinds of things that people tell us when we’ve implemented gamification and they’ve had a bit of time to play around with it. So. I would say there is tons of good applications for gamification and it’s the creativity of individuals designing it and how its rolled out that sort of expanded limited or put boundaries on it. I think.

So. Yeah. It’s a short answer to a long question. I hope there is so many things around it. I personally think learning and gamification by default should go hand in hand. I think it’s setting people up for success. It’s letting people try things out in a safe environment and then encouraging them to practice it for real in their day job.

So I think that’s what learning should have been from day one and often the context and connection is a made because you do everything in isolation and I firmly believe that gamification can be the bridge that sort of connects the dot between just learning and putting things into practice.

So I hope that answers this week’s question of gamification and keep listening.
If you like the show, please forward it on to all your friends and families or other people that you think may benefit, and I love to talk to you. Thank you very much.

The post Podcast 29: What can gamification unlock in the workplace? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show. This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamificatio... Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief game changer at Gamification Nation and also the show host for this show. This week’s question is what are the Learning and Development opportunities that gamification can unlock in the... Gamification Nation 10:02
Podcast 28: How to design for people with varying abilities and disabilities? Tue, 01 Oct 2019 08:00:36 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 28: How to design for people with varying abilities and disabilities?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing I was going to say, this is part of the series of inclusion by design. So I promise to share my thoughts, my philosophy, but also the things we do to actively include people and watch out for people in our designs so that they are the most successful as possible. Oh, I also explained in one of the previous podcasts that I see all of the different leaders of inclusion that we should look at. So gender, age, culture and ability as a spectrum. So the spectrum of disabilities and abilities is vast and wide to some disabilities are visible, some disabilities are not, mental health is often considered, under disabilities and you can’t see it.

Colorblindness is, you know, can be very disabling. And again, it’s not visible to us, but the person experiencing it experiences it a lot. Some chronic diseases cause pain. But may not make the person look different on the outside. So from a design perspective that brings with it a whole range of different challenges and, and different interesting points. The first point for people with varying level of abilities, and I’m calling people with abilities because even if you can’t see, you can’t touch, you have not all the limbs available to you or in use or in working order, you still have abilities. They may be limited, they may be the same. So a person in a wheelchair could just be as mentally able as the next person. We’re just not physically able to do the sport. So, you know, you have to see it from a spectrum perspective.

And I think even with the analogy with autism and is being quite relevant, which you know, the autistic girl Gretta Turnberg being in the news so much. I find it fascinating how many people are slating her for standing up for something she believes in. Whilst if this was a grown white man, would we have the same impact and the same, I suppose, nastiness towards him. And maybe, you know, this day and age you probably would judging by our current day politicians, but Hey, that’s a completely different story and a completely different mindset of all I was wanted to, to bring without analogy is that autism has been recognized as a spectrum. So there’s so many degrees and various variations of it manifesting. People have grades of being normally able to do everything and very different in the way that they do and process different things.

So the first thing for inclusion for differences of abilities is accessibility and acceptance. Now, accessibility and acceptance. If you think about it, try navigating the world as a blind person. Try navigating the world as a person in a wheelchair to understand what I mean with that. I did an experiment at an event not too long ago where I used monopoly paper money. And asked, you know, can you pick that up with a hand? And of course that was not a problem for the person. Now pick it up with, you know, your hand in your sleeves so that your fingers have knots, the same touch. The person managed to do it but it required a different skills. And then I asked them to pick it up without hands and that then became a lot more challenging. Some people reach for their feet, some people took it with their teeth.

So you know, it’s, you know, it poses a whole different range of things. And the first thing we often see when we’re designing systems for inclusion is that access is the first point. Even from a building perspective where most organizations fail is that person with the wheelchair or the person that is blind, the person with all sorts of physical ailments is just not able to make it through the door. So they fail at point of access. In video software that can be the same and abilities here could range from the physical variety to actually cognitively can they actually easily play and understand how to play. So access is one thing. Acceptance that there are people with differences of abilities is another. I mean, especially when you have family members with a different abilities that look a little bit different, you often see people stare.

You often see people look away as if they should be invisible or it shouldn’t be out. And the reality is they’re, just as special and as good as everybody else. So from my perspective, it’s making it visible, making them enjoy it. I, you know, worked with, with different schools of children, with differences of abilities and in the end of the day, everyone from a child with full abilities in, you know, physical, mental, relational, you name it, compared to anyone with limitations, in the end of the day, we all want to be seen. We all want to be heard and we all want to be loved and creating a sense of belonging and giving them the ability to play and feel part of the game is essential. Of course, they will have different outcomes. They may have different special skills. You know, my niece is a master in memory games and I think she learns that way too to navigate her her society.

She’s 21 but she hasn’t got the same mental ability. She’s probably stuck somewhere around 10 but play memory game and she’ll beat you hands down and she, she loves her game play. So, you know, these are the kinds of things that, that we need to be mindful of as designers. So what should you take into account? So first of all, inclusion is about giving them access, giving them ways to play. Way back, I read a book by Tim cook and it was about second life. Second life was a virtual world for those of you who have never heard of it. And he actually took an example of a care home where every once a week or twice a week, a group of disabled people would be allowed to play a character in second life. Some people are the arms, some people were leg and together they performed as a real normal person.

And the experiences that people had was a sense of freedom, a sense of being part of the world as if they were a normal person. So allowing your character to show up as they are. If they choose to show up with all of their special superpowers and you know, the, maybe this special disadvantages that they have. Fair enough, let them but also allow them to maybe as a group play one character to make it inclusive. Maybe, you know, once the person says on entry, I have X, a limitation that’s there is compensation built into your system so they can enjoy and play at the same level. So I always see designing for inclusion is around understanding and accepting that there are people with different perspectives, different abilities and with limitations. At the very minimum, having sound and sound narrative is like a design that should help quite a number of people.

So if you can’t see, if you can’t read, if your cognitive ability is limited in what you can understand, speech instructions, letter types that can be enhanced to be made bigger. So visually people can see it better contrasts of colors so that people with vision limitations can actually engage and play all the way down to controllers. Now, controllers by very nature have often been designed to fit certain size per people a certain size, hands and, you know, motor skills that are completely in tuned adapting them and allowing the adaptation to, to be possible to, if not playing by hands, play by feet, play by eye movement. These are the kinds of things that then makes the design considerations much more specialists that may be down. Oh, the very narrow lane. When I speak about inclusion, when designing for inclusion, what we’re trying to make sure that as many people as possible can play without needing modification to your systems.

So having clues in the system that are visible, but having clues that are linked to narrative, having clues to the system that basically guide you based on limitations and based on having full powers and maybe having different journeys through a tool designed from the outside to be able to include playing in black and white mode, which for people with color blindness is what happens every day. But some of our designs actually don’t work very well for that. When we make presentations, our slides visibly pleasing. I mean, we had looked at our social media for example, and some of the things we were pushing out are design tips where we do very busy backgrounds and you know, from a design perspective all nice and dandy, but from a person with a visionary problems, major challenge. So we’re aiming to change that.

Sometimes my team gets it right. Sometimes we still need to instruct them a bit more. So bear with us while we, while we’re all learning I would say, the way around making sure that your design is as inclusive as it can be is also to engage testers from these target groups. So engage testers of different abilities, tests or is up play testers that are typically not included in, in play. And we designed mainly for the workforce. So the most common kind of things are around Metoric, around a hearing, around vision. And part of that is because even the workplace is not set to be inclusive a lot of the time. Creating a sense of belonging is basically allowing people to be part of your game, part of your play without singling them out as a special, I mean I’m a celiac so I have to eat gluten free.

It’s not crazy thing, but it always makes me stand out when I have to look for the special menu. Having it on the menu included a listed as what’s gluten free and what’s not gluten free stops me from having to single myself out. Hey, I’m a troublesome person and you know, often for waiting staff thats just as awkward for them as it is for me. So having these things readily available on the same menu as everything else is more inclusive. Then for example, having the special menu, now, I can totally live with a special menu too. Cause that means some thought has gone into it. So, you know, but in some places they force you then to order from the manager. And not any general waiter or waitress. I had some incidents in hotels where, you know, a waitress would have told, Oh no, but the celiac societies, or this was good.

And I would’ve said, well, you know, this was an instance where the bread basket, so the gluten free bread was open on the same bread calendar with regular bread. Now for those of you who don’t understand what a celiac is, it’s people that get very ill when day ingest gluten, that’s wheat, oats, barley. And by pushing the bread mixed in with other bread and other bread being passed over to gluten free bread to put it into the toaster and even giving the same toaster for people, which a gluten allergy or gluten or celiac diseases is a major problem. So if regular crumbs go into the celiac crumbs or the celiac bread, it would mean that I’m physically sick and basically we’ll revise my whole breakfast dinner or whatever it was I was eating. Now the same wish, if preparation was done in the same area and it was cross-contaminated.

So seeing small things can actually make a massive big difference. Just keeping it separate in a separate area, away from the regular bread covered so that the crumbs from one to the other don’t fall in it even better, keep it pre-packaged so they don’t actually can get in there even if somebody by mistake drops regular bread in with it. So you know, there is, there is many things that can be done but they’re subtle there meaning that you need to be as a designer, mindful and aware I’m always reading up on these things. I follow blogs from people with different abilities. I follow Twitter accounts on inclusion and it’s some, there’s some fantastic research that comes out where, you know, you’re looking at levels of inclusion levels of things you can do. Design manuals are often available that give you assistance on how to do it better, how to make it better.

Now, I’m not claiming I know everything, but I will say that we look at the audience that we’re designing for and we try to design for the majority, the majority, we try and make as wide as possible so that kids with a variety of levels of ability can play. And the same for adults in our workplace. Gamification, the most common things are vision issues where some people are blind, some people have different levels of vision. Colorblindness is quite prevalent physical ability where maybe one arm or not having full motoric skills or limitations around with motorics or essential. So making sure that there is minimum adaptation rate or minimal adaptation required for those people to also engage with games. And gamification is quite critical. And just take a cross platform games as an example. In cross-platform games, depending what the core first platform is that the game was designed for, that’s where you probably have the biggest advantage in play.

So if you play Fortnite on an iPad, you will probably be warped by people playing on a console or a PC because of the level of control that they have over their character being so much more advanced than much more easy to control. So the way to get it right and the way to, to do better as an industry is to engage and ask groups of pilot testers of varying levels of ability with various limitations to come and play in common tests. And if you have designers who come from the perspective where they have limitations themselves, they will be the first to point out, Hey, have you thought of this? Hey, have you spotted that? Because they no they live it, they know about it every single day of their real life. So inclusion by design is an ongoing challenge. And you know, it’s an ongoing learning curve.

I’m always discovering new things that I didn’t get right. And it is a case of trialing and error, but also seeking feedback and seeking responses from those that you are trying to be inclusive for. So I hope this helps you and I hope that you’re enjoying the series of inclusion by design. Yes. Do send me on your questions. If they’re relating to inclusion, if they’re relating to anything to do with games or gamification, we’d love to address them. We work mainly on gamification for the workplace. So if that’s an area of your interest, do reach out. We can answer any question in that space as well. So if you like us and you like what we’re talking about, please do give us a star rating on this system that you’re listening to and share it forward. Thank you very much for listening.


The post Podcast 28: How to design for people with varying abilities and disabilities? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing... Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host of this show and the chief game changer at Gamification Nation. Today we are bringing to you the question, how can I design for people with disabilities? And first thing... Gamification Nation 18:05
Podcast 27: Is gamification manipulation? Tue, 24 Sep 2019 08:00:39 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 27: Is gamification manipulation?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a simulations. Primarily question was is gamification just simply manipulation? And I didn’t have a chance to answer the question there. And then so I also had it in my mind and sort of play with my mind what is manipulation really. So if we think about it, how and what do we consider manipulation? So I went on a bit of a fact finding mission to get the sorts of dictionary explanation of manipulation before sort of jumping in and giving my opinion on, you know, is gamification manipulation. Yes. No. Or, you know, is it as black and white as that and in the dictionary, when we look at manipulation, it says, “it’s the skilful handling, controlling or using of something or someone, whether it’s a sculpture you made in an art class or how you convince your friends to do your homework.

Both are considered manipulation in the negative sense. It’s also explained as exerting shrewd or devious influence, especially for one’s own advantage. And so it sort of shows even in, I suppose just pure dictionary terms where you’re trying to explain a concept. It’s not that straightforward. It’s not always negative. It’s also not always positive because if we look at is from making a sculpture perspective, because money pinata, it comes from the Latin handful. It’s, you know, it could be handling something and skilful handling can be positive. If it is, let’s say a sculpture handling a piece of wood or a piece of clay or a piece of stone to sculpt a beautiful piece of art out of it. Yes, it’s manipulating the brick to become something different and you wanted to be, and you know, for some people that’s probably why did you waste a really good break or really good piece of wood.

But for others it’s, it’s an amazing piece of art and I think it’s not that far removed from, you know, when we actually give or exert influence over an individual or someone to do something. Manipulation can be, you know, something good and something bad. And I see it as, you know, a potential of having two faces, both positive and negative. And I actually see gamification in very much the same light. Any good tool used for bad reasons or bad purposes will have bad outcomes. And you know, that’s the same with great technology to world over. Even games on simulations can be used to influence people to make decisions that really you want them to consider twice or maybe not make at all. So it’s, it’s not as clear as black and white. It’s more of a gray scale. And then it’s kind of how many shades of gray do you need to go to before?

For you. It’s a, it’s a no, no. So if we look at gamification, so gamification in my view is a contains nudges. It contains game elements. It contains an element of understanding human behavior and what are we tending to do and tending not to do and how can we then come to an outcome that is best for the individual for whatever older purpose the gamification was designed for. So let’s look at it from a coaching perspective and that smile original background. So I come I suppose to, to world of gamification through the lens of, Oh, a former coach, I was first a sports coach. I coached basketball for years and years and also played basketball for years and years. So for me, coaching always was about understanding where the individual is out with their skills level and then trying to, you know, nudge them forward into their next level of ability.

I think back to the team, I coach two of the longest, which were in basketball and in Belgium we had the microbes, the microbes were the youngest possible kids that could take up basketball. You had to be five and a five years old on that category. I think around even all the way to nine if I’m not wrong, I’ll be wrong on that. And then from nine till 12 he became a Benjamin. So I had the microbes and I also for a time had the Benjamins and then occasionally I was a sports coach at sports camp for the Belgium basketball Federation and stuff. So I suppose did try out, I did study as much as I could learn about coaching, Dysport of basketball. Also did all the certifications that you don’t were required to make sure that you could coach out that particular level, et cetera.

So what I always wanted to achieve, I still think back to, to my microbes, he had a nickname. It was an and the Hoovers. Now if you’ve met me, you know, I’m not particularly told, and all of my microbe team or table Heights [inaudible] you know, some of you who would say even, you know, a sitting room table, how you split out. We’d say kitchen, table Heights. And so the kids were small, but they were all very young. So they were all just five or just six. And we had one or two older brothers in the team. So it was, it was really funny. So we were super fast. We created a lot of dust, which is why we had the nickname, the Hoovers. We hoovered up all the dust. What we were at a disadvantage. I mean in basketball, LinkedIn is a, is a positive.

We were at a disadvantage with height but my kids had passion like no tomorrow. And I always looked at it and said, you know, we had a little kid called Kevin and Kevin had a real fight. Her spirits, you know, grew up on, on the streets, I think playing out on the streets and you know, fighting his way to be noticed type of thing. He was the youngest of a family. And then we had, I think it was, yeah, I think it was called told him who was an only child in a, in a very lovely family setting and you know, much more protected. And I don’t think he was ever allowed to play outside. So the difference in terms of skills was actually quite significant. You know, Kevin’s goal Dominican joined was to score. So whatever he did when he got the ball, he would throw it from wherever he was standing to go on obviously.

When you’re a table height, that’s not a, not a mean feet. So we had to teach him the basic skills to go at score, but his goal, his outcome, his desire was to score and little tone was a bit different. Tom was much more scared of the ball and he was afraid that he would get hit or lose it or do something wrong. So for him, actually I set him the goal because he was too scared to set a goal. And I said, look, let’s catch the ball. And then you give it to Mike who is the dedicated receiver. And it was then Mike’s job to make sure that when you saw that Tom had the ball to common beat close to tell them to, to collect it. And you know it works. I mean, boats, kids, both Kevin and Tom the first time they actually hit their goal, I was their biggest champion and biggest cheerful leader kind of jumping up and down.

Yay, well done. Fantastic. And I still to this day in my, you know, can see their faces like you know, glowing and you know, so delighted. I think Kevin grew 10 centimeters in size, just purely out of pride. And the same with Tom. Tom was super delighted he did it and you know, we had a big celebration about it. Now in the larger scheme of things, did we win the game? No, we didn’t. We were well overpowered by elders, but duh in the short term was not our power, our priority or, and even mine as it coach my job, because they were the first introduction to basketball they ever got. My job was to sort of instill the basics. So all of the training sessions, all of the games we did play, you know, we, the focus was on getting the basics right, learning to dribble, learning to pass, doing a layup.

And you know, yes, scoring was great but was icing on the cake at the beginning. And then once we won a few games, it became a bit more interesting too to do a bit of tactical gang plate. But for kids that age, the reality is, you know, you need to teach them the basics so that later on in life they can then do all the fancy footwork with special tactics and specialists, coaches on that fraud. But for us it was important they learn the basics of attack, the basics of defense, and that we didn’t get hammered by every single team. Well, we did when it was a massive celebration and it did happen the first year. It was a bit, I think we only want that one game. The second year it came a bit better and little by little there was progress. But as a coach, I always felt, look, I need to make sure that it’s still fun because for kids, so five, six, seven, the a to Z awesome is amazing.

You need to direct it. But also it’s about nudging them into doing what’s the right way of doing it and coaching them, teaching them to some extent what will get them the best results. So you could say, and you could argue that you know, always manipulating them to be better players. Now the fact that you’re joining a sports team and you know pretty much all your family wants you to get better and that you may like it. Look, Kevin have the objective to score your first goal or for Tom to catch your first pass. Those things were major on yet, so achieving or you know, so rewarding once they achieved it. So from my perspective, yes you could call me the manipulator as a coach, but you could also call me the facilitator, the enabler, the person that actually set them up to be better at basketball.

You know, you could argue both sides and I actually really think I see came with vacation and very much that light, any technology used for bad reasons will have bad outcomes. If we look at the most gamify systems today, which in effect are social media systems. Yes they can have a negative effect. If for example, you were suffering with a low self esteem and you see everybody in your circle of friends doing much better than you or they get the likes and you don’t get the lives for anything you post you know there is social pressure. There it is, you know, peer to peer oriented. So, so can it be bad? Yes it can. Can it also be good? Yes, I do think it can. And you know, the fact that we data share is what made the social media take advantage of us because they know us better than most.

I mean they see what we respond to, what we react to. But that’s been the science of marketing and market research since, I don’t know, day one of their existence because they knew duh, if you knew your customer better that can design better campaigns, more engaging campaigns and gamification in effect is no difference because we borrow from market research and marketing the fact that we are studying our target audience that we want to see what are their preferences, what are their tendencies in order to move them towards a given goal. Now that goal is where the differentiation is in my view, which we need becoming manipulation or something much more positive. You know, if we consider manipulation to divide version because the way the question was asked, you know, was clearly seen that manipulation was a bad thing and you know, whatever the opposite is, let’s call it enabling was seen as a good thing.

So I would say we still have free choice and even in the coaching situations all the kids have the choice to ignore my advice on how to do something. And you know, in the execution you sometimes forget the basics and you just do what you think at the time is the right thing to do under saying with social media, you don’t have to have it on your phone, you don’t have to have it on your computer, you can choose to log in or not. But a lot of us have been conditioned by that woman. One simple question, what are you up to today? What are you sharing today? So there is, you know, an our curiosity of being nosy, of what everyone else is up to, what’s happening in the world and the world being your little universe on whatever the algorithm presents to you.

So, you know, it’s an algorithmic AI level that I think we need to be much more careful than with the game accounting scene effect. And those need to be, are within with a lot of ethics in mind. But I think gamification, like anything needs to be designed with ethics in mind. And question, is it good for the person or is it not? And actually if you look at the Nobel prize winning works from Richard tolerant, he’s collaborators on nudge. I mean I would highly recommend the book knowledge. Do you have the same consideration in behavioral economics where in fact if we are left to our own decisions and our own devices that we actually do not choose the most optimal choices for us, we actually are inherently seeking the path of least resistance and that’s the majority. Again, that’s not every single person on this planet.

There are outliers and everything, but in his work he basically said if we are designing a cafeteria for people to eat and make the right choices, Don our best for their bodies, then it’s about layouts, but it’s also about education. It’s about much more than that. So you know the nudge teary is about nudging people and reminding people that, Hey, are you definitely choosing the best option for you? It’s not about after the facts analyzing, Oh, you did wrong. It’s before the facts and making whatever choice you want to make as easy as possible, as convenient as possible so that that part to least resistance is opens and open up for you. A few odd in game mechanics and gang dynamics into that play. Then immediately I would say is you wanted really know your user very well to see, okay, what are they trying to achieve?

So imagine a gamification from a purpose of learning and some applications like Duolingo have a a good balance of over mix of, of game elements. Well one of the ones that is very much oriented for teaching you to do the right thing because you know that if you’re left to your own devices you won’t do it is the winning streak example where the game accounting basically entices you to practice a little every day and to get her with energy levels of the words that you’ve already learned. Those two in combination will show, okay, am I actually still improving on how do I practice a little every day? It’s like all your Fitbit’s your sports and exercise tracker is giving you the notes. Hey, you said today was a good day to remind you that you know it’s a good time to go out and exercise. So the nudges is what keeps us going.

The same with my basketball team. If I had not been the person to celebrate, I would have taken away from their achievement when both Kevin scored and told him took the ball. So in some sentence both of them go reinforcement to say, Hey, job well done. That was exactly what we trained for and now we can level up and do the next step. And that was, to me that was key and I think that’s, that’s how I see gamification is yes, you want to understand the user enough. If they sign up for our learning gamification app, like I’m learning a language, then we can expect that they want to improve their language skills. So nudging them forward to practice a little everyday and keep the energy off of their memory fresh and their vocabulary fresh I think is a positive. Is that manipulation in the strictest sense of the world?

Probably yes. But then the underlying question is, is that a bad thing? Because the person has indicated by downloading the application though they wanted to learn our language and you know, you know that it’s best to do a little bit installments every day. The same with the person setting two reminders in the fitness app that every three days to see it together, reminder to say, Hey, it’s time for us to take a bit of exercise. Is that a bad thing? Is that manipulation? Yeah. You know, you could call it manipulation. I mean in the true technicality of the world, it’s, you know, skillful handling, controlling or using of something or someone. So yeah, you know, it’s hand holding, you’re subject to their desired outcome now where it becomes a lot more dodgy. And I would say also a lot more questionable is when you set the goal and not the end user, when you enforce or force someone to take gamification as part of their pathway and they have no choice to opt out.

Now there is very few systems where I’ve actually seen that it’s completely enforced. But you know, I would always say, you know, make it free to play on a voluntary to engage in, not everybody’s gonna love it. And that’s okay. Some people prefer simple design on everything. It’s like the search on Google. You don’t need anything else but search because this the simplest, most straightforward way to, to getting there. What would help about Google and me is if I could give a rating on the kind of quality of search results I’m getting back because algorithmically it’s not always optimized for me or for what I’m looking for. And the fact that you know, every search I do trains my computer to think, Oh gosh, she must be looking at problem data angle. But when you do a lot of learning design and design of different projects, it’s a right mix.

So what I give back as recommendations and suggested reading is often different to the next person. So, but that’s not gamification as algorithms. And that’s artificial intelligence. That’s us teaching computers what we like and what we don’t like. So that’s where I think we have a far more deep going question of manipulation, ethics and a whole range of things. So, so those types of things I would say careful, but when it comes to gamification and people actually opting into your system to achieve a specific goal and a lot of gamified systems actually ask you to set a goal and then assist you on getting there. So a lot of the work we do in learning and HR is very much optimized and the controls are handed over to the individual user, at least in our designs. I can’t obviously speak for everybody else’s, but you know, we are trying to give people the choice sometimes explicitly.

Sometimes it’s, you know, what we think is the best for them based on the goal that they’ve indicated. Because every piece of gamification design has a goal. It starts with a purpose and then we build a journey to get people to their end result. No. In for example in you may taught me argue this one in a lot of compliance related learning, we see the requests for all, we must get our people to do this and you know by making it more fun by art gamification, people will do it. Now I would also then question, okay, can they prove that they don’t need to take it? Because to me part of compliance and training for compliance is to actually test if people understand what they’re supposed to do or not to do. Give them scenarios where you basically test their knowledge and based on the score they get today, either get to take part of the course the whole course or none of the course, but they do comply with the certification that actually they understood in every single part of the situation what they should or shouldn’t do because effectively that’s what your end outcome is.

And if you think about it in that way, even forcing someone to take a blind straining, you know, as long as the outcome is reached in the way done the end user has the choice on, has the free will to take part, not take part to complete it fully the traditional way or to test out because they’ve proven they have the knowledge. That to me is end result achieve. There is always more than one way to get to a destination. So is game-ification strictly speaking, manipulation. It can be manipulation for good manipulation for bad. If it is for bad people still have free choice. You don’t have to take part. I do believe that there is a big request for ethics on a big need for it to be ethical. So, so yes, but people still have choice. So is is by default manipulation? No, not by default.

If given and put in the wrong hands and billed for the wrong purpose, it can have. So it’s not as clear cut as yes it is or no, it isn’t. If in the wrong hands, yes, he can be considered manipulation if in the right hands with the right intentions. I mean look at it in recruitment. So we do a lot of work for defense forces and some people say, Oh, we don’t need to create war. In actual fact, one of the works that we did is was to showcase all of the humanitarian and more social oriented work they also get to do, especially at times of peace. You cannot get away that you know that are there for defense reasons. So they’re actually virtual. The world word means that they’re there to defend the interests of the country, not necessarily to go and actively attack on other because otherwise they would call the attacks as opposed to the defense forces.

So there is different ways of portraying everything, but people that are really not interested in careers in defense forces will do take our par games or will they express interest at the end of a gamified process for them? Probably not. If they really have an aversion to everything to do with equipments, dots, you know, it can be used in both. Good and bad ways, then yeah, they’re not going to and, and that’s okay because then those people would not be the right people for digital, I would say. So you know, when you’re looking at manipulation, what I would say when you’re looking at gamification, I would say design it with the outcome in mind. Does best for the end user first of all. And for an outcome that they can assign or agree with. I mean, of course you don’t want them to do something they don’t want to do.

You need to have a way out if they’re in a job that they don’t like, if you want to stay there with them to stay there or do you want them to do find somewhere where they’re happier? Well, I think I know what I will, but that’s me. So declare coach answer is gamification. Manipulation in my view, it can be yes. And it can be no. So it’s a dual answer with a lot of gray between what makes gamification positive is when it’s in the interest of the end user ideally set up so that it’s built to design to hit the goal of the end user on nudging them towards that goal is where the game mechanics actually make the difference. And it also always should include the option of freewill voluntary participation and you know, freewill to opt out as well and turn it off unfree will where possible.

And that’s the recommendation for them to only share what they want to share and not make it an enforced you have to share or else you know. So there is multiple ways of seeing it, but in my view, gamification is it positive thing? I would say that I’m in the business, so take it with a pinch of salt that you need to, but I hope this sort of makes you think and makes you consider, okay, while you’re, are you doing gamification? Is it good for us? Is it good for the company? Is a good for the end user? Is it good for them to achieve their goals? If you can positively say yes to all of it, then you know, gamification can go ahead without it becoming a political discussion. If, however, there is nos in the mix, then the question is why? Yes, why no and where do you need to be careful? So think it true. Don’t just take it as a blanket yes or blanket no, it’s yes, maybe on, you know, if maybe den, what do we need to make sure that we get right in, in that potential mix. So this is a question of gamification this week. I hope you are enjoying the show and please share it forward. If you do on, send us your questions. I’d love to answer them.

The post Podcast 27: Is gamification manipulation? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a... Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. My name is An Coppens, I’m the show host and the CEO or chief game changer at Gamification Nation. And this week’s question is an interesting one which was asked at a conference of people who make a... Gamification Nation 26:58
Podcast 26: What are the design choices to consider when designing for inclusion? Tue, 17 Sep 2019 08:00:13 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 26: What are the design choices to consider when designing for inclusion?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of the inclusion by design series. And the question that we want to attack or answer is what are the implications of trying to be inclusive by design and the design choices I need to make. So this week I want to start with an example namely to be a sports watch. Now, It’s an example that I’ve blogged about a number of years ago and it’s also a product that I think showcases how inclusion is not always there from the outset and then allows for niche products to appear. And this is a very niche product but actually created out of a need that was real for the target audience.

So the BS sports watch was designed for by, designed for and by female triathletes. So those are the ladies that swim, cycle, and run a mega long distances for fun or for achievement. And many of them train very long distances to prepare for competition days. And one of the things that they found is that the sports watches on the market weren’t necessarily suited for a female wrists or for their sport because you know, it needs to be waterproof, it needs to be a long lasting battery. It also needs to still be visible so that you can see the various statistics that you may want to see in this situation. So what the ladies did first before designing the watch, they say, well, let’s explore if we’re the only ones with this problem. And they started asking their fellow colleagues, around and said, look, you know, what would you like in a sports watch that you would take as part of your training?

And what came out was people were looking for something slim and ergonomic something that was lightweight to wear. And both those things came up because the traditional watches that were made for women were just smaller versions of what was made for a man and that often then obscured the face and made all the letters smaller. For those of you that are users of smart watches or FitBits, trying to fiddle with lots of things that are tiny means that you often have to repeat some things several times. And if you’re like me trying to hit the right application that I want to launch from the Apple Watch is a bit of a trial and error situation. And again, when it’s so basically, they say, well, want something slim, ergonomic lightweight to wear, but also a one button to start something really user friendly design.

So the user experience needs to be one click we’re on, we’re off. And you know, easy to do while you’re running, while you’re swimming, when you’re cycling without losing your speed. And obviously because of their long distances and duration of training, that could actually be quite extensive and, for most of us, way beyond our reach. They also needed long battery life, but I mean battery life for those of us that use smart devices, we know how important it is. So when your battery drains without even having lasted the whole day. So, especially then when it’s a productivity and a training tool, you do want it to last the distance of wherever you’re going, swimming, cycling or running. They also wanted, and this was a feature that had never been included before, was an SOS button. So they could discreetly launch an SOS, to let’s say a family member or relative that could checkup where they were on their route or where their GPS location was in the case that they hit an unsavory situation and, you know, way back, I used to train for marathons and often on the long runs I used to do them in the mornings early on a Sunday or Saturday, typically speaking.

And sometimes you meet some strange characters, not you sort as I’ve been, I better keep running fast here because I’m not so sure which way this is gonna go or you know, worse. Again, you end up injured and you need somebody to help and come and collect you, which is also possible when you’re tired, you may miss step or you may fall or you may be hits or you know, by car or whatever. So there may be many reasons why you may need to launch an SOS, but you don’t necessarily want to scream and shout and hope somebody hears you. You do want to send it to the people that matter to you, that could actually take action on your behalf. So that was something that most of the products on the market at the time definitely didn’t do. And it was a very feminine kind of problem where safety as a value tends to play higher on the scaled.

And for a lot of guys, they also wanted active positive reinforcement at the end of a training I something that told you, hey, you’re best out of x number or hey, well done. You completed your training, keep up the hard work. You know, things like that. Not In childish, but something that made them feel good that actually you’ve been out there, you’ve been rocking it and you know you’re doing your best on, you know, that’s obviously where gamification can play in. Nice, neat little role. So I wanted to give that as an example because it’s a good starting point. A lot of the time when when we see product development trying to go and appeal to women, we get the pink version and it doesn’t have to be pink. I love pink by the way, but it doesn’t have to be paying.

There’s plenty of ladies that do not appreciate pink. So, you know, what we do wanted to do is to be functional first and foremost and to be purpose driven for the role that we’re performing at that time. In fact, if you want to delve deeper are there are several studies around the fact that actually females associate more with the role that they are performing and doing that role to the best of their ability and having tools to be the best in that given role. And therefore their gadgets that we use to support those roles need to fit in with the values we experience and the experience we want to create. And you know, that goes from the discrete SOS button to the positive reinforcement. But also, for example, not to be wanting to be seen as the damsel in distress or the princess that needs saving because not all of us do.

So it’s, it’s something that I thought was a, a good starting point. So, so few, if you look at that from a design perspective, what they basically had to do was inquire with the target audience. So what they first in for foremost did was they went and asked their, their colleagues, their friends or other people with the same problem. And then what they did is they adapted the product itself. So the actual visual look, and I dare you to look up the design because it is rather unusual but actually quite snazzy, quite cool. And you can see why plenty of women would find it an attractive tool. So the first thing, the first design choices, product design, product design and improvements in product design is testing it with your target audiences. And that means observing them. That is mean letting them play with it and see how they respond, what they find Novation whether they like it, dislike it, collect feedback but also observe where are they getting stock, what are they not using?

For example, I’m aware of an Apple Watch. I think I have the man’s model because I find it quite big and Chunky for my wrists. And I immediately from day one I think ordered custom colors for, for the band because I didn’t like the plastic look of the silver band that was on it. So I have nice and colorful designs in bands that I can now change whenever I feel like it. So product design wise, I also find it a very fiddly tool. So once that it does read a time and it gives me reminders on the weather and keeps track of my heart rate, et Cetera, you know, I find it useful, I always wanted it, but I also find that there is a lot of improvements that can be done to the actual design to make it more user friendly.

So when you’re talking about inclusion. So last week I spoke about I think it’s last week or the week before last I spoke about the framework of inclusion by design being culture, being abilities, being gender, being age. And if you’re thinking about product design across those four big pillars, then it to be most exclusive. You want to make sure that if your target audience spans across a cross section of all of them, then at what point are you excluding at what point is your cutoff point. So is it only for people between x agents, x, x, and y age? Is it only for women? Is it only for men? Is it maybe for both? Is it for certain markets but not for others? And I think, you know, the first thing when you are talking about different markets is ability to have language that’s in different, different characters even at times.

So product design is also about the financials, the cost of your product, the shape of your product. So think about this in virtual reality. More and more research is coming out about the design of the headsets. And a lot of people in the learning space or in the corporate space would find virtual reality, quite scary for two reasons. That it blocks a first thing is that it blocks out reality so that they can’t see what’s happening around it and therefore needs to be in a very safe environment where they don’t feel that somebody could potentially take advantage of them. So there’s that as a, as a consideration. And then secondly, something I read very recently was that 90% of the headsets are designed for VR actually don’t fit 100% on female heads because, I mean the official our heads, but the peoples of our eyes are not centred.

And therefore as a secondary we experience, we have a higher likelihood of experiencing motion sickness on that. Some people experience in VR. So you know, from a product design perspective, even the telephone, our smart phones, the current range of smartphones is actually on average about a centimeter to two centimeters too big for a female hand. And you know, again, these are design considerations now they are not made intentionally but do happen because somebody thought it was a good idea. And also because very often our product design teams are from one gender only. And if you’re aiming at both sides of the gender divide to use your product, then you want to test it with both and also see if it actually still works as intended because it may not. So if you, if we’re aiming for 100% inclusion product design and designing for people with different levels of ability is a major challenge.

So you might, you know, a headset for someone that’s blind, it may still not mean anything. So their experience has to come from touch, has to come from sound. So you use, you also then need narrative. You, you need audio and ideally something tactile that take a work with a to get the same kind of experience. So inclusion impacts definitely choices in product design. And you know, from the example I gave on one of the previous podcasts is a simple as a thing as paper money in a game. If it’s too small and too flimsy, it becomes harder for people with Metoric differences in abilities, not, you know, make it harder for them to, to play the game. And you may need to adapt the rules in order for them to feel part of things. So product design has something to do with that.

Some of us will have plenty of cash to tap into. Others may have to do it with more limited, I suppose, affluence and therefore, you know, that’s why you have the Google cardboard or the cardboard VR decks all the way to you know, your top notch HTC vive or Oculus or you know, whichever the latest and greatest is today. So there is inclusion choices to be hired in, in that. The other, the other elements that you would need to consider in inclusive design are the colours. A colour bright blindness is actually much more prevalent than we think. Green, red is not always visible by many people or by the majority of people. So it’s something that often in games needs to meet to be compensated by contrast needs to be able to, you know, a great asset test for, for your design is always, if I was going with just pure black and white lenses, what can I still see?

Am I still able to play with the gray skills or the black and white contrast? Because that will tell you if someone is colour blind Twitter, they can still be participating in play visuals. And if you’re using visuals and I characters you want to make them as inclusive as possible. So I would say all colours, all race, all age groups, even in animates characters are essential for, for some of the Games. And letting the person who enters the game choose and change as they go is amazing. I think one of the Games though that really speaks to me in terms of character design is Overwatch, you have so many options. You can choose different different outfits, different game styles, different type of, of tools that you, you we call go to combat with. So there’s, you know, and I actually think the designs of that game are amazingly beautiful to look at.

And you know, it’s just the appreciation of that, that that takes forever to put together. And I have to say, the artists are not are, are just out of this world in terms of skill with the visuals that you have. So I gave an example and one of the talks I did recently of a specific campaign that I’ve also blogged above, which you can look up, which was a recruitment campaign for Jaguar Land Rover, where they had used the application from gorillas and an intro by a, you know, dark skinned power lady who gave the instructions as you know, she, she invited you to come and prove yourself where you good enough to be an engineer in their offices and then, you know, invite into the game. And I was challenged afterwards to sort of say, well, actually, no, it was a very feminist thing to do.

To talk about that and you know, if then people in reality don’t see female managers and don’t see that person back in real life then this individual said it was actually very much tokenistic and feminist too to use. Now, you know, I get the feminist comment quite a bit and at this stage I think it’s more a reflection of the person than off of me. I am female. I have learned to live with her society around me that’s maybe not always built by females or four females. And that’s okay. I mean, that’s perfectly fine. But I also want to promote a female role models. And I actually, I really liked that particular recruitment game because I thought it touched on a lot of great stuff. It had really sussed out the target audience. It was a really difficult set of problems that you were solving through a very edgy application.

The fact that the instructions were given by a female of dark skin, actually I thought was a bonus and an amazing, rather than, you know, token female. But if indeed nobody sees a female on the floor of the workplace or even in the interview process, you know, you begged the question, was that done on purpose? We’ve worked in on a game also to specifically with the view of being more inclusive and we included females, we included coloured, we included white. Why? Because there was a variety and a mix of people in the workforce, not Su, you know, would represent that we did test and we went to test several times to see if the visuals would be off putting, inviting. We also tested the language on a, what we got back is that the language was too friendly for our game and that they wanted something harsher more, you know, more in your face, more feedback.

Like rather than Nice, nice, you keep doing and keep going. So, so that was good feedback. And for the target audience we then adapted a, the the language and we are going back to another round of testing to make sure that we also appeal to the different cultures that we wanted to appeal to. So too to see if that was not thing there that would put them off and you know, forced them not to play. So, so visuals, having role models in it is good, but also being mindful that some visuals actually are off putting in some scenarios or you know, have at least a health warning to, to kind of point out, look, you may experience this. And that’s if there is, let’s say guns in it and people don’t like guns. But it could be as simple as a food product that’s not used in a certain culture.

It could be that in some cultures certain dress codes are not okay. We’ve worked on learning related scenario where all of the characters had to wear the hijab and long white dresses and head covers for men as well. So, you know, these are cultural considerations that sometimes you, you need to take into consideration and say, ah, right, that’s my target audience. So therefore we need to change that. And it’s flexing your design muscles. So it’s, I think as a designer it’s actually exciting to work with different limitations language. Most European and you know, western languages read left to right. But some of the Middle Eastern ones and Chinese go the opposite way around. So where you positioned things on a screen will become totally different. How you design even where people click and what people click needs to flipped out completely from one side to the other.

So having enough space for the character is becomes a thing because, you know, just try translating from English to French or German sometimes and you’ll experience that exact problem that, you know, certain languages, the buttons just need to be bigger and that’s okay. But language is something to be mindful of. And languages, tone, languages, culture, languages, gender, some things a female would never say or a male would never say. So there’s, you know, a whole range of things to take into account. The only way, the only fail safe way to get it right is to iterate and to multiply the amount of things you do. And to start with, you know, sort of a checklist in side too. If you needed a checklist, I would say colours, visuals, language, product design, multi-modality and multi-modality. I would mean speech, text, video, images you know, glowing items, whichever the case may be, but appealing to as many of these sensors as possible.

Why? Because the more senses you engage, the more you can engage people across the spectrum of abilities. The more you can engage people across the spectrum of age as well. And probably culture and gender to a lesser extent. But abilities and age are major when it comes to multimodality and it’s also a lot about preferences. So some of us love listening to things, others might love reading things and you know, the game genre that you choose to design. And we’ll already, you know, exclude some by default and include some by default the rules that you use. Again, need to be simple enough for age groups to understand or different cultures to understand where maybe you are introducing some new gameplay, how that has never been done before. So you want to make it easy enough. The duration for which it is used also plays a role in your rules, your extent of your game of course, which is already there, which is not necessarily an inclusion limitation, but if you’re limited for time.

So for example, if we’re designing a game that needs to be played and debriefed within 45 minutes, we need to keep the rules as simple as possible. Therefore the game play, will it be adapted, therefore maybe visual becomes much more important, you know, so there is, there’s a whole range of not calling effects that happened. Game elements used also impact on inclusion. So we often have the debates competition versus collaboration, which appeals more to whom. And actually that’s not just a gender perspective. Competition appeals more to the younger age group, less so to an older age group appeals more to to men, but that’s gender or masculine behaviour and lesser to feminine behaviour. But that’s not also foolproof because women, when they feel they have a chance to win and are able and well-equipped enough to compete at the other level playing field will compete just as hard as a man will.

So it’s not as clean or clear cut as that. So that’s why it’s, it’s four pillars in some companies and countries. Competition is unheard of in others it’s encouraged. So it’s even culturally specific too, to an organisation or country. So the key for inclusion is always am I allowing all of the people, all of the players to win. And what am I doing in terms of colours, visuals, language, product design, multi-modality rules, and game elements that makes it as inclusive as possible. The only way to get it right is to test and iterate. And as soon as you have to make adaptations to make someone feel more included, that means you’re not a hundred percent inclusive by design. So therefore a new iteration is necessary. It’s not because you failed, it’s because you need to iterate and that’s fine. So gains improve. So in summary, keep trying, keep iterating.

And yes, across the four pillars of culture, age, gender and ability do aim for 100% check if your colours are inclusive. Check if your visuals are inclusive from characters to gender to abilities to, you know, culturally acceptable visuals. Check your language, the tone, the culture, the gender, you know, the typical things that are said in your target audience or not said from a product design perspective. Tested for sure on the segment that you’re aiming for the majority first. And then, you know, go wider as you can. Multimodal I think is the most have a, unless you’re a text-based adventure and you’re text-based adventure, right? In which case anyone that doesn’t read is by default excluded. With, you know, there’s a, you know, there’s maybe a pointed out the rules obviously make them as good as you can for the audience that you’re aiming for and the game elements.

Make sure not your, actually, I love to co-create so I always encourage it with with my clients. So where possible, co-create and help them to pick game elements that are useful for the games that you’re creating. So I hope that helps identify some of the choices that you will be making in terms of a design to give you an input on to what’s possible, what’s necessary. So thank you very much for listening to a question of gamification and do ask us your questions, especially around the topic of inclusive by design. We will keep going on this theme for a few more sessions and if you enjoy it, do give us a good rating and love to hear from you. Thank you for listening.


The post Podcast 26: What are the design choices to consider when designing for inclusion? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of... Welcome to this week’s a question or gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the show host for this episode. And I’m also the chief game changer at gamification nation or also known as CEO. And this week we are continuing down the line of... Gamification Nation 26:46
Podcast 25: What does inclusive by design really mean? Tue, 10 Sep 2019 08:00:45 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, the big question...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 25: What does inclusive by design really mean?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, the big question is, how do I know I am being inclusive? How do I know I’m not excluding certain people by being inclusive to other people, et cetera. And you know, what is inclusion in the first place? And I guess it starts with diversity as a spectrum in my view. So the first thing to notice is, for me, inclusion is about culture, is about abilities, it’s about gender, it’s about age. It may be other choices that are more lifestyle related, but for most businesses, it comes to creating an environment where everybody has the opportunity to succeed, to their level of ability, their level of wish, desire.

So I guess it’s, in some sense, slightly philosophical in other ways. There’s also very practical things to think about. But first of all, let’s talk about four areas, of what I would see key, in workplace kind of workplace focus, diversity or work, workplace focused inclusion. And they are a culture, first of all. So culture can be the company culture, but it can also be the country culture. It can be the melting pot of nationalities, cultures that are working for you. And if you’re a global organisation, it may be the interrelationship between all of those suppliers, providers, the head office, the local office. And if you are, let’s say a national organisation, it can be head office and local office. It can be regional differences. And I think, you know, we all have some sort of culture that we reflect and you know, whether that’s a good or a bad one that remains to be seen.

But from an inclusion perspective, I would say look at it as a spectrum. Some of us have a global vision and want to make the world or workplace others have a very clear national vision. No, I’m only focused on, you know, this region. Therefore, the people that interact with my clients would need to either support this region as a near native or be a near native. So, you know, so those are the kinds of typical questions that you would ask there. And then a local business may mean you need local knowledge. I mean, just think about it. If we look at a, let’s say you’re a local taxi driver, you want them to know the local area to get you to your destination as fast as possible. Of course they can be using great apps, I give them the best routes, et cetera. But once the GPS doesn’t work or it gets it wrong, you don’t want them to be stuck and you know, clocking up a massive big bill.

You also want to be able to communicate with them. So in a national context, you could have a scenario where people need to know and we know have been guilty of that in some countries. I visit and speak a lot in many areas. And, you know, at one point I was trying to go by train from one place to another and the person at the rail car desk said, no, you can’t do that miss, because geographically that’s not possible. And I sort of went, oh, oops, I didn’t realize that which he grabbed the, the map where she said, oh here miss, there’s a, here’s the map of the rail network and you can check for yourself. And you know, I thought it was a very nice, respectful way of dealing with my lack of, uh, the national rail network knowledge. And that’s okay. You know, I, I was definitely in the wrong place.

And then if you have a global mindset, it might mean that you don’t limit yourself to just national or local markets. It may mean that you have a staff that’s also diverse and spread out all over the place. And that comes with its own, I suppose its own difficulties from time zones to language use to certain habits that are really acceptable in one culture, but maybe not so much in another. We’ve worked on a few projects around cultural acceptance and cultural inclusion, including a kind of a fun way of getting people, even within Europe to cooperate, together better and to, to create an awareness and understanding of what are the habits that are so different. What are the customs that you find so annoying in the other person or so great in the other person or the other nationality or culture. So there are things that we can learn from one another, but it is a spectrum.

So the spectrum from a cultural perspective goes from local to global and anywhere in between. And that’s your workforce, that’s where you’re based, that’s where your clients are, that’s where your suppliers are. So it’s an up and down any given moment of the day. You could be interacting with people from a very diverse range of cultures. And then the question is how respectful are you treating them? How much dignity do you give them? How many chances do you give them to be successful at what they need to be delivering? And you know, it’s a two way street. It’s not a one way traffic scenario. I mean we have a few collaborators in the Philippines and I, you know, I always tell them, look, if you don’t understand, just ask, just look for clarification. We had the same, we use the platform provider, uh, in India and they always said yes and then delivered something totally different.

And I, at one point I asked something little bit later and I said, you know, I want to do this. And he said No. And I said, wow, fantastic. Because it was the very first time that they had actually said, no, we don’t do that very well. We’re not even going to try. And to me that was really distinctive of a learning curve. Instead of saying, yes, we can do everything. They had narrowed down their scope, they have narrowed down their focus and actually could deliver a great service but in a very narrow niche. And that’s okay. I think that’s pretty amazing when you can do that. So culturally be aware of the differences and notice that there is a spectrum. When it comes to ability I would say it’s again a spectrum. It goes from full ability. So your, you know, fully able to do everything which you know, the skills that you’ve been born with, uh, with your physical abilities, with your mental abilities.

And you know, even there abilities will vary even if you have full access to all five senses. And I say that because not everyone’s, let’s say a science wiz is not everyone’s a language wiz, not everyone’s a mathematician, a statistician. We all have different abilities and different speeds, which we comprehend and learn new skills. So our abilities will vary from the start. And some of us continue to vary and work on our progress, learn a lot. Others will be very stuck in their own little ways and you know, say, well no, this is my Max and I’m not going over it. And you know, there is a definite diversity across the spectrum of abilities. Then you have people of mixed abilities so they can be great at one, one aspects of mentally fantastic but maybe physically not fully able to move. And then you may have people with limited abilities.

And for example, vision, if you’re blind, for example, touch, if you have, disabilities that affect your hands, your arms, your legs, your feet, you know. So again, there is limitations. That doesn’t mean that they’re disabled and don’t function. In fact, I know a lot of disabled people or our class with, you know, officially being disabled who are, for example in a wheelchair or you know, have various physical things that don’t function optimally. Uh, but yet their brain is just as bright as the next person. We see in the tech world a lot of people hiring specific people with autism and aspergers and various other very specific abilities to work as engineers and coders. So I think from a workplace perspective we could all do more. We can all accept that, you know what, there are things that we do, but from a design perspective there is many things we can do to be more inclusive.

So I mean, ability as a spectrum, I range it from full to mixed to limited. And that’s from skills to physical, mental and ability to learn. So ability to me is kind of core for every workplace, whether we like it or not. And I think we don’t need to make disabled people, the scapegoats. I mean they can actually do an awful lot of great stuff for us as well. And you know, my vision on that came about through having a blind person and a person in a wheelchair in a workshop way back when, even before I was in gamification and the lady in the wheelchair said to me, well actually I have different abilities. I’m not disabled. I am abled in other things. And I thought it was such a nice way of putting it. And I actually try where possible not to use the word disabled because it does a dis justice or injustice.

And I think, you know, disability come in so many shapes and forms. And I think, you know, if as a wish, I wish that we would be more respectful and more accepting. Now, there are many people that can contribute to our society in many ways and that it’s up to us as employers, as entrepreneurs, to sort of look for ways of how can we be inclusive, how can we give their ability a chance and there may well be a role for them within your organisation. So you know, when it comes to a design, I did a presentation recently where I demonstrated, I asked for someone to pick up a note in the local currency and I asked her first look, pick it up, just pick it up. And she picked it up with her hand and no problem. Of course it was a very flimsy little note.

And then I said, now put your hand in your shirt and try and pick it up with that particular hand. And she managed, but it was harder. So that’s already showed. Uh, you know, when we limit our abilities, then you know, there’s different things we need to do. And now, then I said, well now imagine you have no hands. And she thankfully did what I had hoped. She went and picked up the note with her, with her teeth, you know, there was a big sigh of disgust that rippled through the audience. And I thought it was fascinating because in effect she was working with the means that she had. Now I know money is not always the cleanest, but there are people that actually have to do that because trying to pick it up with their hands or no hands is nigh on impossible. And yet we produce games and gamification designs that require money, like monopoly money, and we try to untangle monopoly money when it’s got a bit sticky, you know, and for, I’ve seen my niece in action who has muscular dystrophy, so she has some muscle groups that work well, some muscle groups that don’t work so well and sometimes handling the money is not the kind of thing that comes easy to her.

So, you know, it’s through observing and it’s true noticing like, hmm, have we actually created something that excludes people. So putting those able bodied people at a checkout where you have to handle money, we’d be tortured and obviously you wouldn’t do that. So, you know, we turn in our other designs, we try and be more inclusive in that. So it’s about noticing the spectrum. Uh, the same with gender. And you know, I gave a talk a while back around the differences in gender from a design perspective. And I started my talk by saying I see gender as a spectrum. Some women can behave in very masculine ways, some men can behave in very feminine ways and in any given situation, some of us move in and out of our comfort zone on that spectrum. I know some men that are way more feminine than I’ll ever be.

I know some women that are way more masculine than any men I know. So, you know, it’s a choice on how we show up. But it’s also how we’ve been brought up. It’s very, very much a something we have as a learned behavior because, there have been studies to say that gender, in fact, we are born gender neutral, yet by age four through socialisation, we learn what’s feminine and what’s masculine and what boys do and what girls do. And that’s very much copying what we see all around us, what people tell us, what movies tell us, what media tells us. So it’s great to see that there are epic stories coming out, from the Disneys of this world and other, child friendly providers who are harrowing both sides and you know, making things more spectrum relatable rather than the girl that needs to be rescued or the princess that’s in the ivory tower and you know, has the need of a hero, which again, it’s a story frame.

It’s, it’s something that could work. But if that’s what you work, that’s also how you’re putting women at a disadvantage or the feminine soul’s at a disadvantage. And that can be, you know, your more feminine men than as well. So in gender, I sort of describe the spectrum going from feminine to masculine and passing through neutral. And you know, gender neutral is now a thing. And you know, some sports people have major ideals with that, that there may be a need for a neutral league where under our talks of that people that are gender neutral that actually carry genes from both the male and female spectrum may need to compete separately. So rather than just make a choice and that’s it to keep, I suppose competition equal. So there is many implications with that. So, the spectrum is for gender for me is feminine, neutral, masculine, and in age the spectrum is old, young, and age agnostic.

So you know, going from old to age agnostic to young sort of made up of the, the neutral form. Now there are eight year olds, um, can relate to 15 year old like no. Tomorrow. There are 15 year olds that sound like an eighty year old and you know, and anything in between. So age, again, it’s relative, but from a design perspective, again, it’s something we need to be mindful of aware of. With age comes a range of abilities that may change, from metabolic processes to the way we assimilate, the way we learn things may be different and we may have a different world view, but we also from a game design perspective have different expectations and again, that changes over time. So, my view is that diversity and inclusion should be looked at from the perspective of it being a spectrum and that at any given point in time you move across that spectrum for all things you do in work.

Whether you’re good on a good day, you could be on the top of the spectrum for everything. On a bad day you may be middling or even on the lower end and it will change over time. It will change by situations. So I would see we’re not dead set in one side or the other. I think we actually can move on, and should aim to move and flex across the spectrum and try and flex the majority of our spectrums to be as large as possible from a design perspective so that we can be inclusive. So, in my framework I say, there’s four steps to inclusion, culture, ability, gender and age. And then the aim is to aim for 100% inclusion. Now aim for not design 100% inclusion cause aim for may just be the best you can do in some situations. And in that case there may need to be adaptations.

So it’s good to look at a definition. And I went to look for the definition from another source in mind. It’s the British Standards Institute in 2005 came up with a definition of inclusive design and they name it the design of mainstream products and services that are accessible to and usable by as many people as reasonably possible without the need for special adaptation or specialized design. So there’s a couple of keywords in that accessible to and usable by as many people as reasonably possible. So there’s reasonably possible in there, there is accessible and usable. I mean these are the products we use every day from a phone to let’s say computer to a bus to a train, to anything around the house in the home. And you know, if once you’ve lived and experienced or worked with people with different levels of abilities, different cultures, you’ll notice that, you know, sometimes in some places toilets are different, some needed b-day, some don’t need a b-day, some have a hole in the ground, some have a seater, you know, some people with different abilities, may need an extra piece of equipment to make sure, that they can comfortably make it on and off the seats.

So there is many things to look up. But I liked that definition because it kind of sets the tone. Now, in they have handbooks and everything. So I urge you if you really want to go down the line of product designing, et Cetera, it’s is looking at inclusive, the inclusive design handbook, I believe it is by the British Standard Institute. Now they also said, okay, how prevalent is the part of society that we may actually end up excluding? And they looked at a very logical workplace tool, which was everything to do with Microsoft. And they said they questioned people with a Microsoft project in or products in the workplace. And that’s a study from 2003 so it’s a little bit dated but still it’s indicative, I think, and Microsoft product have improved since as well, I would say in terms of user friendliness.

But 21% of people reported no difficulties in using the tools, 16% minimal difficulties, 37% mild difficulties and 25% severe difficulties. So if we apply that British Institute definition to this, then we should really be aiming the maximal use of these products to be for let’s say the bottom 75% the ones with no difficulties, minimal difficulty, small difficulties. And we aim to take a bit of the severe difficulties back by doing user tests, by improving and iterating the product design to be more inclusive so that we can extend our inclusive design to a larger and larger proportion of society. And yet not modifying, let’s say it for their use and you know, and some things may just need to come modified. So charities like special effects in the UK, they modify game console equipments and allow children with major disabilities and often a diseases too, to play and to be part of an online game world because sometimes the console needs to be controlled with their eyes, sometimes with their mouth or with their feet.

So the standard consoles and you know, gearboxes and you know, pointers, clickers, et Cetera, may not function for them so they need other ways of doing it. And what’s Special Effect did is that they then adapt and aim for that specialist target audience. So inclusive by design and you know, if you look at it from a gamification perspective, then has to, you know, sort of demands a couple of very deep understandings. In my view, it’s a solid understanding of the intention the user has. What, why are they using your tools? Why are they using what you’re created and their player’s style, their personal motivations, as in how do they play, what’s their style? Are they, uh, jump in, explore and do it all? Or do they want instruction and then play? So you find out how they’re personally driven to succeed.

Then you obviously need to understand their, their ability, their also their access. I mean from a gamification design perspective, we often ask the question, how do you access whatever service or product that we’re working on. We worked with one charity for example, where users, we were asked to create something 3D and yet most people were accessing their information via mobile devices. And at that point 3D was not, nearly impossible on mobile devices. And to a large extent it still is. And we therefore said, look, you know 3D was nice. I think 2D would be much better and much more accessible. So you, we did a design in 2D as a result of user research. What knowledge do they have? And again that came out clearly in a design we did recently for an organisation want to recruit students and you know, encourage students to apply for roles that they may not have considered.

But it was sort of teasing them to see where they have the right kind of mindsets and the right kind of resourcefulness to test could potentially be a great engineer, was knowing that they had no engineering knowledge yet. So that was an interesting one. So we assume no knowledge, yet we do want interest and testing of how resourceful are they, are they good at problem solving? Do they take well to puzzling, you know, so there were a few things, but that was the kind of, I suppose, design constraint and design challenge that we were working, which was good and interesting. You also want to know their attitude towards risk and their willingness to explore and tinker. Now, the attitude towards risk in some cultures, risk is just not a good thing. You should know what you’re doing and only take this step, when you’re sure.

And I see a lot in terms of leadership that the higher up the ranks you go, in terms of experience, in terms of age, but also in terms of numbers of people that you need to lead, the attitude towards risk becomes different and often smaller because they don’t want to lose face in front of their people. So you need to make it safe for those people to explore what you may need a different setup than for example, a young person straight out of college who is still testing and you know, in a lot of cases still exploring how good are they or what are they good at even. And you know, from a gender perspective, there’s actually studies that would say the attitude towards risk is different in cultures. The work from Hofstader which give you quite a few perspectives around risk and exploration, but also how people may be held back in certain circumstances, et cetera.

From the gender perspective, I would recommend looking up the Gender Mag research for those of you who like finding out more research who have really amazingly contributed. You could also look up the interview I did way back with Margaret Burnett who was key and instrumental in this research. So from my perspective, I think, you know, user research should be a core part of all of your designs. If you are designing for diversity or inclusion and you want of course, testers from the different backgrounds that you’re aiming for. You want feedback from the different segments of the society that you’re aiming for. And you want to also see them play because a lot of the time what people answer in surveys or in interviews was they’re qualitatively and quantitatively important for you to get trends and to get, uh, to get something juicy to work with.

Observing also gives you very clear indicators as to what’s working, what are they taking to, where are they getting stuck? So I would say combine qualitative, quantitative with observation and then data, data analysis and, you have a very solid base to, to design from. So I would say it’s, it’s a combination of all too. So I hope that that enhances your spectrum. I hope that sort of broadens out, what your perspective is when it comes to inclusion. So thank you for listening to a question of gamification and do like us. Do give us a good rating and do send us your questions, especially around inclusion and designing for inclusion cause we’d love to talk about it. So thank you very much for tuning in.

The post Podcast 25: What does inclusive by design really mean? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, Welcome to a question of gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m your show host and the chief game changer and CEO at Gamification Nation. And this is the second installment in our series inclusive by design. When it comes to inclusion, the big question... Gamification Nation 27:44
Podcast 24: Inclusive by design series – inclusion is an attitude Tue, 03 Sep 2019 07:50:39 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 24: Inclusive by design series – inclusion is an attitude</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s question of gamification.

This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually I as a woman in the gamification space specifically wanted to join the gamification space to make it more inclusive, because when I looked at the industry of gamification back in the mid 2000s, I saw a lot of young white men and the odd Asian man and they didn’t necessarily relate to me. They didn’t necessarily speak my language. And some of the designs that I saw also didn’t quite appeal to me. At first I said, “Oh, this is maybe just me personally. Maybe it’s just not my thing.” But then I asked around.

I also went looking for research and actually found that a lot of the time it was very one track focused, very much focused on their experience of life, their experience of the world and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just not 100% inclusive because you’re only coming with one worldview. Just like if I design something just by myself, it would only have my own worldview in it. So that was not an indication of their masculinity or anything else.

But I also felt that we were missing a trick. And actually I was really quite passionate about it. We were missing a trick in a sense that gamification was becoming this big buzzword, especially in the corporate learning space, and it wasn’t actually working. And I could see clearly why because it wasn’t appealing. It was a lot of the time, very competitive. It was a lot of the time, very superficial. And I went, “No, there’s more to this.” I knew from my work up to that point where I had been using games, gamification and game elements for all sorts of things throughout change management, throughout leadership throughout training, I knew it worked and I said, “No, no, there has to be another way. There has to be a way that we can be inclusive by design, but we need to change our approach.” So basically I wanted to bring that voice and bring that perspective of let’s be inclusive by design.

Now, just recently I gave a keynote speech at an event, pretty much focused around people in the academic world. And I have to say I was personally challenged a little bit from a confidence perspective I think as well to say that, “Look, I’m not a scientist. I’m a field worker. I’m a practitioner. I work with my clients to the best of my ability.” I read a lot of research and I do my best to integrate what people find in it insofar that I can understand it because I also admit some of the scientific papers out there on games, gamification, diversity, inclusion, differences between age, culture, gender, abilities, some of them are seriously hard to make sense of if they’re written for scientific purposes. So anything I can read, I will and anything I can’t read, I will have to [inaudible 00:02:58] just purely out of practical reasons.

What occurred to me is that when we talk about inclusion and diversity or inclusion by design better, it is in fact a conscious action. It is first and foremost an attitude because we all have our preferences. We all have maybe things we get a bit fearful about that make us feel threatened. Just like the academics made me feel threatened like, “Oh gosh, what can I possibly offer? I’m merely a mere mortal living in the world of the corporate sector doing my business the best I can.” But you know what? I haven’t written a paper about it. I haven’t actually proven my theory left right and center. If somebody wants to take on my theory and prove it, absolutely love it. Do talk to me.

That bias in my head even was preventing me from delivering the best possible talk. So from an inclusive by design perspective, I also needed to make sure that I could not only engage to myself to the best of my ability, but also deliver something that was, I suppose, interesting enough for the group to take something away from. As a speaker, I always adapt my talks to the audience. Not everybody in our field does that. And I would be a little bit critical of that. I mean we’re not one track ponies or we shouldn’t be.

If you have a framework, great. But it’s like a hammer is not the solution to every single problem. And sometimes your framework is not 100% most fitting one. And maybe a mashup of two frameworks works better in situations. So being open to that and being open to more than one worldview is important.

Actually somebody that caught me messaging something on Twitter that made me reflect, “Yeah, you’re absolutely right.” One of the things he used was a hashtag, “It takes all kinds.” And thank you for that by the way. You know who you are. I actually said to myself, “Yeah, you’re intimidated by all the facts, figures, science.” Because I was listening to another keynote speaker at the conference and this man probably had great science, but I couldn’t make any sense of anything he said, nor his slides. I picked up maybe two or three words that I could relate to, but in an hour long session that’s not enough. And to be fair, when I looked around the room, most people had disconnected.

So if you want to be inclusive by design, it’s also about the language we use. It’s about the interaction we use with people. You won’t always get everybody along, but it should at least be an attempt to bring the majority along in an inclusive approach at least. If you want to be excluding and sit in your own little portal, that’s also fine. But that’s your choice then. But it’s not mine though.

In this series, what I want to do is focus on what are the elements of inclusion. How can we design for it? A bit of my thinking about it, some of my frameworks that I sort of work with. And then what practically can you do to encourage inclusion by design.

My first big topic that I want to broach on this is inclusion is actually first an attitude. People say, “Oh yeah, we’re all for diversity. We’re all for inclusion.” But does your behavior reflect the same thing? Does your behavior actually actively encourage that? Because there may be subtle ways in which you are not being equal, in which you’re not being accepting.

So to me, if you look at conversation … So at the same event I spoke about the topic of inclusion as part of my presentation. And somebody came up to me afterwards. One of the examples I gave was something we worked on where we used a female lead … a black colored middle manager and white colors workers, both male and female. Now, I probably hadn’t given the whole perspective and the whole picture, but the person came up to me and said, “Well look, actually by putting a female lead in that situation and then manipulating people to believe that there is actually a role model for them, they felt that that was very feminist and very wrong.”

Now, when I then explained the full picture, I said, “Well, actually you’re the player. You could be from any of those backgrounds. We wanted to be inclusive in the reality of that particular world there are female leaders, there are black middle managers, there are white middle managers, white male, white female. There were also white lead commanders. So there’s white leaders.”

In some ways we were trying to be as inclusive as possible. And during the testing phase we did get feedback from a variety of groups. And the feedback loops are ongoing, the research on that is ongoing so it’s not a concluded finished product or item. But I found it fascinating because it also reflected on their personal bias, their perspective. And I think when you’re trying to come to a level of acceptance … And I have to say anytime I speak about inclusion, even if I don’t focus on just gender, I’m called a feminist whether I like it or not, it’s one of those things.

But it did show to me that actually was the person really behaving with an open mind or were they just trying to prove their worldview. Was that actually the full picture that they got? Because once they did get the full picture, they did actually say, “Oh yeah, okay, that’s fine.” And if it was just purely an exercise … If for example, my example was an exercise in tokenism, just use a token woman, a token colored person, a token disabled person. If that was the case, then obviously we would be alienating people and it wouldn’t hit and feel right to the target audience. But you have got to start somewhere when you want to be inclusive in the real world. And inclusive will take time. And sometimes out of merit, you may not be able to pick a fully team with elements of all of these various segments of society. Sometimes they’re just not available to you.

So there are reality constraints in any given world, in any given job. But when you want to be inclusion, be mindful of your perspective, so your own bias, because we all have one. Me, just like the next person. And also focus on your actions as opposed to what you say. And then when you come and say something, be respectful and respectfully patient. Sometimes silence is golden. Even if you think that, “Gosh, this is a whole load of … I’m struggling with this,” maybe silence sometimes is the better option. And if you really don’t think it is the better option, be respectful of the person and approach it from the perspective of, ‘Well, actually maybe we all have something to contribute,” because I actually believe we do.

I can learn from everyone around and you know, I hope they can learn a little bit from me even if it’s just a little bit even if it’s just to realize, well actually what she does is not what I do. And that’s okay. You know, they don’t have to like me. I would love it if they did, but you know, at least getting them somewhere along the track is important. Actually in the presentation I gave, I was looking for some good graphics too to present to the audience and one that I came, around with a signpost of rattlesnakes and the signpost reads, rattlesnakes may be found in this area. Give them distance and respect. And sometimes that’s exactly how you need to be in order to not let your personal buyers get the better of you when you’re dealing with a situation that you may or may not 100% agree with.

So I think respect is something really important. We don’t know where the other person is coming from. We don’t know their picture. We have not walked in their shoes. So we shouldn’t really be judging because they may have very valid reasons for why they say what they said. Uh, why they are thinking that this is an important topic. I think, you know, in the backdrop of today’s, world politics, you know, this message really is so, so important. What are we afraid of too? You know, when something is different, what are we afraid of? And you know, I’m afraid of snakes. So that rattlesnake scenario is like, yeah, I will give them distance. I will also respect that they are dangerous. So therefore we and me and them are not going to go be whole jolly together. So, you know, that’s a, that’s a given.

But when it comes to exploring different cultures, exploring what different age groups are, like exploring what people and how people experience the world when they’re different to me that I am open to. And sometimes, you know, I will, I will admit I’m not perfect. I sometimes may get it wrong and I sometimes may get totted and make it told off. That may actually by my very question, you know, I have put my two feet in or something, you know, so, so it’s a, it’s a very difficult topic to get 100% right. I think it should be a, you know, from an attitude perspective, a continuous work in progress in, in our company we are trying to be as inclusive as possible and you know, which is why my first hire was a male to balance out, my femaleness. And then we also have someone that’s of Asian origin.

I’m from, a female Belgian origin. We also have a refugee and the team is also European. And you know, I’m actively looking to bring new people in and you know, ideally I would like to find a new team member that’s a lady for that very reason. Now, you know, that would create a 50, 50 splits, in our team. And you know, it would then sort of confirm that we’re trying to do inclusive by design. It is, however, also driven by merit. They need to be able to do what we need to do and what we need them for. So it’s not just about anyone, any old lady can go in and get job over a guy. No, it’s more a case of, you know, let’s find the best suitable person. But I do have a very specific idea about balancing gender in the company for optimum results because that’s also, proven that actually a, a 50, 50 split is better for productivity.

So, you know, for me, the starting point for everything to do around inclusion, is that inclusion is first and foremost an attitude. And the attitude comes through in, in your open-mindedness, in your actions, in your biases, in your respect for others, and your respectfulness of differences, in your patience, with different level of abilities, with different levels of, worldviews with, you know, your own patience around, you know, why do I not understand this? Why do I not get this? And you know, it also is an attitude and an exercise in self esteem because I think a lot of what we see on a world scale at this stage is people being fearful of people that are in any form or shape different. And you know, it’s different. And then there’s a power fight. Who’s better, who’s bigger, who knows more, who can do this the best.

And for a lot of people that’s really important. And then for quite a whole bunch of others on the other side, that’s so totally a contest that we don’t want to be part of. So, you know, let’s keep it real and sort of say, well, actually, if you want to be inclusive by design, we look at our attitudes internally first and then when you’re encountering the other attitudes, then you know, let’s work with that. Let’s look at it as feedback and see, is there maybe another way to get to the solution? Is there another way to get to your destination because I actually believe there’s more than one way to do everything. And Yeah, you know, and, and maybe in the science world, that’s exactly what you don’t want to hear because you want that one scientific black and white piece of proof, that it has to be a certain way.

And you know, in business we often have to work around and sort of make do with the constraints that we have. And I think in the academic world too, you know, they have smaller budgets and most of us, will never even dream of getting, you know, so keep it real. So my top five things to be mindful of are respect, patience, your open-mindedness, and your actions and looking for the full picture. So those are my top five attitude tips to get into the picture when you are trying to be inclusive by design. I hope you will enjoy these short snippets around inclusion by design. I will be developing more on the same theme and share with you what you can do, and how any gamification setting that’s important and how in a workplace setting. In fact we probably as a global workplace need to be super mindful of that because quite frankly a lot of our politicians are not doing it right now.

So we might as business people maybe need to set the tone and change the direction and maybe as citizens of our countries the same thing because it is one thing to see it happening and tolerating it. And often toleration and not taking any action or not even stepping into a situation is that silence approval or that silence i gnorance and you know, I’m not advocating everybody should go out on the street and you know, demonstrate on every single thing, but where have you in the last number of months or I think months is probably enough of a time frame. Have you tolerated exclusion? Where have you tolerated active disrespect to somebody that look different was maybe a different age, different gender, a different culture, a different ability? Have you laughed at them? Have you not said anything, but so that injustices were taking place? I mean, that to me is also an attitude. How tolerant are you of people not being treated as equals or human beings with the same right to exist as others? So yeah, it may be naive. It may be a dream. It may be Utopian that we could all include everyone all of the time. But I think if we don’t, as an attitude, strive to take action towards it, I think we could end up in a very scary place. So I hope you enjoy the question of gamification. Do like us and, leave your comments and I look forward to sharing the next session.


The post Podcast 24: Inclusive by design series – inclusion is an attitude appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually... Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. This week I want to start a bit of a series around inclusion and design. In fact, I want to name it inclusive by design, because it’s scenario that we basically focus on quite a bit. And actually... Gamification Nation 20:42
Podcast 23: How will VR/AR/MR work with gamification in HR and learning? Tue, 27 Aug 2019 08:00:13 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief Gamechanger at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question is a good one. How will VR, AR, MR, and what on earth is the difference between all those, and Gamification...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 23: How will VR/AR/MR work with gamification in HR and learning?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief Gamechanger at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question is a good one. How will VR, AR, MR, and what on earth is the difference between all those, and Gamification play nice? It’s a question that comes up from time to time. Because in learning, and in HR, we find that a lot of people have no idea what all the buzz words and all of the… they have an idea, but maybe not a full understanding of what the buzz words stands for and how they can all work together or where they’re all separate beasts that you should be treating differently. So, the purpose of today’s podcast is to answer the questions of what are these different reality things? Does that combine well with Gamification? Does it not? Should you just do one and not engage with the other? Or, how do you best integrate it into your suite of learning related solutions for your workers, or HR related solutions for your workers? Or whichever way you see fit on using a mix of these things in the workplace.

First things first, let’s start with the terminology. VR, or virtual reality, is where you typically today need a headset like an oculus rift or a google cardboard or any variety of quality devices in between or above. Basically, what that allows you do to is to escape into a virtual world. Now, in a virtual world, or in virtual reality today, most of the time we need to exclude what is going on around us and we step completely into that virtual space. Which is a great tool for, for example, when you need to simulate environments that people might not be use to. For example, flight simulators are an experience that we could call virtual reality today. Although, we could argue that you could actually play all of it as a mixed reality play because if the person is sitting in the middle of it and touching real equipment but the visuals are displayed on a screen, you’re combining virtual reality with reality and giving a lifelike experience even though it’s not for real. Simulations, for years have been, in a space in my view, where you find virtual and reality kind of blending together and giving feedback to each other.

Virtual reality was designed, originally, with the idea of games. A lot of games, like escape rooms, can be played in virtual reality, but some of the cool games today are completely virtual reality based. If you are not sure what to test or what to try out there’s two I would recommend trying. First of all any roller coaster experience, if you’re not too afraid of roller coasters that is. And the other one is the play saber where you basically do a massive drum kind of set up and you’re trying to keep up with the beat in virtual reality, which is pretty awesome. Or an escape room, of course, where you’re in a virtual reality playroom and you need to unlock clues in order to get out. Virtual reality is typically, still today, with headsets which blank out reality.

Augmented reality, most of us will have at some point heard of Pokemon Go or at least… you know, maybe not played but at least heard of Pokemon Go the game. Which, basically, brought augmented reality into our everyday, mass presence as such. It’s where you combine the camera use of your smart phone with, lets say, fictional characters like Pokemon. And you combine real life and whatever is on your screen together to take some funny pictures, to catch them where they are, where you could be.

Further than that, augmented reality is developing and some of the really cool type of material that’s coming out is where it is much more seamless so that you don’t even need a smart phone anymore. Which you might have holographic screens popping up. You may have heard of HoloLens, where actual human beings are holograms and you can pop up wherever your hologram needs to be for that time. It’s basically combining reality with some form of digital augmentation. A digital improvement to make your experience better. Whether that’s a statistical kind of feedback board. Whether that’s actual creatures that you catch in wild. Or whether that allows you to engage in the real world with an app or that gives you further clues. So augmented reality, by the very, I suppose nature of it, is mixed in nature. It increases the experience you have, based on what you see around you with other digital elements, and makes you experience it from a different angles. And you could add, you could say, it adds a dimension that we didn’t have before. Creatures popping up, before you would have to have a physical creature to pop up. So you’d have to plant all these Pokemon’s in forests that you’re walking in to find them and catch them. Same general idea of a treasure hunt but a different use case.

Mixed reality is typically where we say we combine either virtual reality or augmented reality with what we already know today, which is what’s all around us. Whether that is real life, whether that is online experiences that are 2D. And 2D meaning that it’s just you and the screen, you and the book. Just a simple interaction, not 3D where you have the potential to view it from multiple angles. Well it can be 3D actually, thinking about it. You know, you basically combining an experience. So that you’re pushing a bit of virtual, a bit of augmented, a bit of reality, a bit of online, a bit of offline. It’s basically creating an experience that goes into, what I call, a multi model effect. That’s including sound. That’s including visuals. That’s including texts. That’s including whatever you can find around you that you can physically touch, and smell, and feel. As there’s a mixed reality experience so there’s a lot of things that you can combine together.

How do they play nice with Gamification or does Gamification work for it, and vise versa? In reality both virtual reality, augmented reality have been used originally to create games and to creates engaging experiences, let’s say. By the very nature, from the very start up, it is built to work well as a game. Which then means it can work really well in a gamified experience.

What I would say, and where it becomes a bit of self control limits, or self control oriented, is that you have to think about, “What is it that I’m trying to achieve? Will adding virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality play enhance the experience for my user?” As in, make it better for the end user to understand something, to experience something. Simulations on an expensive equipment like airplanes, submarines, boats, obviously there is a great use case for that and has been for years. Which is why, those industries, it’s actually normal practice. The same with oil and gas. A lot of the risks involved in exploring and even the risk manoeuvres and emergency procedures can be played out quite well on virtual reality. The same with emergency procedures for any kind of transportation. They work really well and they enhance the experience for the end user who has to manage people in an emergency scenario. It lets them experience how they react, because our brain doesn’t differentiate whether it’s real or virtual. What we see in virtual reality and what we see in reality is no different. The experience from the personal perspective is the same.

More and more tools are coming out on the market, and are also becoming more and more mainstream, in terms of pricing so that it don’t need to break the bank anymore in order to make them realistic. Where you can build virtual experiences without having to think of the budget of a blockbuster game or a blockbuster movie to say that. And those tools are also entering more and more in the E-learning space but also in the onboarding space. In onboarding, I think, there’s a clear example. The first day in work you know nothing. You don’t know where to go. You don’t know where to pitch up, what to do. Having a virtual tour, if that’s augmented, if that’s virtual reality, could enhance the situation for the new recruit. Give them the feeling of, “Okay, I know where I’m going”. And you need to make the visuals, obviously, as life like and as real as possible.

The same with virtual learning experiences where people can actually interact with a number of people in a variety of locations. For example, in the world of medicine what we’re seeing is that some operations are being streamed into a virtual space so people can have a look in and a lot of nurses and doctors who may not be familiar with the specific, very specialist operation, can see how other experts, other doctors, are doing it. What can also then happen is you can give real time feedback, or answer real time questions, or help a person in this situation.

Augmented reality has found it’s way, quite neatly, into engineering and manufacturing maintenance. Why? Because with the help of let’s say, an augmented reality headset or through a smartphone, you can connect with what you’re looking at as a maintenance engineer and experience okay… or show somebody at base, who may have more access to a data base, a knowledge base, a question bank. Or you need a second opinion and say, “Look, I’m thinking this is the right approach. What do you think? Do you confirm?” Or “I’m stuck here, I really don’t know how to get out of this situation, can you help me fix it?” From a very practical perspective it saves time.

In the past, what you would’ve had to do in that situation is document the current set up. Go back to the office. Go look it up. Go back in. Whereas now you can actually stream this to somebody and they can give you help on the phone, in real time. So that’s a major cost saving and saving trips in transport, trips in time generally speaking. Again, from a cost saving and from a risk perspective, a lot less risky than let’s say letting somebody try it and hope for the best. That’s a definite good example of a use case of where augmented reality, with instant feed back and I would maybe say, not necessarily game mechanics but instant feedback as to why are you doing this at this moment, ask questions, make people reflect back. But also, feedback as, “okay, I See also this. Have you considered that?” To make sure that the person can do the best possible job, in the moment, for your organisation.

It will, you know… in the onboarding use case, of course, it’s about making sure that the person feels comfortable going into your organisation, finds their way quickly to where they need to be, and can already familiarise themselves with an environment. Where this is, again, very applicable is where you have local doctors, local nurses, who come in and only do a couple of days of work in several places. They may be temporary staff. They may be agency staff. You just need to get them up to speed as quick as possible. For that augmented reality and virtual reality can give you a quick orientation of where people need to show up, what do they need to do, where’s the nurses station, where’s the doctors room, how do I find all the various parts that make my job easier and make me productive much quicker?

From a productivity prospective and a cost perspective there is good uses in learning. Good uses in onboarding. And then, also good uses in actual productivity. I would see those three as key use cases for all the Rs, or all the different mixes of reality. Virtual, augmented and mixed. And yes Gamification.

I would say, use it sparingly so… in these virtual environments the tendency is just because you can, you add it in. Now, my thinking is that it’s only relevant in some situations. The engineer example, where the engineer is looking at a problem. Effectively he needs the problem fixed as soon as possible. Putting in game mechanics that ask more questions, that make it harder for him to unlock the solution, that’s not going to help him. But, lets say a feed back loop where somebody else in the office green lights, for example, how he’s thinking of proceeding. A quick check list that he can call up, where he can basically say, “Yep. Tick, tick, tick. Done.” And then he gets a high five score or something like that. That’s doable. That’s useful. And that gives the person confidence that, “Okay, I’m doing the right things. I’m following the right kind of procedure.” That type of thing is useful, but always think of it from the perspective of, “Will this game mechanic, whichever one you choose, enhance the experience or stop the flow of what the person is doing?”

A lot of the time because you can doesn’t mean you should. And that’s what we see more and more with Gamification, is that a lot of game mechanics just get sprinkled in just because, “Yeah, the system can do this so we should show it off and we should do it.” And I usually say, “Well, maybe take this one out. Take that one out.”

What works well is if it enhances the confidence of the person. If it enhances the experience or knowledge of the person. You could have knowledge based questions. You could have feedback loops, which are typical good scenarios to run when you’re looking at learning, when you’re looking at onboarding and for productivity is the confidence building, the making sure that the person is actually gradually getting better. And the reflection afterwards is something I would build in and I think that’s where, I suppose, self refection and self improvement comes from, can be Gamified, and can be a very useful tool to make sure that the person remembers to do the same thing the next time. Or they reflect back on, “Well, actually, I handled that part of the situation really well in virtual reality. But on this I got so scared or so emotional or so confused, that I didn’t know what to do.” Again that’s feedback. It needs to be talked through, and in most companies, when they use simulations quite often, you do have a debrief. You do have a session where all the team sits together and talks it through.

The same in medicine. What often happens when people look at operations together is that there is a debrief. That there is even somebody, away from the operation in that virtual space maybe, talking things through to the people with the headsets. But not necessarily audible for the team that is working through the operation.

There are many good solutions that can combine virtual reality, augmented reality, and Gamification quite neatly. To then have an absolutely amazing experience for your end users.

I already hear some people thinking, “Oh, but what kind of budget do we need for this?” What it really depends on how far you want to go and how detailed the experience needs to be. I know platforms that you can start building virtual reality experiences on that can start from only 1,000 pounds onwards. But then you do need a person, in the team, that can build it for you. That is very savvy. That is good with graphics, good with physics, etc.

The two most common used systems for most virtual reality are Unity and Unreal, where you can build game experiences out of the box. More and more bespoke platforms have started coming up. Sinespace offers virtual worlds. LearnBrite offers training worlds and training experiences. It’s one that we’re working with. There is ways of creating worlds with avatars. Another one, if you’re in the education space, Edorable, very useful tool that lets you create live experiences which have a virtual component.

In terms of augmented reality some of the tools out there are Zappar, which give you a nice studio to build good experiences. Again, even that one, last time I checked their pricing it was around 50 pounds per month, per person to have a license not prohibitive in my view. Again, you need some people in your team that can create some great graphics, that can make it work and understand these tools. There is a bit of a learning curve. The other one that I like quite a bit is Metaverse, which is free to use, which allows you to build augmented reality experiences and they allow you to duplicate and clone some of the experiences out of the box.

When it comes to putting virtual reality or augmented reality on your learning management system, I can hear most of the virtual reality purist cringe and say, “No. You should never even contemplate that. It should always be an application or it should always be a stand alone experience.” And whilst that’s great, as long as that then feeds your statistics and analytics absolutely go with.

Some of the solutions on the market that are more tailored towards work place and use cases already have the analytics built in, but also the use case built to work exactly for the purpose that you’re trying to design it for. Explore the market.

If you’re looking for advise on what to do or are trying to explore opportunities where you’re mixing different realities by all means, talk to us. We looked at new technology quite a bit. We may not know the ins and out of every single tool on the market, but we do keep a close eye on what’s developing. If you want us to design an augmented reality experience, we have done some. From treasure hunts to little quizzes that have an augmented reality component. We did a launch campaign for someone where you had to, in a very Pokemon Go style way, find different items through scanning different elements.

We have worked on a project that hasn’t seen the end of their production time. Where we wanted to, basically, created a virtual reality experience of health and safety training and equipment training in a care environment. Where you put the actual carer into the shoes of the patient. That’s quite impactful, where you have to actually sit in a sling or be transported from a bed to bath. And you learn to experience from different angles. We were playing with the ability to distort reality, based on the responses that a person with specific ailments may have. It’s the type of thing that we’d love to get more involved in. So, if you have those types of projects in mind let us know. Those are more time intensive because they do take us, to understand what you have, to quite a deep extent. But also, every part and parcel of the design is bespoke. All the graphics, all the interactions, all the physics, etc.

That wouldn’t have been the cheapest. If you’re looking at the cheaper end of the market, look at the existing tools and try to adapt them to suite your situation and look for what fits best. It’s always a question of budget. A question of skills in your team and how long you have to deploy it. Because timeframes for any virtual reality project aren’t typically longer than, let’s say an augmented reality project. You’re talking six weeks minimum to six months and nine months. If you are really looking for a experience that mimics reality, in a virtual space, you are talking multiple providers working together to make that happen. That’s when you are entering the realm of the bigger budgets, so think six figures, as opposed to, a few quid.

I hope this answers the question, “How will virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and Gamification work together?” And I hope it also demystifies the terminology around it.

If you like our podcast, by all means, share it forward on the social channel that you’re listening to it and give us a good rating. We do get ranked better on different providers of channels by new rate as well. If you have a question that you would like me to answer. By all means, send it in and we’ll discuss it in a future episode.

Thank you for listening.

The post Podcast 23: How will VR/AR/MR work with gamification in HR and learning? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief Gamechanger at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question is a good one. How will VR, AR, MR, and what on earth is the difference between all those, Welcome to this week’s A Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I’m the chief Gamechanger at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question is a good one. How will VR, AR, MR, and what on earth is the difference between all those, and Gamification... Gamification Nation 24:48
Podcast 22: What can we learn from our environment for gamification design? Tue, 13 Aug 2019 08:00:38 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I am the Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question of gamification is one I have. I suppose it’s in light of all the global politics that are going on...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 22: What can we learn from our environment for gamification design?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I am the Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question of gamification is one I have. I suppose it’s in light of all the global politics that are going on everywhere. It made me question, are we just all part of one large strategy game by a certain amount of players? Before I go into that, I want to draw analogies to strategy games, and what’s happening around this, both in the world of politics and the world of business, because that’s how, A, I see business but also, B, I think there’s a lot we can learn from it. It also encourages you, and that’s my hope that I can inspire you to think critically.

Okay, if you were in charge of that game, how would you play it? What cards would you play, and what would winning mean? What’s the win condition? Is there a win condition, or are we just heading for a zero sum game where there are no winners, only losers?

I guess it’s probably out of I would say frustration or desperation. I don’t know. It’s a blend maybe of the two. As you know, I’m a European working a business in the UK, and with Brexit looming we have a workforce that’s all spread over the world. For me, being a global business was always the way I wanted to play the game. I never thought of my business as being just a British company. I actually always felt it was a company playing on a global scale, but now currently the strategy of the politicians is potentially pushing a major, I suppose, spanner in the works, let’s just say. It’s making me adjust my strategies in order to still continue to play the game I wanted to play.

Then I also wonder if I’m only part of the larger playing field. I mean, we’re a tiny company in comparison to some of the big names in industry, but in the end of the day we all have a role to play in the strategy game whether we’re a low-end small business or a high-end major player like an Apple, an Amazon, an IBM, a Google, whatever. We all have a role to play, but also politicians have a role to play because their sense of government’s lack of or insights and wrongdoings can have major impacts. I mean, trying to grow any business in war-based countries is no mean feat. Trying to do business when your company or country is at war with other countries is not so simple.

Very realistically, I’ve had one client refused a platform I advised to use because of the company or the country they were from. They said, “Well we can’t possibly, as a Muslim nation, do business with a company from that particular nation.” It’s real, and I would say an oversight by maybe or maybe not politicians in the UK is that EU companies will choose an EU company to do business with as opposed to a British company unless the British company is the cheapest one on the market and offering lower values, which if you think about, I suppose the EU as a governing body, it has a lot of good to offer. It offered the whole continent of Europe peace for nearly 50 years. It brought about lots of rules that are actually good for business, good for humans, and good for the planet.

Do we like them all of the time? Of course not. That’s the nature of rules. Just like in any game, we don’t like having to stick to rules and having some ways they may impede us from doing how we wanted to do certain things. Yeah. I mean, in a strategy game you will always pivot and choose a different strategy based on the feedback you get from the market, the feedback you get from the game, the choices that are left to you. In the current political climate, I’m having to make choices, and the first choice I made was to wait and see. Now with an impending leaving the EU or Britain leaving the EU after all, unless a general election comes up, which is also still a possibility, it may mean having to set up the group entity, increasing the cost space by having to do double accounting and double offices and double everything.

It’s a realistic choice, and until we have to, we won’t action it, but it is something we are researching. It is something that we are looking into. Why? Because I wouldn’t trust the UK government to get it right. Especially in the last three years, they haven’t got much right. It would need a drastic change for my mind to be changed on it. Hey, that’s me, just one person.

If we think about politics as a strategy game, then the question is who are the winners, and who are the losers, and at what level or how much dissatisfaction do you need to raise in order for the top to change their minds and adapt their strategy? I have a place I’m going with that.

If you look at the situation in Hong Kong, that’s one scenario. People are very unhappy and protesting consistently to change rules that they don’t like. Government so far hasn’t changed their minds. The question is how much dissatisfaction does there need to be before governments change their minds? If you look at the UK, the people are split on leave, remain, and anything in between. Some people are much more leave oriented than they ever were. Some people are much more remained than they ever were. Some people have switched sides, and it’s nearly like there is no such thing as a middle ground anymore. It’s like you’re either one side or the other side, and it’s effectively very polarizing. If you see what’s happening in the US, similar boats.

You know the leadership is very polarizing, and when we look at it from a strategic perspective, who are they playing with, and are they playing for personal gain, or are they playing for game and must, must win? Because right now it looks like politics is an ego game where there can only be ever one winner, and maybe that was where we made the rules, and we’ve made them wrong. It could be politics were politics way back in the day, and they’ve always been there, so there’s always been some influence or other that was good, some influence or other that was bad.

I would say having a think about, “Okay if you were playing politics…” One of my favourite games was Sim City. I played it a lot in college where you have to become the mayor and build up a city. Now, one of the things in the game, and it’s a resource management game so you have to manage the various resources from trade to natural resources to people, and if you didn’t do and build certain things, then your people would get unhappy and would actually start riots and would be damaging to your particular city.

I think in society we see the same thing happen, but a lot of people have lost, I suppose, the spirit of fight because nothing has changed for quite some time. Politicians for the world over haven’t proven that much that we need to believe in what they say, for one. For two, we still question if they’re in it for the greater good of all of us or rather for the greater good of themselves. I suppose that’s the fundamental question. Is politics just an ego game or is politics something that we need in order to manage companies, in order to manage countries, in order to manage the world? Have we maybe become, as part of globalization, maybe national governments are obsolete? Maybe it is a different construct that’s needed, but by having a different construct, we may have even less people in power, even more ego tripping.

Maybe there is a fundamental, I suppose, question we can’t answer, but it does raise the question at the same time. Where am I going with this? What does it have to do with gamification? Well, actually a lot and a little on both sides. Personally for us, see, or for me as a business owner, it has a lot of implications. For gamification design, I’m looking at this and sort of seeing, “Okay, so what game are politicians playing?” If I look at the Boris Johnsons and all his friends in cabinet right now, I see a whole bunch of self-serving and often not fair players in the game. If I look at the opposing party like a labour, I see player that haven’t really got a strategy. If I look at then maybe some of the green shoots that are popping out, you have extreme strategies. On one side, you have a Farage on the other side or Brexit party better. On the other side you have a Liberal Democrats who are very clear that they are a remain party.

You have I suppose some political parties have been forced to take a stance, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Then it’s up to us as people to choose, “Okay, who do we want to elect for us to be representative of our own ideology?” Now our own ideology, if you think about it, is always based on limited inputs, limited information. Just like in any strategy game and just like in business, you make the best decisions with what you know at any given time. You look for as many inputs as possible, but you’re not going to make the best choices all of the time. You will have some mistakes. You will have some wrong choices, but if I look at that in a leadership context, having a clear strategy in my view, and that’s my personal view, is probably better than to have no strategy at all.

If I look at the game Johnson played is, he had two strategies before going into either campaign. He could have gone remain. He could have gone leave. He went leave, and now he’s used it to self-promote, and he ran a very successful strategy. You have to give him that.

Is he going to make it? I’m not convinced because unless he makes it for the greater good of everyone including the EU, then I think he’s on a losing streak. But, hey. That’s only history will tell us that, and that’s not up to me to decide. I think there’s so many factors at play that I couldn’t possibly figure that one out.

But, if you look at it from a strategy play, he hedged his bets. He had two cards, and he chose one, and then he completely stuck with that strategy and went for it. You have businesses that do the same. They pick a strategy, they stick with it, and they execute.

I think where the previous government went wrong, they didn’t execute. One way of another, any maybe they didn’t have enough of a tactical plan to back up the strategy. Because in the end of the day, strategy on paper is only idealism in any case. But, strategy and execution and tactics, that’s where the games are played in a strategy game unless you take your team to battle and you actually battle.

The best theory is always on the sidelines, same with any soccer game, with any tennis game, with any card game. Unless you play the cards, you’re not in the game. So, we have to keep playing. We have to keep adapting and pivoting in order to stay in the game, and I think that’s only natural. It’s, I think, how it works.

But, yeah, in the gamification design perspective, a long-winded way of getting there, I often have to ask many strategic questions in order to crystallize why do people want gamification. Why do they want to use a game? What is the benefit in it for them, but also the benefit in it for the people? What does it enable? Do we do some gamification designs for marketing?

I always have to keep asking the question, what’s in it for the customer? Why would they want that? Does it help them, or does it impede them? Most organizations actually do genuinely want to have their customers feel that they’re being helped, that they’re getting places, that their goals are being met. Most companies are not ripping off people on purpose. And I say most companies. There are always outliers, just like in politics. You always have outliers who are in it for themselves and not for the greater good.

I think, as gamification designers, we do have an ethical obligation to ask those questions. We signed up to a code of ethics, which I’m very thankful for that Andrzej Marczewski put together. The code of ethics is to always be as inclusive as possible and to have good ethical thinking behind that.

Now, some companies drive that further than we do, or they refuse business of certain industry segments, et cetera. We take a commercial approach to most things, but at the same time, we wouldn’t do something to harm people. But we won’t also refuse companies unless they don’t pay us, for example.

So, there’s different strategic choices you always have to make. You can change your minds, of course, on most things. Maybe not as often as some of the politicians in the U.K. have done in the past three years. But, it’s interesting.

And I guess, from a corporate gamification design perspective, imagine your company setting a vote for a particular benefit or a particular rule or a particular practice that you want to introduce. You need to have a cut off point. Is it the 50-50 or 51% votes in favour? Do you take if 50, or should it be a 60-40 for it to be a clearer majority?

In university in Belgium, you passed at 40, but you got honours only from 60 onward. So, there is different grades, different rules. In some schools, you only pass with 50%. In some schools, it’s 60. So, you set the rules. We’ve worked on gamification designs where the pass rate was 70% because of the highly critical nature of what people were having to do in the role if they were pushing a job.

So, although politics is a bad analogy or maybe something, as a business owner, I shouldn’t engage it. But, if you follow me on social, you know where I am on that. So, I guess there’s no place to hide.

But I did want to draw it out to showcase, actually think about it. If politics is a game, then who are the winners and who are the losers and who are they winning for? What are the rules? Are they sticking to the rules? Are they just making the rules suit them some of the time and not some of the time?

So, if you think about it, the U.K. as an example, they were actually quite instrumental in drafting up a lot of the rules that the EU currently lives by. A lot of the great legislation has actually come from the U.K. as well. So, to then turn around and say, “Oh, we hate the EU because they have bad rules.” Well, that was quite a percentage that you proposed, and they accepted.

If you take away all of EU legislation out of the U.K. law system, you end up back in feudal days, so that’s quite a roll back. Do you really want that? Equally, if you take away the joint of nature of performing like a block of nations, in no game do I see a collaboration of 28 nations being less strong than one nation on its own.

Any gamer would tell you that. If you collaborate with a bunch of people, surely the sum total of everything gives you better buying power. It gives you better deals around. You also have more clout against certain individuals who want to rip off your society anyway. So, yeah, it baffles me that this is not seen. But, hey. That’s just me thinking out loud, I guess.

From a small company’s perspective, I join up with associations like [Ayuki 00:06:50] and Atiga because they represent our industry as in the wider gaming and digital enterprise industry and stand our ground in front of politics. Why is that important to me? Well, actually I don’t have a voice as one individual, but if I group together with all of the other small businesses in my space, we can hire someone that then represents the whole lot of us, and that, I do value, and I would encourage all of you to make sure that the associations that you’re a part of know what you want globally. And if there is an association that represents your industry but doesn’t actually lobby at governmental level, then question what they are doing for you because it’s usually much more of a self-serving scenario. So, question it.

So, from a strategy design perspective, politics is teaching us a lot right now. I would say look at it, think about it, learn from it, and then decide, okay, for my business, for my company, for my people, what would I want? If I’m doing a vote, should it be a 50-50 split, or should there be a bigger majority? If it is binding or not binding as a vote, is it just an opinion poll because opinions can be sought at any given time in employee engagement.

It’s one of the most favourite tools. People get asked the employee survey once a year or maybe more often. In some of the employee engagement tools, you get asked every five minutes. Mood analysis is a thing. So, I sure wish politicians would use that more rather than self-serving interests, but hey. Maybe they are using it. What do I know? I’m not a politician.

So, what I’m trying to say is we live in a very interesting time. I hope that as governments go and as businesses go, that we don’t turn back the clock so far in time that we end up in that horrible situation where we become war torn nations battling because the generals of our societies have decided that that was a good idea. And for those countries already living in these conditions, speak to anybody that comes from there, and they will tell you the story.

I would say in the last number of weeks, I’ve had the honour, I would say, to sit in cars with people from nations where war is basically a fact of life, and people say, “Well, actually, there was no point. There was no future.” Is that what you want? Most of us actually don’t want that for our people. We want to give them a future. We want to give them a step up.

In our business, we have one gentleman who is a former refugee who escaped, but his family is still in danger. So, it makes you think. It makes you really appreciate what you do have, and yeah. I would wish for all gamification designers, game designers, and people in business and politics, to always think about the greater good of all of us as opposed to the greater good of me.

We all have ego talks at some point. We all do things that probably are more self-serving than self-serving for the greater good, but is that the right thing? And maybe it isn’t, and maybe that’s where we then need to pivot back and strategize for the majority as opposed to for a small minority, and in some cases, even a minority of one.

So, a bit of a reflective question of gamification. It was my question in the first place. I hope that you can appreciate where I’m coming from. I’m not aiming to transform your visions or your thoughts on which side of politics you should take. I’m just merely saying observe politics and observe what’s going on around you, and think of it, and I suppose take the higher level view. And so, okay, okay, if this was a strategy game and I was a player in it, would I play the same way or would I not? And because you’re actually impacting real consequences for real people, and if you’re a manager deciding to spend budget on gamification, this should be on your agenda too.

Then, consider deeply, who are you serving? What is in it for the people you are serving? Can you lift them up to their next level of greatness? In which case, great. If you can’t, then you need to question, is this the right step forward? Is this the right thing to do, or am I just sticking to a strategy because I chose to polarize, or I chose to go down one route and one route only because it suits me and my objectives?

So, I leave you with that thought. I hope you can enjoy the spirit in which it was said, and I hope to talk to you, probably a bit more business-focused next time. And I thank you for listening to A Question of Gamification.




The post Podcast 22: What can we learn from our environment for gamification design? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I am the Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question of gamification is one I have. I suppose it’s in light of all the global politics that are going on... Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. My name is An Coppens. I am the Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation, and this week’s question of gamification is one I have. I suppose it’s in light of all the global politics that are going on... Gamification Nation 23:45
Podcast 21: What are kids learning from games? Tue, 06 Aug 2019 08:00:45 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. On this question, I get asked a lot by parents, “What are my kids learning on video games, on computer games, on mobile games?” “Should I limit their time on it,” is typically the second question. “I am...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 21: What are kids learning from games?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. On this question, I get asked a lot by parents, “What are my kids learning on video games, on computer games, on mobile games?” “Should I limit their time on it,” is typically the second question. “I am worried about my kids playing too much.” It’s a very frequently asked question by managers in many organisations with children at home. They see that their children are playing and playing a lot, and I suppose with the World Health Organisation, you’re marking gaming as a disorder as well. There’s a need to explain why and what the case may be with games and what it brings or doesn’t bring to your children or young people that you know.

The first thing I will say is as a person growing up, my parents were quite protective and we were not allowed games at all in the house. So when I was growing up, I was always borrowing somebody else’s games in school in order to play. In fact, I think at one stage my dad thought that Pong was going to blow up the television. And if you don’t know Pong, look it up, it’s a very basic game with two balls knocked to the side of the screen and you have to sort of play table tennis on the TV screen. So my uncles had to uninstall it quite quickly after it had launched.

What we did do, however, is we had a lot of board games. We had a lot of card games. We were all involved in sports. Although computer things were banned, we still got to play. Actually all of my children’s parties were sets of games. Most of them I dreamt up. I was lucky to be born in June, and often then the weather in Belgium was quite nice and quite fun. We typically had really fun things in the garden, in our house.

The little puddle pool was used as the hinderness that you had to overcome or the obstacle that you had to overcome rather than the hindrance, which is nice Flemish word for that … it’s an obstacle. One group of the party people had to defend the obstacle and either make you go through it, which gave you immunity, or you had to be cunning enough to distract them and run past them super fast and get to the other side. Things like Tug of War, you name it, we did it.

For my confirmation, we had this massive life-sized board where you had to roll the dice and you move forward, and based on where you landed you had to go find the clue in the woods and perform whatever task was related to that clue. If the person that was minding that clue thought you had passed you, you were allowed to continue back to the board and the dice. Things you had to do in order to get over a clue were things like dress up and take a photo, solve a riddle. Sometimes you had to find things. There were always fun, cool stuff that happened.

So although I never actually got to own a console of any denomination of sorts, I did love to play and my parents did definitely encourage that. Even though when I asked about a career in gaming, my dad was very adamant that there was no money in games. I guess it was a good … I would have been seven, so a good couple of decades ago. Let’s just say that.

Today’s kids I think have a bit more of a privilege or access ability, I think. And maybe that’s also my worldview of a relatively well to do middle class background, because gaming, let’s not forget, this is not cheap. So a lot of kids from the lower end of the market families may still not be able to access any game consoles or just purely because of costs. And if they do, they might have to work really hard to earn access to it. So I think if your kids are gaming, you’re already in a nice place and you probably have enough money to help them do certain things. So that’s one thing.

But what are they learning? So think about it this way. If your children are playing as a team with other kids in their class, in their neighborhood, but even with other kids online that they have never met, like is the case in the large games like World of Warcraft where a whole tribe comes together, forms a team effectively, they learn how to work in a virtual team with remote coworkers following instructions. In some cases the 12 year old or the 14 year old or the 16 year old is the leader of the tribe. So they’re leading people, they’re giving instructions, they’re giving feedback. If you think about it in the workplace, essential skills, right? So if they’re engaged in that sort of play and they are really good at it I would say encourage them.

What I would also say if they do that to the detriment of having any friends in real life, then yes, pay attention to that. That’s when it is potentially an option. So anything in moderation is relatively good. But if for example, the friends online are much more important than their friends in real life, then the question needs to be raised, are they going down the line of ruling everything else out in favor of play. And that’s when you’re entering the realm of addictive behavior.

Now, most games come and go. So you’ll have children go through phases of today, Fortnite is the big thing. Fortnite has become mainstream. I saw it on the news yesterday that there’s the Fortnite world championships coming on. There’s world championships in most games. My partner plays in European championships and world championships in Othello, a board game, I used to play when I was a kid.

There’s world sports and world games for pretty much anything, and maybe not enough in management. Maybe there should be such a thing for the workplace. Maybe there should be games to prove who’s the best manager based on resources. And maybe in some way we do that because we do measure companies based on their performance. If, let’s say, the stock exchange is how management teams are rated, then you have leader boards and you have indicators of resource management because whatever money you have left, whatever money you have in the bank is at play in the world of business success.

There’s a number of things that you could draw analogies with. What else are kids learning when they’re playing games? They’re learning to solve problems. They’re learning to overcome obstacles, and they’re learning that winning is not always a guarantee. And in today’s society I think that that above all other things is an essential skill. Resilience is something all of us that have made anything with our lives have had to learn the hard way. We’ve had to probably come through some knock-backs, some setbacks in order to make it to where we are today.

I see failure. I see losing a game as feedback. Yes, not nice in the moment, but very essential for us to grow and to become a bigger and better person and to do better next time. Winning first time round and winning all of the time is for only a lucky few the way things work.

If you look at any major sports person, whether it’s a Venus Williams or a Federer, a Messi, a Hazar, whoever you interview, these guys and girls have had to train hard, they’ve had to take failure and they’ve had to be resilient in order to keep moving forward. Yes, they may have come with a talent, but unless they nurture that talent and focused in on it and became better at it with coaching, with training, with probably researching how they could get better, with analyzing how they could improve, they would never have made it to the top. And I would argue that the gamers of today, the kids that are rocking it on Twitch, the kids that are rocking it in e-sports, have actually got very similar traits. They are learning the hard way to take hits to take knocks. They practice a lot and they are also applying analysis on strategy and often have coaches to get them to play at top levels.

A few years ago I spoke at South by Southwest in Texas together with two of my fellow gamification ladies. I went to a seminar on e-sports, and about the team and how team managements are structured, how the progression is, I found it fascinating. So at age 12 that’s when you enter professional e-sports or e-sports that are going places. By Age 14 to 16 you’re at your peak. By age 18 to 21 you’re actually losing the flexibility in your muscle responses. Your responses become slower and that’s when these kids become coaches.

Now a pro-team that’s at the top of their game in e-sports, plays probably eight hours a day. The rest of the day they do exercise, very specific exercise to keep the body going but also exercise that helps them to enhance their reflexes in a game. They also have to look after nutrition, sleep, etc. So it’s not just a very one track sport. It has to be seen as the global person.

They know from research unless you are physically fit and switched on that you wouldn’t necessarily make the top level in e-sports. Which I found fascinating as well, because a lot of the thinking about parents who have this fat kid sitting up in the dark room playing video games until the night is over basically, a lot of parents have this really negative image of what gaming is and what gaming can be. And actually I think there is a lot of very good things happening as well.

Yesterday on the news they showed the first female gamer with disabilities doing well. The fact that she can play in a level playing field because of an adapted system I think is amazing. She doesn’t play in a different league. She plays in a regular league against the boys, just purely because her disability didn’t matter anymore. Her console is adapted to her playing to the best of her abilities. And she’s rocking it. And I thought, “You know what? Kudos to the gaming industry because that is also something that it provides. That is something that us in the workplace have not cracked yet.”

So I think there is a definite case for inclusion and a definite case for showing up as who you choose to be and being the best you can be in that role, that’s coming through kids in gaming. I guess I’m slightly passionate. I’m also slightly biased and you could say that.

But I suppose the things to watch out for when is it an addiction? When is it not an addiction? Well, it’s an addiction if a kid doesn’t play with their own friends anymore. It’s an addiction when actually the game becomes more important than everything else in life. Just like comparing it to alcohol or drugs or anything, if the fix becomes bigger than living, than everything else, than people, than looking after yourself, then it’s time to probably look out, “Okay, let’s tone this down. Let’s have a conversation, seek professional help and look into it.”

But the reality is for a lot of kids, the game of the month will be a different game next month or three months from now. For most kids, it’s part of growing up. It’s part of learning. It’s part of just socializing. So if you can afford it, let them engage, let them play. If you can’t afford them, let them go to the friends that have the games and they can play and see what you can do. I think games today are becoming more economically viable for most of us, so it doesn’t need to be exclusive. Even though e-sports may still be for the privileged few, just like elite sports on any level in any game is probably much more for the elite few than for the masses.

But games, they have rules. Kids learn to behave according to rules. Strategy games and multiplayer games encourage them to learn about teams, sometimes even teach them to manage teams. In all games there’s communication. In all games there is learning from losing, learning from winning, thinking of, “Okay, how can I do better next time.” And focused attention for long periods of time is what we say young kids don’t have anymore until they sit down at a computer game. They show that they actually do have it. So pushing them in other areas in work to engage in really good engaged work is also parts of the realms of possibility. A good book can do the same, a good movie can do the same.

Kids haven’t lost that ability. We just have lost the ability to encourage them to do it. And maybe that’s our fault as adults to not engage at the right level with the right bits of feedback. The one thing that games do do is give instant feedback. Learn in the moment. So learning is becoming much more rapid in a game, then for example, three or four months down the line or weeks down the line, you get feedback on the work you did two weeks ago. So there is something to be said for that.

Being a manager myself, it’s not always easy when you’re juggling many tasks on your to-do list, but also many tasks for your team and many priorities for your business, for your work, etc. And as a parent that’s no difference. So where can you use games and gamification to make their lives better is what I would say. But then I have a vested interest in that.

What can your children learn from games a lot? So let them play. Play with them, because for some kids that’s the only interaction they have with you. If you’re attached to your smart device, attach to their smart device. Learn their game, or at least engage in a game that you have in common, because they may not appreciate if you’re totally bad at Fortnite, don’t go playing Fortnite with them because they’ll only laugh at you and consider you a nuisance. But there may be other games.

We always had board games in our family and we still do. There’s nothing wrong with that. I used to always be delighted if we could play a little game and weren’t told to go play by ourselves. So engage, engage at their level and find the common game that’s yours and that makes it family time so that you can engage.

So yeah, will people learn? Yes, absolutely. Do Kids today need games? Totally. Just like we did. We’re no different in the end of the day. Motivations have actually not drastically changed over time. We all still want to be loved, respected, and appreciated for the talents that we bring, and encouraged when those talents don’t reach far enough or we got it wrong. We need second chances.

Either way I would say don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. What did you learn when you were young? What did you play with when you were young? And yeah, if the symptoms are not drastic and not in any way negative than just let them play. Let them learn. Ask them on a regular basis, what are they learning? Who are they playing with? What are they playing? What’s the best game on the market today? And look it up. There’s always kids doing live streams of the games they play. So that you understand what they’re dealing with. So that you understand how the game works and what potentially they could learn from this game. I would say, yeah, let it be, let them play and play with them. Join them. If you can’t win, join them.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s question of gamification, and I hope to have you back on the podcast very soon and talk to you in a couple of days. I love it if you would give us some positive feedback. So if you like our podcast, absolutely give us a good rating. If you don’t like it, let me know. I’d prefer if you let me know personally as opposed to publicly. And also if you have a question that you would like us to answer, by all means send it my way. Thank you for listening.


The post Podcast 21: What are kids learning from games? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. On this question, I get asked a lot by parents, “What are my kids learning on video games, on computer games, on mobile games?” “Should I limit their time on it,” is typically the second question. “I am... Welcome to this week’s question of gamification. On this question, I get asked a lot by parents, “What are my kids learning on video games, on computer games, on mobile games?” “Should I limit their time on it,” is typically the second question. “I am... Gamification Nation 18:16
Podcast 20: Should gamification be part of a larger strategy? Tue, 30 Jul 2019 08:15:30 +0000 0 <p>Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. I’m An Coppens, I’m your show host, and I’m also the CEO or Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation. This week’s question is asked to us from a variety of clients, and it typically goes something like this,...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="">Podcast 20: Should gamification be part of a larger strategy?</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="">Gamification Nation</a>.</p> Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. I’m An Coppens, I’m your show host, and I’m also the CEO or Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation. This week’s question is asked to us from a variety of clients, and it typically goes something like this, is gamification or should gamification be part of a larger strategy?

When we get asked that question, it’s typically because people have heard that gamification is a thing. They like the concept, they like the fact that we can bring some of the game and play-like feeling into an organisation. But often it also means that they haven’t thought through why they want to implement gamification in the first place.

Start with why

I would say or answer that question with, yes, gamification should always be part of a larger strategy. In fact, I would even say strategy comes first, as opposed to gamification comes first. Now, gamification can be the strategy. I mean, that’s also possible. But in the end of the day, you need to have a reason why you are engaging in gamification, why you are even going there. You need to understand if it fits for your culture, if it fits for the type of problem you’re trying to solve.

Although I feel that gamification has a lot of power and a lot of benefits. It doesn’t fix every single problem that you may encounter in an organisation. Sometimes it’s simply a case of revising benefits, revising employee rules, or even very simple things as changing things around in an environment. It could be interpersonal related. The one thing you can’t gamify is your boss, typically speaking. At best, you can gamify the process, but gamifying people is another story altogether, and gamification in the best form should always be voluntary.

Make it voluntary

If it’s imposed, then as soon as that becomes known, it also causes a backlash of why people don’t want to engage or they rebel against it, or they game the system, etc. When you’re looking at gamification as a part of your employee facing strategy, I would definitely say it needs to be part of a well thought out strategy, whether that’s employee engagement, whether that is a very specific onboarding call, an onboarding strategy, whether that is showcasing how your organisation is a leader in the field. There’s a variety of reasons and a variety of things you may want to do as part of a strategy, and gamification could be one.

What we see gamification do and where it plays in and ties into strategy, is that it enforces or reinforces the message of your strategy.

Gamified on-boarding strategy example

Let’s give an example. Usually examples work better than me talking about the conceptual side of things. Imagine you have an organisation where people thrive when they’re self-sufficient, when they’re self searching for answers. Now, when people join the organisation, they didn’t always know that. Gamification was introduced to help them through and teach them from day one, “Actually, in this organisation, it’s up to you to make your career what you want it to be.”

What did the organisation do? Actually, they looked at staff turnover and they saw the ones that thrived were the ones that had adopted and became self-sufficient. The ones that left, and left quite miserable in some way, felt that they were left to their own devices and didn’t know what to do. They were never taught that, actually, self-management and self-sufficiency is the way to success. That was the strategic input then, that basically made the company decide, “Okay, we want to apply a gamification strategy to solve this.”

Now, they did test out other strategies as well. What they came up with was, from day one, and I think it even started before, the person joined the company, they were sent access to an app. In the app you received instructions, a little bit like a treasure hunt: “On day one, please find X place in X building, and meet person Y.” When they met person Y, person Y scanned their app, and basically they were given the next clue, the next instruction.

That way, they figured out that actually in order to succeed and in a very subtle way, they were being trained to say, “Actually, to get places in this company, this is what you have to do. You have to find your way. You have to find where things are, who the people are I need to speak to,” and sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it was a little bit harder, sort of hidden encryptic clues and all of that.

From a design perspective, that’s an ideal scenario to design with, because we have a very clear strategic objective, we can measure the before and the after, and you can set very clear indicators. Having people go through the onboarding adventure or quest or whatever you call it, gives you an idea of whether they’re able to make it to the very end because some of them may struggle. The ones that struggle are the ones you can immediately flag, “Okay, we need to mind them a little bit more than maybe the perfectly self-sufficient ones.

The perfectly self-sufficient ones probably got there anyway, and would have made it regardless, but they also give you a good indication that they might be that high potential person that’s going to thrive in this environment, because we know from previous analysis, that that was the kind of person that would. In some sense, making gamification the tactical approach to the strategic objective, I think is where it works best.

Gamification in learning should have choices and consequences

As a trainer and coach, I often used games and gamification as a tactic to bring more difficult concepts home, and to make people realize actually how you behave in a certain situation will have an impact on how you’re perceived later on. Strategy games, role playing games, so many on the market, will guide you through a whole number of dilemmas choices, and in the game they always have consequences. I see the same happen in a work environment. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have consequences in a workplace-based gamification for onboarding, for promotions, for learning, you name it.

There should be choices in it, some that are more ideal, some that are less ideal, and some that are outright not desirable. Those chosen ones, if choices are made, there should definitely, by all means, be a consequence. Whether that’s a loss of a life in the game, or what it does, actually, deduction of some points or privileges, those things should be there. I think in today’s society, a lot of young people get nicknamed with old, under-privileged, et cetera, but think about it the other way.

Most of the kids that are entering the workforce today have played games at some point in life. Whether they’re actively playing online games, computer games, mobile games, or they’re engaged in sports, in my view, they all qualify. In each of those scenarios, they have learned to deal with failure, they have learned to deal with consequences.

Yes, they may have come through a softer part that they got to, where they needed to go with less struggle than maybe their previous generation or back in the good old days or whatever you call it, the war story that’s being bandied around, but they also have learned through the play that, in some cases, bad decisions have bad consequences.

Don’t, I suppose, put them in cotton wool, don’t hold back. If there are desirable behaviors and undesirable behaviors, let them know which is which. Because in the end of the day, we’ll only ever learn if we fail, and maybe that’s too harsh a statement. Some people learn from others very well, and learning from their role models, but a lot of the firsthand experience has given us insight because of the things we did wrong. Usually, it’s not because of the things we did right, because there, we don’t know for sure if we actually did it right or we were just lucky. Consequences feedback should be part and parcel of it.

Is gamification part of a strategy?

To answer the original question: is gamification part of a strategy? Yes, it should always be, and where possible measure it. Any good strategy usually comes with some element of resource management, some element of choices, that you’re weighing up. Then, if you weigh up, that gamification may be a good strategy to follow or a good tactic to follow, then it should have been made because the culture was right, people are open to play. The thing in the work environment, gamification will very often just look like nudges or an app that encourages you. It may not look like a Full On World of Warcraft or Monopoly or whatever other game you can think of.

It’s always way more subtle than that. It’s often just a simple guidepost through a process that gets you places. When you think of play in the workplace, I would say, don’t drive it too crazy. I saw one thought leader recently mention on LinkedIn, “Nobody comes to work looking to play.” Well, maybe. I would say, most of us come to work to do a good day’s work. If that can be done in a fun and an exciting way, that’s so much more appealing than if it has to be done in a really boring and non-exciting, non-motivational way.

Where I see gamification fit into that equation, is that it can actually make a process more interesting and encourage behaviors that you see as useful for the organisation. I mean, yes, we borrow concepts from play, does that mean it’s a Full On game? No, it doesn’t have to be. It can be, but absolutely, it doesn’t have to be. It has to be fitting with whatever culture you have going, has to be fitting with the people that you have, and it can be collaborative, it can be competitive, it can be any which way.

Those are the strategic choices you should be making when you’re deciding that gamification is part of a strategic mix, and when it’s part of the strategic mix, which of the things are you enhancing, which of the things would you like to put lesser focus on, how are you going to roll it out? There’s a whole strategic set of questions that comes with implementing gamification. It’s part of a strategy, usually an overarching strategy, that’s bigger than gamification itself.

Then you need strategic decisions at gamification level also, which are more choices around, “Okay, do we go collaborative? Do we go competitive? Do we go inclusive? Do we go specific groups? There’s a lot, a lot of choices that need to be made when looking at a gamified process delivery and gamification in the workplace.

I hope that answered the question, and I look forward to our next question. If you have one as burning and that you haven’t really dared to ask, by all means, send it our way, and I will do my best to answer. If you like our podcast, by all means, give us a great rating on whatever system you listen to us. Thank you for listening to the Question of Gamification.

The post Podcast 20: Should gamification be part of a larger strategy? appeared first on Gamification Nation.

Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. I’m An Coppens, I’m your show host, and I’m also the CEO or Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation. This week’s question is asked to us from a variety of clients, Welcome to this week’s Question of Gamification. I’m An Coppens, I’m your show host, and I’m also the CEO or Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation. This week’s question is asked to us from a variety of clients, and it typically goes something like this,... Gamification Nation 12:18