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Gamification: Serious Games and Real Life Colliding In Unique Ways

 Building game-like incentives into non-game applications
Gamification 1: Playful (Persuasive) Toothbrush

Despite the skepticism when Jesse Schell explored hypothetical scenarios such as teeth brushing earning sponsored awards from Crest, here is an example of Playful (Persuasive) Toothbrush by students Yu-chen Chang, Chao-ju Huang.

It is about a playful toothbrush to assist parents in motivating and getting their young children into a habit of proper and thorough tooth brushing. The system includes a vision-based motion tracker that recognizes different tooth brushing motions, and a fun tooth brushing game in which a young child helps a cartoon character clean its dirty virtual teeth by physically brushing his/her own teeth.

Organizers announced last week plans the first ever Gamification Summit, which will take place January 20 - 21, 2011 at San Francisco's Mission Bay Conference Center, dedicated to the use of game-like experiences to drive participation in non-gaming activities.
The concept was the subject of a widely viewed talk by Jesse Schell at DICE 2010, on how game-like structures can revolutionize the motivations for everyday activities.

Here is a recap of my prior post Anecdotal Evidence Of Jesse Schell's Game Design Futuring - NOW! about a week after his superb presentation: Design Outside The Box.

Jesse Schell’s talk, at a DICE Summit session in Las Vegas early this year, went far beyond an entertaining delivery from a CMU Professor: it may well represent a “stake in the ground” for game designers getting sensitive to the magic behind trend-changers and the rising of new core values for game creation, amongst them:

• The perceived entertainment value (approached by Jesse in the context of “Psychological Tricks”, derived from changes in the real-world physique);

• The value of "realness" (when Jesse challenges game makers obsessed over creating fantasy as a disconnect);

• The value of rewarding game-life achievements (please find also Ian Bogost’s post: On the Achievementalization of the World);

• The value of embedding games in our everyday lives (which Jesse translates into “a world of opportunity for game designers).

And here is some anecdotal evidence:

Gamification 2: Playful (Persuasive) Tray
by students Tung-yen (Dori) Lin, Jen-hao (Arthur) Chen, Keng-hao Chang, Shih-yeh Liu

It is an interactive, persuasive game built into an ordinary food tray to assist parents to improve dietary behaviors of their young children. The persuasive game is played over a playful tray. By eating from the playful tray, a child can see his/her favorite cartoon character being colored or running in a race. The playful lunch tray incorporates both the context-awareness (of pervasive computing) and the persuasive media (of persuasive computing), enabling the creation of a smart object that is not only aware of human behavior but can also influence and shape human behaviors through their natural interactions with the object.

Gamification 3: Vine Grows As You Save Fuel

The dashboard of the Ford Fusion shows how fuel efficient the driver is operating the vehicle with a vine on the right-hand side that grows and withers

About Gamification Summit 2011

The Gamification Summit (January 20-21, 2011 San Francisco) brings together top thought leaders in game mechanics and engagement science for the first time.
Attend Gamification Summit 2011 and learn how game mechanics and the new science of engagement are rewriting the rules of brand marketing, product design and customer acquisition and get your business in the game.
“With an increasing focus on gamification, major brands, advertising agencies and UI/UX practitioners are starting to see what game designers have always known: games are the ultimate tool for engagement,” said Gamification Summit Director Margaret Wallace.
The first day is filled with informative keynotes, lectures and panels, with plenty of networking opportunities mixed in throughout. The second day is a full-length, hands-on workshop led by renowned gamification designer Amy Jo Kim that will help you take your specific business requirements and turn them into actionable gamification strategies.
Gamification will be also the focus of the entire second day of the upcoming 2011 Serious Games Summit.