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Playsourcing: Actions In a Serious Game Affecting The Real World

Nicole Lazzaro, the founder and President of XEODesign, Inc., is one of the silver medal winners of the International Serious Play Awards Competition with the Serious Game Tilt World in the Games for Good category.

Tilt World is an iOS game that sets Flip, a tiny tadpole, against the forces of an evil pollution called the Blight. Players help Flip eat carbon and gather seeds to turn a desolate wasteland into a lush green forest both on the iPhone and in the real world.

Playful, but with a strong ecological message, Tilt World makes use of the smartphone or tablet’s accelerometer to make Flip the tadpole help fight the Blight that has affected Shady Glen by eating carbon and planting seeds. 

The game is tied to a real world impact: each time Flip attempts to save Shady Glen (an area that needs reforestation) your in-game actions will be mirrored in a real world campaign which intends to see one million trees planted in Madagascar. You will need to tilt your iOS-powered device between portrait and landscape models in order to help Flip eat up carbon, catch some seeds, as well as avoid Blight-covered stuff. Points in the game can be applied and “converted” to create tangible social good on the other side of the globe.

More than 10,000 trees have been planted to date, and players can see a real-world impact calculator at

About Nicole Lazzaro

Nicole Lazzaro, the founder (in 1992) and President of XEODesign, Inc , has twenty years expertise in Player Experience Design (PXD) for mass-market entertainment products.

Widely recognized as one of the top women working in video games and a pioneering, leading figure in mobile and social games, Nicole has worked with EA, Ubisoft, D.I.C.E., Lucas Arts, Disney, PlayFirst, The Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon on such popular franchises as three of the Myst series, Diner Dash, Fusion Fall, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Jeopardy Online, as well as creativity coaching for the designers of The Sims.

Nicole was the first person to use facial expressions to measure player experiences and has done ground breaking research on the relationship of emotion to games. Published in 2004 her research discovered that people’s favorite player experiences (PX) generate strong emotions to create engagement. Called the 4r Keys to Fun, Nicole found that best selling games offer at least three of four play styles: the Hard Fun from challenge and mastery, Easy Fun from exploration and role play, Serious Fun for relaxation and real work, and People Fun from the excuse to hang out with friends. With the Four Keys to Fun developers access player's emotional response to innovate early in the development cycle where there is much less risk.

Nicole has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Stanford University where she also studied film making and computer programming.

Have a taste of Tilt World at