behavior · community · education · emotion · play

Gamification of Compassion as Education

It’s a cheesy idea in many ways: practice compassion. pay it forward. Do unto others. It seems nice, but in a society where trust has been broken and kindness can be seen as weakness – whether that is a prison or school or work or a city – it can be hard to practice.

However, if there IS an immediate reward – a points system that helps people keep score of their kindness and gives them some immediate positive return – then it makes more sense for people to engage and feed into the compassion system.

Similar programs like dog training and tutoring provide a similar immediate benefit – the trainer is rewarded for training others.

Of course there are long-term personal benefits – less mental stress, larger social network, etc. – but humans typically work for the “right now” and being able to demonstrate the “right now” benefits can be pretty powerful.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcompassiongames%2Fvideos%2F1399773396809748%2F&show_text=0&width=560

It also shows the power of gamification to teach other complex, complicated concepts.

creativity · design · play · Social

Google Maps Easter Egg Lets Users Play Pac-Man on Real Streets – CityLab

Gamification of at least a virtual space:

For a limited time, you can finally experience Pac-Man on your favorite (or least favorite) place to navigate IRL. One of the best navigational easter eggs ever, Google Maps is currently letting users experience the world through the eyes of a Pac-Man.

Ever wished Namco created a Pierre L’Enfant-version of the arcade game? Well, D.C.’s Logan Circle now has all the Pac-Dots your Pac-Gut can handle.

more via Google Maps Easter Egg Lets Users Play Pac-Man on Real Streets – CityLab.

learning · play · technology · work

Building Fun into Work (Just Don’t Call it Gamification)

People seem pretty sick of the idea of “Gamification” of things. But here’s the rub: a lot of jobs need to be more fun. And can be made more fun. And technology can have a strong hand in doing that.

One of the best pieces of advice a boss of mine ever received, he said, was that “people like getting points.” Even if the points don’t culminate in anything, just having the most points on a forum board or in an app is a great feeling for people.

History of Mario Museum from Deloitte Digital

Ambition (for example) focuses specifically on gamifying the performance of sales teams. Its software provides customers with a dashboard full of real-time metrics, such as calls made or leads generated or emails opened.

Through Ambition dashboards, employees (and of course, their managers) can track performance in relation to individual and team goals on their computers and mobile devices. The software syncs with a company’s CRM technology, as well as phone systems and spreadsheets and any other tools an organization might use. The cost is between $20 and $30 per employee per month.

Using whatever metrics a client wants to track, the software creates an Ambition Score, which is an aggregate of all the metrics. A score of 100 means an employee or team has reached every benchmark for a given time period.

more via The Hot Software Niche in Search of a New Name.

My company is currently working on creating a way to gamify a frankly otherwise quite boring piece of learning, specifically for employees only.

Many kids enjoy cleaning up their toys if you make it a race.

What are some surprising ways you’ve seen fun and play incorporated into an otherwise boring task? Leave it in the comments below.

creativity · play · Social · writing

A Videogame That Teaches You to Write Poetry, Even if It Intimidates You | WIRED

I don’t know if I would find this inspiring or not… thoughts?

Videogames and poetry haven’t always gone hand in hand.

We’re still a long way from Master Chief breaking into a Coleridge soliloquy. But game developers Ichiro Lambe and Ziba Scott have edged us a bit closer to that day with Elegy for a Dead World, a game they Kickstarted in October and released on Steam last month.

Elegy lets players write prose and poetry as they explore distant planets and dead civilizations. The player faces 27 challenges in three worlds, each riffing on a specific British Romance-era poem: “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be” by John Keats, and “Darkness” by Lord Byron.

The different challenges find the player in various roles: an emperor rallying his troops before a doomed battle, for example, or a schoolgirl evacuating a city being bombed. Players travel through beautifully designed backgrounds, while on-screen text narrates the story. But much of the text is left blank—that’s when players tap their inner Wordsworths, finishing the tale with their own imaginations.

Throughout their adventure, players are tasked with using several writing styles: Plugging in blanks in prompts like serious Mad Libs, writing poems in rhyming couplets, or going totally freeform.

via A Videogame That Teaches You to Write Poetry, Even if It Intimidates You | WIRED.

behavior · environment · health · mental health · play · work

Creating playful and holistic spaces for healthier employees

The Clinton Foundation recently teamed up with my employer as part of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) to create more healthy, and healthier, employees in a corporate environment. There were five winners chosen, and these two were my personal favorites:

  • Make Work Active
  • Concept: Gamify holistic health and wellness. Design a points based rewards program to incentivize employees for adopting a healthy lifestyle at work, with programs tailored to industry specific wellness issues.
  • Workspace Design
  • Concept: Design workplaces that require regular movement physical activity. Create “motion enhancing workplace” certification. Create certification of “Motion Enhancing Workspaces” if sufficient requirements are met (Similar to Leed Certified buildings).

 

While some of the other ideas were also great – have fresh food on hand, make a team goal to improve health – I love these ideas in particular because they engage with employees on an individual level, and force the employee to engage with wellness, i.e. via a game and/or their environment.

I know gamification is a super “buzz” term right now, almost to the point of being passe, but I have found it to be a surprisingly powerful tool. A few years ago I organized a walking challenge at work, and bought cheap pedometers for everyone who wanted to participate. The winner ended up being the facilities manager, which surprised everyone but totally made sense since he was on his feet all day, and was a great example of how a lot of little walks add up.

Where have you seen either of these types of initiatives in action, whether at work, school, or in your neighborhood? Do you know of any group working on creating certifications for “healthy workspaces”? Share them in the comments below.