Tag Archives: context


Week 44
Genova, Italy

Reporting from the VS-Games conference. Yesterday I ran a workshop entitled: designing games for specific contexts. Honestly, I was nervous and excited about it.

The process to get the workshop ready was especially interesting. Once the proposal / paper was accepted, an email came informing me if it was possible to involve Ivan in the workshop. He is an energetic entrepreneur in serious games in Italy. His company is called TiconBlu. As you might know me, collaboration is important and to promote a win-win situation. It seems we managed ūüôā ¬†The process took some new thinking on how to combine things. Life is a learning process right?

Here I share you part of the presentation:

More soon ….

pay attention to context: from gamification to pleasurize

Week 6, 2012
Joensuu, Finland

The first time I heard about gamification was with the work of Jane McGonigal and later in a video of Jesse Schell, I even have read about this new system of evaluation relating grades to experience points.

McGonical and Schell are leaders on the arena of game design. Schell’s book, The Art of Game design, in my humble opinion is a gem. However, in regard to the topic of gamification, I have my doubts. I do not find the gamification arguments convincing. My impression is that the proponents of gamification are losing the point of games, play-space and real life. Myself, I subscribe to those individuals who think that gamification sounds like a  disguise of a behaviorist conditioning of everyday activities for competitive societies.

The reason I am writing about this topic is because a friend of mine, Javi, wrote about gamification, and an interesting exchange of ideas emerged. He put me to think when he wrote that: gamifiation is a trend, supported with the idea that marketing agencies want to utilize game design techniques but they do not really know how, specially with a critical mass of players and a new generation coming.

Of course Javi gave me food for the thought, specially when I think on a new generation which is used to reality shows and having all pervasive….

In order to reply to Javi’s comment I watch the video he suggested me:  The Pleasure Revolution: Why Games Will Lead the Way by Schell (embedded below).  The actual reflection of Schell makes more sense to me than the earlier explanation of gamification. Schell bases his analysis on the positive psychology and context.  He changes his focus from gamification to pleasurize or improved motivational design.  To me, as you can imagine from the title of my dissertation hypercontextualize games, I found more common ground with the actual reflection of  Schell than in earlier talks. Perhaps more posts about the topic will emerged.

My conclusion, at this moment, from my talk with Javi is: yes marketing strategies will change. They must change in order to survive. I still think that gamification might not be the way. However, I think we will be finding more ARG and transmedia activities than earlier. Nevertheless, whatever is the new marketing path,  CONTEXT will be its key concept and resource.

To the time!

use of technology and creativity ‚Äď section introduction

Without a doubt my blog deserves this section of ‚Äúuse of technology and creativity‚ÄĚ, but let me put it in perspective first, as I do not refer to using it only for using it.

From my perspective, we construct our reality; therefore we constantly are interpreting meaning and motives of all what each one of us do.  In this process of creating meaning, our society and culture occupies a significant role. In research terms, my way of thinking and analyze phenomena is subscribed to a social constructivist paradigm, and most of my reflections are sustained on  Vygostky’s Activity Theory.

Besides the ‚Äútheory‚ÄĚ behind my way of thinking, I am also a believer of the strong relationships of the use of the technology and creativity with the specific location and situation due to what I¬† had seen and experience in my volunteer_nomadic_life. It is not surprising to see the¬† ‚Äúsame‚ÄĚ artifact, but they turn only meaningful and understandable when you immerse yourself in that specific world in which they are used.

Anyway, this section /category is going to be enjoyable at least for me ūüėČ


use of technoloy and creativity under AT

shooting sequel

My common sense can be losing direction, but there is something that confuses me. Some days ago in Germany, the¬†Galleries Kaufhof¬†announced a¬†strategy to retire from their shelves the “killer games”(killerspiel) a.k.a. violent games. This is a response from the school shooting they had in early March (see my¬†previous post)

The intention of the departmental store is respectable. However still I wonder, why don’t we educate people? and over all, why do not give time to listen to individuals? We need time, respect and love to evolve as humans. Wondering why is not possible to hear about laws or actions towards that direction? that is what confuses me.  I think this problem is deeper rooted than only ban a product genre, but where are those deeper actions?.

Each time I read the newspapers, my reaction is: we are in an URGENT NEED of  EDUCATION and COMPREHENSION. Or in other words, to have proper information first and then be able to digest it to finally develop an individual with common sense.

¬†Let me give a complete¬†unrefined example, just an impulsive one. If a¬†youngster in a ‚Äúdevelop‚ÄĚ country makes a school-shooting, then the video games are found potentially guilty of such event. If the¬†school shooting is in a ‚Äúconflict‚ÄĚ country, the violent video games are not even in the picture. Well one can say there are other types of “violent” immersion.

¬†However, after any shooting event what it comes to the surface after the investigations is:¬†¬†anger, frustration, depression…. Shooting seems to be the only way for the shooter to make things “change”. ¬†Hence, my main question: why don’t we care about all these problems muuuuuuuuch earlier ?, not only wait for the problems to boil and then see the bullet.

Well everybody puts a small grain of sand each day, let’s see¬†how the story continues….


comforting by a book *BIG HUG*



credit of image: http://www.thebookzombie.com/

context part 2

I need my time for understanding things, and making up my mind. In addition I try to be flexible while admitting that things can change and my understanding evolve, as I am aware there is a high probability to make mistakes, then keep the eyes and ears open. Awareness, persistence and patience are the best allies.


From my previous post about context I got new information that gave food for my though:

a) Matti’s reply (on the the previous post) and his reminder of an “old” reflection of his about the same term. (Thank you for your input Matti !! )

b) The Document “Report of State of the Art in Personalisation common Framework” from the¬†ePerSpace – IST Integrated project, even that it presents a more technical approach, it clarifies at least 8 different user- contexts. I said at least, because sill I believe this is a reflection from a very specific point of view, and perhaps from another perspective another classification might appear with other number of possibilities.¬† However this is a thoughtful and clear document.


Then after some brain digestion, my pre-conclusions about how I had used this noun “context” can only be partiality respond by understanding why (probably) is it used?. From my personal opinion¬† sees two main reasons:

a) Getting lazy and in a comfortable zone

b) The increasingly speed of events and information is forbidden us to have a clear and deep reflection. Without this, it makes more difficult to even express our thoughts.


Let me elaborate:

One can’t live the life or have the experiences of someone else except oneself. One can’t have direct control over the thoughts of someone else, neither over his/her understanding. We only can have theories of how things work, in addition that there is much more than what we actually know (that is why we keep on researching and learning).

However one can make an effort to draw in detail one’s ideas or reflections. By making connection with all the relevant information and circumstances that have an impact to the specific description we are pursuing to do, instead to lock all all this information and understanding in one noun.

With this effort¬† one can support a clear understanding (of oneself and of others) about our own thoughts, reflections and experiences.¬† All these can be done by avoiding the noun: “context” and attempting to a richer communication. However this implies: a lot of effort in different levels and a considerable amount of time.


Well written and thoughtful books, specially the no-technical ones, are good examples for improving the understanding of a phenomena and all what surrounds it, before and after it. The clarity of a message in a “long” paper of 8 pages, can’t be compared with the clarity of a¬† book of 300 pages. (assuming¬†that both are quality¬†exemplars)

And do not get me wrong, make summaries or¬† be able to synthesize is a relevant skill to have (it is not a trivial skill). However, ¬†one should take care of the quality of this summarizing process while writing it, as one should be critic and aware that a full and clear message can’t be delivered in a 8 pages “long paper”.


My personal advice:

РNever stop reading:  books, conference papers, journal articles, etc.

– Be critic and understand the meanings of the information in written form (or any other type) by going beyond the words itself of the content of specific domains. In few words make the knowledge mine. This might need a lot of extra effort and time.


Perhaps, I had been stuck in this issue of: context.  Perhaps because this noun of 7 letters has enormous implications in my way of thinking if it remains blurry or unmanageable. Then, at this moment it is a must for myself to learnt to situate my own thoughts and ideas in a manner that I can express them clearly. In addition, if I want to convey my message to others and with this create a constructive dialog, then better start to clarify things.

Much to learn regarding the basics: writing and reading.