Tag Archives: game design


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!

the power of the mind

Opportunities for learning something are always present. Each single moment of our existence can be a learning experience.  Interesting enough it seems it is up to us to make the best out of each opportunity.

As time pass by, I get the impression that most of the learning possibilities that one has are not utilized.  One can be “educated” or trained for something in specific. Actually our economical-social system has built educational institutions, that as far as I understand, offer to individuals the information and training needed to create the “proper” skills to function in our society.

Through the diversity of projects I am right now actively working with besides my own PhD focus (LieksaMyst, SciMyst 2009, Biosphere project,  CS students, etc.) I see and sense continually: we need to learn to listen constantly without loosing our self-confidence. Each one of us is so important, and has an incredible richness inside. When one can exteriorize this richness and connected with others, the results go beyond any expectation.

Then, while listening and putting a bit more of attention in the self, it is possible to realize the importance of the power of the mind.  Actually that is the core of everything we do, as its influence is more relevant and decisive than all the information and training that each one of us can have. Our mind is just incredibly powerful.

What your mind says is the truth and each one of us will act and experience according to it, because that is the truth.  If you mind says you can, you will do it, independently if you have many resources or none, you just know you can do it and you will. If you mind says forget about it, you will give up even if you have all what it is needed to achieve that goal.  Furthermore, our interpretations of our activities and relationships are closely related to what our mind believes.

It is just fascinating, how my mind affects me. As it happens to me, I wouldn’t be surprise it happens to others as well.  What I/you truly believe, it is what it is, but not necessary is what it really is. One needs to be open enough and listen carefully to realize there are different options, nothing is static.

 The power of the mind is unlimited, and I attempt to say personally under-use. In several cases it is controlled by external individuals  (e.g. “brain washing”) or habits. But it does not mean we can’t have access to it and shape it to our will. At the end our mind is ours.

each flame is unique and powerful