Gamification Links to Get You Started

At the September 2011 GLP conference, I promised people some links on Gamification. These will hopefully get you headed in the right direction.

Jane McGonigal – Reality is Broken at Amazon – This is the book mentioned by Bob at the conference.

Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world – TED Talk on the concepts from her book. You can also check out Jane McGonigal’s blog which has many more videos.

Gabe Zichermann | Gamification Blog – trying to become the face of gamification, but he has great links and…

OSCON 2011: Gabe Zichermann, “Designing for Engagement with Gamification in Open Source” – this talk was excellent! I was in the audience. Again, exploring very similar concepts from Drive and Reality is Broken.

Jesse Schell “Design Outside the Box” – this talk is what opened my mind to the world of gaming outside of gaming. Schell’s style is a bit abrasive at times, although it appeals to me. He brings together some interesting successful anecdotes and metrics to drive home his final point. For context, DICE is an annual professional game developers conference, so he is speaking directly to the game design industry in this talk.

The following are not directly related to gamification, but just in case you have not seen these yet, I think it is worth checking out Drive by Daniel Pink (related TED Talk) but especially:

Authors@Google: Dan Ariely – Dan Ariely talks about his research in decision-making, it is fascinating stuff.

I feel all of these speakers are in the same mode of research: how do we design better games. The domains differ, but the core principles are starting to converge.

Finally, there is an emerging style of games journalism called new games journalism, started by the UK website Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The concept is that the journalist documents the experience or cultural significance of playing the game, and not just about the details of the game itself. Rock, Paper, Shotgun can be tough to parse on a daily basis, however for stellar examples of the technique check out the articles linked from writer Quintin Smith’s last post. This may be a bit too close to the player perspective to be helpful for gamification but I loved these articles. The value for me, beyond nostalgia, is to see how different games can shape the way in which gamers view the real world. The impact these games can have outside of the game.

Much more accessible is the real-world quarterly magazine Kill Screen. This magazine attempts to bring a New Yorker style to articles on video gaming. Some of the articles are phenomenal, but are not published on the web so I cannot link to them for you. I have tried to make copies of articles to share with Bob and Phillip, but could not get the pages to scan very well. In any case, highly recommended, would be happy to bring copies for people to peruse to the next conference. You can also browse their daily blog, but the content is not as good as in the published magazine.

I hope these have some value for your in-the-real-world game-making!

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