Yep. It’s here! GSummit is back and it’s our best event yet.
The last GSummit was my first one I have been to and as a participant/corroborator, it was nothing like I’ve seen before. Conferences typically maintain a limited scope of ideas and concept for the event to revolve around but GSummit is a place where I was able to hear such a wide gambit of innovative ideas ranging from an elementary school teacher using Monopoly to teach math, to the Founder Institute CEO discuss engaging entrepreneurship with gamification, and even a grammy award winning rapper’s ability to inspire fans to tattoo his face on their bodies. Only at a conference like GSummit can you find such a scope of innovative thinking across industries and have it all relate to one another: through gamification.
GSummit 2013 will maintain this cohesive threading again but with a new exciting group of speakers, especially one whom I’ve indirectly devoted countless hours to: Will Wright, the creator of SimCity and The Sims. Everyone has had experience with these games. Whether it was through the destruction of complex cities I’ve designed with giant alien robots in SimCity 2000 or the creation of over-elaborate houses worth millions of simoleans, I can’t argue that these games have inspired me to create, to think, and ultimately have fun as I learned all of these systems. Will Wright will be keynoting as a man whos provided millions of collective hours of fun and will make the argument for gamifying the world: “Why Can’t Everything be Fun?”. He will be joined with a host of other great speakers, like keynote Tim Kring; the creator of Heroes and Touched, Kevin Werbach of Coursera & UPenn, Phaedra Boinodiris of IBM and Robert Torres of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. There are many more to be announced but this small sample demonstrates the ever-present thread of gamification existing between all these speakers from different backgrounds. Their collective knowledge will come together at GSummit as this thread is woven into gamification as a key strategy for 2013.
Given that demand for gamification skills have increased 293% since last year, the ability to become officially certified is as valuable as ever. Both Enterprise and Advanced Workshops have sold out in all of the previous events and the conference has seen a similar trend. Access to the workshop and conference has always been limited and even inspired a group of unscrupulous people to attempt to sneak into the event last year. Nevertheless even these gamification-bandits recognize the value of gamification going into 2013 (Or they really were just enticed by the food truck selection for lunch. Bleu-cheeseteaks and garlic fries can do that to a person).
The conference experience is really like no-other I’ve ever seen before. Sure there were awesome video games and board games to accompany the unlimited beer at the event but the fun is more than that. There was also the secret session with the guy from 21 who taught a group of people how to count cards in Blackjack but its more than that too. The lush VIP party between the speakers and important guests was fantastic. And yes the gamified Memecube twitter client that spawned 2500 tweets, a free iPad, and private session with Gabe was excellent too. But truthfully – the gold was found in the interactions between the professionals, colleagues, and newfound friends at the event. I’ve never heard so many people express how much fun they’ve had at what is at its core, a business conference. I might just be a socializer-type but the people made this conference in 2012 and I am excited like no other to see what 2013 will bring.