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Health Games Research: Leading the Way for Gamification in Health


From casual smartphone gamers to hardcore console and PC elitists, almost everyone plays games. It comes as no surprise then that with the popularity of games on an upward slope, groups have come together to develop games that can support learning, reflexes, and peace of mind.

The Health Games Research provides scientific leadership and resources to further the development. design, and effectiveness of game technologies that promote health. The Health Games Research team has brought about many interesting and excited health related games, such as:

  • Adventures Aboard the SS Grin – Designed for 3rd to 5th grade students with behavioral problems, SS Grin incorporates a colorful environment and 2.5D perspective to create an engaging and delightful setting. It is designed around the themes and skills of the evidence based SS Grin programs developed by 3-C Institute for Social Development. The game is intended to help players with development skills such as self esteem, communication, and cooperation.
  • Every Body Has A Brain – This game features sixteen brain songs and a website for four to six year olds funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health’s Small Business Innovation Research Program. The award winning musical interactive game introduces children to the growing power of their brains.
  • Symptom Scenes – Designed and created by Cilein Kearns Symptom Scenes uses a cast of adorable characters to differentiate between the symptoms of Meningitis and Septicaemia. Meningitis and Septicaemia are two deadly diseases that can kill in hours; it really is a race against time to recognize the symptoms and get to hospital. People of any age can be affected, and it can happen anywhere so knowing the symptoms is very important. Why should information be boring?
  • Pain Tricks – A colorful and fun collection of tricks to make medical procedures seem less scary! Teaches simple tricks to be used while in pain or having a medical procedure done, such as an injection. Created to ease the stress of someone with a chronic disease whom will be experiencing many medical procedures throughout their lives. For adults too!

Truly, like traditional videogames, it has nowhere to go but up. For more information about gamification and its uses in the medical field, feel free to contact us for more information.

Image credit: Wikipedia


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Gamification Review Part III: Why Kotex’s Mis Momentos Campaign Succeeded


The Future of Cutting-Edge Engagement & Loyalty Programs

Part 1 and Part 2 of this gamification review series.

Mis Momentos is an exceptional case-study in the power of cutting-edge community engagement, choice-based campaign design, cumulative participation, and empowerment of individual voices – all towards driving stronger brand positioning & increased sales.

To design world-class community engagement & customer loyalty campaigns, you need to deliver compelling interactive activities, games, contests, and programs that not only establish a rich user experience but also inspire exploration, discovery, and meaningful choices. A lot of “gamification” experts claim they can magically resuscitate disengaged communities by slapping a few badges & points around. But we’ve seen this approach fail miserably and repeatedly.

If you’re asking how to “trick” people into doing things, you’re asking the wrong question!

Success required a human-oriented approach, applying tested & advanced gameplay design models, and facilitating iterative & ongoing refinements. But success doesn’t arise from good intentions. It requires expertise in unraveling and supporting the complex and dynamic art of community engagement.

Kimberly Clark Mexico’s investment in the Mis Momentos campaigns for the Kotex brand has now resulted in a very accomplished, flexible, and cost-effective platform capable of easily & affordably supporting an unlimited number of subsequent – or even continuous – campaigns across its entire brand portfolio. Best of all, they can now build upon the existing participating community members, technical infrastructure developed, and operational knowledge gained from the two campaigns, helping drive further customer engagement, loyalty, participation, brand sentiment, and sales, while bringing the future cost per customer interaction and CPM down.


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Gamification Review Part II: Why Kotex’s Mis Momentos Campaign Succeeded


Mis Momentos 2: The Sequel

Start from the beginning at Part 1 of this gamification review series.

The second time around, we went back to the drawing board with a fresh redesign to create a more fast-paced, 5-week campaign loaded with improvements, updates, and refinements. Although it seems like a very similar campaign at first glance, the changes touched virtually every part of the campaign with an eye towards creating deeper engagement, more balanced gameplay rules, better risk/reward elements, and greater flexibility.

What follows here is a breakdown of the key elements within our approach that helped make this project a further success:

1. Think like a game designer

We’re seeing over and over that the world’s most successful community engagement activities are those that rely on tried-and-tested gameplay design models. For Mis Momentos 2, we took a more careful look at why people already enjoy doing certain things, and how we can turn that activity into something even more enjoyable and satisfying. As a result, we were able to focus on some enticing universal emotions – surprise, satisfaction, status, progression, and prestige – by recognizing, encouraging, and rewarding users to do what they intrinsically already enjoy. The result was a sophisticated activity-based engagement that guaranteed deep and meaningful campaign participation.

Part IIa

The campaign used the same “loyalty codeword” dynamic from the original Mis Momentos to unlock the online collection activity, but this edition introduced a new feature allowing customers to make ongoing & cumulative strategic choices about which branded themes to follow, sets to complete, and even the prizes they are playing for.

2. Human-oriented approach

It required many expert hands to construct a fully-integrated strategy and engagement experience that threaded through all points of interaction, encouraging and facilitating continuous & inclusive loyalty activities. To have a reasonable chance at success, you really need people who know what they’re doing across a wide range of disciplines – veteran gameplay designers, interaction designers, business analysts, social online experts – skilled at bringing innovation and effective solutions to life.

Our approach with Kotex was entirely human-oriented rather than transaction-focused. A no-strings-attached affair, like a gift back to the community sincerely thanking them for their interest in the brand. No ulterior motives. No manipulation. Just a heart-felt gesture that appreciated how precious the brand/customer relationship is.

Brands often underestimate the intelligence – and cynicism – of online communities. Too many misguided campaigns have done a poor job of concealing their nefarious ulterior motives: namely, how to extract more money from the customer’s wallet. But having self-serving goals like this blind your ability to really grasp what the audience really needs and wants.

Part IIb

Before even thinking about what the solution should be, our first step was to gain a deep understanding of the user narrative. In this case, what is Kotex? What is the personality and character of their customer community? What kind of community engagement objectives should the campaign aim to achieve? The goal for Mis Momentos has always been to retain and activate the community into brand-loyal (and probably paying) customers. By focusing on not only the brand’s but also the user’s needs & wants, the outcome happens naturally – and always positively.

3. Depth through freedom of choice

By analyzing and building upon the lessons learned from the original Mis Momentos as mentioned above, we realized that, despite already being a successful engagement campaign itself, it relied on an activity flow that was too linear and didn’t capture enough insights on customer preferences. The solution for the sequel was a more dynamic choice-based interaction model to fix some of the rough spots and dead ends.

Part IIc

The refined activity not only retained the advantages of the original Mis Momentos (namely, a variety of digital touch-points with a fun collection activity providing increased customer interaction & loyalty that ultimately and naturally drove more sales), but it also introduced more freedom for the users to make meaningful choices based on the product themes and prizes available. These refinements allowed Kotex to reach its goal of a strengthened brand/customer relationship, loyalty recognition, increased online customer activity, and more product sales.

Mis Momentos was constructed from the outset as a flexible platform able to easily support design changes down the road. This vision really paid off. The campaign was able to easily accept frequent and iterative refinements and engagement design tuning, allowing dynamic reshaping of the loyalty activity to improve the quality of the experience. Since the campaign encompassed a broad range of customer/brand touch-points, the engagement design effectively maximized exposure and fostered repeat participation.

4. Data geekiness

One reason that introducing greater freedom-of-choice was successful was because of the data it exposed around the choices community members made. But the challenge is: How do you really make sense of all this information?

The tracking tools for this campaign were not only able to gather the raw data, but then take the data and help uncover the “why” in each choice being made. By analyzing what actions and choices reveal about the community, it was possible to confirm assumptions and perform additional tuning to the activity design – even in mid-campaign.

Part IId

As such, interaction maps were heavily anchored in choice-based user moments creating strong psychographic insights. One of the most powerful outcomes the campaign provided was to be able to track detailed conversion rates, identify when and which social media channel would be most effective, and uncover branded themes users were particularly interested in.

Stay tune for tomorrow’s release of Part III, The Future of Cutting-Edge Engagement & Loyalty Programs to conclude this gamification review series.


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5 Gamified Environmental Apps For Sustainable Living


How Gamification Can Help You Be More Environmentally Responsible

People are aware that some of Earth’s most valuable resources are finite. It’s no secret that landfills are overflowing and, that isn’t our only problem. Humans have also inflicted quite a bit of damage to the oceans and the air as well. While we may have, in the past, been largely ignorant to the real (and sometimes permanent) effects our actions have on the environment, in modern times, the environmental, or “green”, movement has gained powerful momentum and is now taking the country by storm.

These days, most people will do what they can to lessen their individual impact on the environment. We shut off the tap while brushing our teeth. We try to remember to bring those reusable grocery bags along, when we head to the supermarket. The problem is, other than these, very few, popular green habits, most people are at a loss when it comes to living a more Earth-conscious lifestyle. So, now what? How do we get people to not only invest their valuable time learning new green habits, but also expend the energy necessary to implement these new habits into their daily life?

The answer is simple. We use gamification. In addition to improving education, engaging businesses, and encouraging better health- you can now add “inspiring environmental responsibility” to the list of gamification achievements. Sustainability apps are making almost every aspect of green living simple. With the help of these gamified apps, more and more people are becoming committed to their own environmental responsibility.

So, what about you? Are you ready to join in? If so, here are 5 apps that can get you started, then help you stay, on the path to green living.

1. Green Me! 

This app is great place to start for people who are looking to create new, more sustainable, lifestyle habits. It provides users with hundreds of ideas, separated into categories (like, Green My Clothing) to help them live a greener lifestyle.

The interface of Green Me! is structured like a calender, and each time the user logs a green activity, that date on their calender turns a darker shade of green. In this way, the users can visually track their progress on the calender.

You can learn a lot of new information about the green movement, and look up different green definitions. And, you can even submit your own green ideas.

2. Joule Bug

This app will help you conserve a ton of energy. Joule Bug shows you lots of ways to make small changes in your daily habits, that can lead to big savings in energy. The app even connects to your home utility account and shows you how much you’ve saved!

You can earn rewards and badges, for each conservation action you take, and you can even find some healthy competition on the leader-board. Share your experience and results on Facebook, and get your friends in on the game too!

3. Paper Karma

If living a more sustainable lifestyle earned no other reward than this, it would be worth it. Paper Karma gets rid of your junk mail! And who doesn’t want to get rid of the ridiculous amount of wasted paper, that daily clogs up your mailbox? All you have to do is take a picture of the offending piece of junk mail with your smartphone, click a button, and just like that- you’ve been unsubscribed. It’s nearly miraculous! (And think of all the trees you’re saving)

4. Good Guide

Sustainable living isn’t just about changing bad habits. It’s also about creating better habits, like supporting other individuals and businesses, who share your commitment to environmental responsibility.

The Good Guide app, makes identifying companies with strong green practices, a cinch. Whether people realize it, or not, the products you choose to purchase have a huge impact on our environment. Every dollar you spend on a product, is a vote for the business that produced that product, and the methods they used to do it. You want to make sure that your votes (dollars) are being cast in support of companies that operate in sustainable and ethical ways.

The Good Guide app is a directory of over 200,000 consumer items, and it allows users to learn more about the eco-friendly nature of each item. If an item ranks low, then Good Guide provides users with safer and ethical alternatives, within the same general price range. Each product is rated in terms of health standards, safety, social and environmental impact. Just use the barcode scanner, to scan the product you want to buy, and get instant ratings.

5. Eco-Dice

Here is a fun app that encourages you to complete at least one green task per day. Just tap your screen to roll the die, and get your green activity. You could be instructed to separate some trash today, or walk/bicycle to work. You might even be instructed to conserve water, by showering with a friend. Oh, the sacrifices we make in the name of environmental responsibility!

There are many more applications out there that gamify sustainability and conservation, and people are getting on board in ever-increasing numbers. This only goes to show that, if you’ve got the right motivation, and a little creativity, you can make a game out of almost anything. And sometimes, those games can even help save the planet.

Image Credit: Wikipedia


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Getting2Alpha: Accelerate Product Design with Amy Jo Kim


Last time, we featured ShuffleBrain creative director and author, Amy Jo Kim to discuss about her upcoming new product design program, Getting2Alpha. By undergoing this step by step program, Amy explains how it can help accelerate early product design through expert coaching and super charged design toolkit. Registrations for Getting2Alpha are now open for only for this week.

Download this episode (right click and save)

Watch the video, listen on the audio podcast or subscribe to our iTunes channel below. Be sure to catch our next episode of the Gamification Revolution.


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Gamification Review Part I: Why Kotex’s Mis Momentos Campaign Succeeded And Yours Probably Won’t


The Original Mis Momentos Experience

Poorly-conceived customer engagement campaigns have flushed many well-intentioned marketing dollars down the proverbial toilet. According to research firm Gartner Inc., 80% of customer engagement initiatives fail due to bad design. Some of the biggest failures are epic, costing brands millions of dollars and resulting in horrific ROI metrics. One big online retailer I know recently used an agency that delivered a campaign so disastrous that when they calculated the cost of user acquisition, it worked out to over $9,000 per engaged user.


We recently wrapped a second successful collaboration with Kimberly Clark Mexico for their flagship Kotex product line – a customer loyalty activity called “Mis Momentos”. The campaign results were notable, with over 20,000 Kotex customers participating, high repeat play (63%), and strong ROI (8%+ reach conversion). The brand’s investment has now resulted in an extremely versatile and cost-effective asset for supporting a strong base of participating community members across an unlimited number of campaigns throughout its entire brand portfolio.

But it wasn’t necessarily an easy path to get there…

Before we even came onboard for the first Mis Momentos campaign, Kotex’s social media strategy had already built an impressive community of over 2.5 million Facebook fans and Twitter followers. They’d also done an admirable job of motivating bursts of community activation through basic online sweepstakes draws and “fastest fingers” challenges. But the brand wanted to take things further. They wanted a campaign that would draw together the various channels of the social online community into a single place and keep customers engaged over a longer period of time.

Enter the first Mis Momentos campaign in 2014. This an online loyalty contesting activity was accessible on mobile, web, and Facebook and ran for 12 weeks. To play, Kotex customers followed the brand’s social media activity – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube – to discover or solve puzzles to gain special loyalty codewords. Each codeword unlocked a fun online activity where users played to earn virtual cards depicting colorful & interesting “Mis Momentos” memories to complete themed collections. Customers had fun participating in this scavenger-hunt-like activity. But even better, they were feeling recognized and thanked for being active customers by providing virtual collectibles, fun surprises, and real-world prizes.

Part I
Mis Momentos Campaign Facebook page

Players could adopt rudimentary game strategies, with some striving for shiny, quick-payoff, instant win prizes, while those with more patience opting to gradually build their weekly Momentos collections towards higher-value weekly grand prizes. The aim was to bring together the excitement of lottery scratch tickets with the decision-making of a board game. And based on user feedback and metrics, the campaign largely succeeded.

Despite the triumphs achieved in this campaign, however, there were admittedly some design limitations in this inaugural campaign. We carefully analyzed the design and identified the following issues:

  • The user flow was fairly rigid, with essentially only one principal interactive path throughout the activity. In addition to making the experience rather one-dimensional for the player, this design also restricted the content flexibility of the activity.
  • The campaign was strictly segmented into weekly phases which gave everyone a fresh start every Monday. While this helped to keep the interest of players who joined the activity late in the campaign, it did not provide even a slight additional advantage to players who were particularly loyal to the activity from start to finish.
  • The instant-win mechanic was another restrictive element, providing only one weekly opportunity for a player to win. To further complicate things, players opting for their one chance at the instant win were essentially locked out from participating again in the campaign until the following week.

To be continued next week in Part 2Mis Momentos 2: The Sequel.


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Gabarello: Immersive Gamified Physiotherapy Tool for Children


Gamification of the Rehabilitation Process Might Have Innovations on the Horizon

Innovations in the video game industry over the last several years have not only made for high hopes in creating the better gamification of rehabilitation exercises but could also bring those innovations into homes. Games like Gabarello for the Lokomat designed in combined efforts by the Zurich University of the Arts, the University Children’s Hospital Zurich, and the Institute for Neuropsychology and Sensory Motor Systems Lab created opportunities for children and perhaps now adults with lower body motor skill loss. If gamification can help patients improve their mental outlook and physical capabilities, then this method of rehabilitation should incorporated whenever possible.

These innovative ideas that were released in 2010 now with the development of gaming technology like the Oculus Rift and the Virtuix Omni VR Treadmill could allow the usage of these rehabilitation games to enter homes rather than only hospitals. With an Omni directional treadmill the innovations of Gabarello could be put to use in a more entertaining fashion for adults as well as children. This would give audiences a broader range of rehabilitation exercises to overcome, and would gradually allow for participants to even play the games they love in a new and exciting manner just as well as if they were using a handheld controller.

Modifications to combine the systems may be a difficult task to approach, but it would seem that this could very well be a puzzle that all the pieces are aligned to solve. Rehabilitation is a painstakingly difficult process on almost all patients. If companies such as these could somehow find ways to incorporate design with a humanitarian outlook, then we may soon see gamification in many more medical practices. The future may hold an immersive, interactive, and entertaining approach to dealing with the hardships of life that humanity, as a whole, seems to crave.

Image credit: flickr


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Vaporized: Strategize For The Dematerialized Future with Robert Tercek


Last time, we featured President and founder of General Creativity, Robert Tercek to discuss his newly released book, “Vaporized: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World”. Robert reveals how every aspect of society and economy will be changed with the rise of digital technology and how we ought to prepare to face it head-on.

Watch the full interview below to learn about:

  • How does vaporization affect the individual’s ability to relate to one another?
  • Does the trend of vaporization with its connection to virtual items and games reflect a shift away from a capitalistic, ownership economy?
  • Will people pay for virtual items as much as how physical items are valued in the envisioned dematerialized future?
  • What is the tension for leaders who are leading the way for vaporization while being masters of the attention economy?
  • How are large and small companies responding to the vaporization economy and which will gain the most advantage?
  • How does the current organizational structure of the film and TV industry represent the future direction of efficiency?
  • How will training executives manage the advent of vaporization while having to provide the necessary skills needed for this new economy?

Watch the video or listen on the audio podcast below and be sure to catch our next guest, Amy Jo Kim on the Gamification Revolution.

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How Walmart Used Game-Based Training to Improve Worker Safety


Warehouses and distribution centers are busy facilities with lots of moving parts. They’re also dangerous places where stacked pallets and forklifts can lead to workplace injuries. Those challenges are magnified at a global company, like Walmart, which must make sure that its widely dispersed workforce uniformly follows corporate safety procedures. The retailer found a way to improve worker training and reduce workplace injury through gamification.

Walmart’s approach to game-based training employs software from gamification startup company Axonify. The three-minute games provide safety information and include multiple choice questions on safety procedures that are interspersed within the game, explains The City Wire. Games include “Curvy Loop,” in which players must connect two points with the longest possible line; “Quiz Show,” in which players solve a word puzzle using image hints; and the memory sequence game “Simon Says.”

The games work because repeated instructions in short intervals, such as a three-minute game, are retained better than instructions offered in webinars or other long-form formats, Axonify says. The three-minute format is ideal for Walmart’s distribution centers because that’s the amount of time needed to recharge a forklift battery. While the battery is charging, the forklift operator can play the game, which cuts down on wasted downtime.

The Axonify games also foster a sense of friendly competition among workers, who accumulate points and achieve rankings based on their game performance. Shanda Nickson, a human resource officer at Walmart, told The City Wire that the games have encouraged workers to talk more about safety protocol. Administrators can review test performance data to see the questions that are missed most often, which tells management which areas need reinforcement. The software also tracks individual performance, making it possible to track the progress of individual users.

Walmart started with a six-month pilot test of the software with 5,000 workers in eight distribution centers. The retailer isn’t disclosing specific figures related to safety improvements since deploying the software tool to all of its distribution centers. But Walmart did tell Axonify that during the pilot, it had a 54 percent decrease in incidents at the eight distribution centers where it was tested. It turns out that distribution centers were just the start for Walmart’s efforts to gamify worker safety. Based on the software’s success with Walmart’s 75,000 distribution center workers, the company has since expanded the game-based training program to its transportation department.

Image credit: Wikimedia


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U.S. Army Begins Search for Next-Gen Game Based Training


The U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) put out a request for information last month entitled, “Games for Training (GFT) Next Generation Game (NGG).” In the release, the division made clear that a push towards updating their game based training programs is an absolute priority and that the search for interested vendors with applicable technologies has begun.

Their task, the press release says, is to create a “Next Generation game-based simulation” which will serve “to train individual Soldiers and small-to-medium units in a shared environment, providing varying levels of immersion.” Among the listed areas of interest are web-based, console, PC and augmented reality gaming platforms, suggesting that the U.S. military is moving to train its soldiers using gamification techniques far broader than its previous ventures.

The U.S. Army PEO STRI has, in the past, focused mostly on more physical simulations. Their tasks for the armed forces include the creation of realistic dummy targets for military exercises, the creation of immersive simulators for everything from vehicle training to medical response simulations, and even the creation of stock 3D assets to be used in simulations made by other divisions of the military. With this shift towards platform-based game based training, it is clear that they are looking to be able to provide much cleaner, faster and more cost-effective ways to utilize the benefits of gamification.

The U.S. Army’s well-known America’s Army video game has long been used as a recruitment and training tool, but a change in focus to producing in-house games for internal training purposes is entirely new. This project will undoubtedly be the first in a long line of many such games based training projects by the U.S. Armed Forces.

Image credit: Wikimedia


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SCRIPT Helps Stroke Patients Recover with Physical Therapy Games


A stroke can result in devastating injury, such as impediments to speech and muscle movement. Survivors of stroke must go through physical therapy to rebuild their muscles and regain the ability to use their hands. This therapy can be productive, leading to restored hand function. While these exercises are helpful, they are not all that interesting. Many patients say that they find them repetitive and boring. But a new medical device that facilitates muscle movements in conjunction with computer games is showing potential as a new application of games in health care.

The device, called Supervised Care and Rehabilitation Involving Personal Telerobotics, or SCRIPT for short, was developed by researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, in England. SCRIPT consists of a glove fitted with sensors that monitor and assess the patient. A stroke can force the patient’s hand into a semi-permanent clenched position, along with a flexed risk, Reuters explains. SCRIPT aims to alleviate the impairment with repetitive, but fun, exercises performed while wearing the glove.

The SCRIPT glove works with games that appear on a computer screen. Patients use the glove to articulate objects that they see on the screen. In one game, they must try to grasp fruit and place it in a basket. The SCRIPT device records a patient’s performance and provides that information to the therapist, which allows the therapist to adjust the treatment remotely. That feature accomplishes two things: It frees up the therapist to treat multiple patients, and it allows patients to use the device at their own convenience in their own homes.

Shani Shamah, a survivor of two strokes, was not involved in the development of SCRIPT, but she tried it out was pleasantly surprised. “I’m only sorry I didn’t have the advantage of having this when I was in rehab,” she told Reuters. “It’s very boring when you just sit at a table and take a ball from a box and put it down on the table next to you … whereas here you can actually see, like with the fruit game you could pick up the fruit, put it in the basket, and that can be quite an achievement.”

The SCRIPT is still a prototype, and it will need additional investment to get it ready for the final design, which could take up to two years. But the research results so far show promise to help patients regain muscle movement in a better and more engaging way.

Image credit: Wikimedia


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PwC’s Multipoly Boosts Employee Recruitment and Retention


PwC’s Serious Game Gets Serious Results for Human Resource

The human resources department of any company has the tricky task of trying to recruit the best candidates, then keeping them on staff once they’ve been hired. It’s a tall order. With most job searches now conducted over the Internet, a job candidate can be lost with a single click.

Accounting and consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers wanted to see if it could do a better job with recruiting and retention. At the firm’s Hungary location, the human resources department set goal of more fully engaging its job candidates during the search process, explains Forbes. Job candidates were passing through the PwC website too quickly, spending 10 minutes or less. PwC believed a more engaged candidate pool would yield better candidates, and would also result in workers who would stay on with the company longer after they had been hired.

PwC turned to a serious game called Multipoly (the name is a play on the popular board game “Monopoly”). The game allows job candidates to see just how ready they are to work at PwC by placing them on teams and presenting them business problems similar to those they would encounter on the job. After a simulated job interview, candidates can try out roles such as consultant, senior consultant, and manager. Job candidates must use business acumen, digital skills, and relational skills in order to play the game. Noemi Biro, PwC Hungary’s regional recruitment manager, tells Forbes that candidates who played Multipoly were better prepared for live face-to-face interviews because the game informed and prepared them for PwC by emphasizing the skills needed for success at the firm.

As a recruitment tool, the game proved to be a massive improvement over the PwC career page. Some job candidates spent less than 10 minutes on the PwC website. By comparison, job candidates spent as much as 90 minutes playing Multipoly. Since introducing the game, PwC reports that the job candidate pool has grown 190 percent; users reporting interest in learning more about working at PwC increased by 78 percent. But just as important, Forbes says, job candidates who were hired after playing Multipoly made the transition to the company employee more easily. That’s because they already had a taste of PwC’s company culture from playing the game.

Image credit: Creative Commons


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Notre Dame Used Jedi Game Based Training for Faculty and Staff


In 2014 Notre Dame chose to switch faculty and staff over to Gmail and Google Calendar. At first, they were aiming to train 120 IT professionals how to provide support for the new system. This would enable students and the rest of the faculty and staff to get help when needed. In the past, Notre Dame has experienced some problems while trying to engage IT support staff:

  • Failing to engage IT support staff led to poor end-user experiences
  • High demand for support with little availability from IT
  • Dissatisfaction for both the IT staff and the end-users
  • IT support staff weren’t concerned about the new email and calendar system

To address these problems, the Going Google project team launched “Google Apps Jedi Academy.” The purpose of the app was to increase IT staff engagement and help them learn the most important features.  They had to complete different tests which covered the Google platform and its usage. Staff members ranked up when they passed a test. The ranks are Padawan, Jedi Knight, Jedi Master, and Yoda. The program even had cartoon Jedi characters, Jedi ceremonies, and prizes.

The Jedi game based training became so popular that other faculty and staff asked to join. The participants had chances to win prizes through trivia contests and random drawings. The prizes were Star Wars toys and collectibles. There were several groups that challenged each other to friendly competitions to encourage progress. They developed a leaderboard to keep track of team progress. Some staff dressed as characters from the Star Wars universe.

The results were overwhelmingly positive for faculty and staff:

  • 237 people participated in the training program
  • A total of 207 individuals reached the highest rank of Yoda
  • Everyone received a button with the Jedi character that matched the rank they achieved
  • The program almost doubled the amount of faculty and staff who participated
  • The staff welcomed the transition to Gmail and Google Calendar
  • 92% of participants said they learned new information from the program

The Jedi game based training made a boring process fun and exciting. It encouraged learning and friendly competition, while recognizing and rewarding accomplishments. The sense of progression motivated most participants to finish all the training. Gamification is a powerful tool when aligned with an organization’s goals.

Image credits: Wikimedia


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Verizon Franchise Finds Employee Engagement Winner with FantasySalesTeam


It’s hard to overstate the popularity of fantasy sports. Many Americans spend considerable amounts of time tweaking their assembled teams of athletes in a virtual competition against other players. They do it out of the fun they have in researching their teams, competing against colleagues, and hopefully, winning their leagues. Many companies have tried to tap into elements of sports competition as a way of driving their employees to work harder or meet targets with varying degrees of success. One of them, Wireless Zone, which is the largest independent Verizon Wireless franchise in the United States, found its employee engagement solution through an application that takes its cue from the same motivations that make fantasy sports both popular and engaging.

As a Verizon franchise, Wireless Zone is given sales targets set by Verizon. Owner Brian Brady hoped that traditional sales contests would drive his workers to meet them. He told Entrepreneur magazine that he offered an array of prizes, ranging from the modest, such as gift cards, to the lavish, such as iPads, or even paid cruise vacations. But Brady found that even the prospect of expensive prizes did little to move the needle on sales. The sales contests produced the same results: the same top salespeople always won.

“I had to start handicapping people, and the people at the top felt they were being punished for being good,” Brady explained to Entrepreneur. “The people at the lower end never paid attention to the contests because they felt they’d never win.”

Brady found an alternative to sales contests with FantasySalesTeam, software that enables a business to turn sales contests into fantasy sports-like competitions. Just as in fantasy football, employees choose a team comprised of salespeople. Employees are assigned a position. The teams can be updated with changes and trades each week. Teams score point by selling products, or by meeting specified metrics. As a result, lower-performing employees still have a chance at winning prizes.

Perhaps more important, the game also sparked motivation in employees to push each other to improve. For example, Brady noted that one employee might say to another: “I’ve got you as my quarterback, but you haven’t sold any tablets.” Such comments drove internal competitions that motivated everyone to improve. The results are evident in Wireless Zone’s sales numbers. After less than a year of using FantasySalesTeam, Brady found that Wireless Zone’s sales had increased by 176 percent.

Employee incentives are not new in retail but their track record is spotty. Brady tells Entrepreneur that he has found that employees respond better to rewards of things rather than rewards of money. Cash rewards go into the paycheck, then into the bank account, where it is soon to be forgotten. But Brady says that a gift card, a trip, or something that the employee wouldn’t buy otherwise prompts much better employee response. Brady has even used FantasySalesTeam to motivate employees to learn how to sell a complicated Verizon product. By putting extra points on that product, workers were driven to push that product’s sales. Wireless Zone plans to expand its use of FantasySalesTeam. The next contest, Brady says, will be in baseball.

Image Credit: flickr


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SuperBetter: Improving Individual Resilience with Jane McGonigal


Last time, we featured author, inventor and co-founder of SuperBetter, Jane McGonigal to discuss about her upcoming new book, “SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient”. Supported by a decade’s worth of scientific research, Jane reveals how adopting a “gameful” mindset can help cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life.

Watch the full interview below to learn about:

  • What were the challenges of of turning a gameful system into a scientific proven approach?
  • Are there conditions that games/gamification/gameful thinking would not be able to help improve an individual’s well being?
  • How does Superbetter and games in general contribute to the development of a person’s resilience?
  • Does gameplay in the virtual world provide sufficient impact in the “real” world?
  • How would a user experience SuperBetter if they are lacking social connections or “allies”?
  • How does the Tetris Effect improves an individual’s self control in memory recollection rather than erasing memory in trauma research?
  • Why does Jane introduces readers to the concept of gameful thinking and a series of small games introduced through the medium of a book?
  • How does Jane overcome environmental resistance and groups who are bias against games?

Watch the video or listen on the audio podcast below and be sure to catch our next episode of the Gamification Revolution.

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