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Welltok Gamifies Employee’s Journey to Wellness

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Welltok’s Gamified Wellness Platform Offers Customizable Health Programs

It’s not an easy road towards achieving wellness for working adults. With day-to-day obligations and distractions, health is an afterthought for many. Strategies to create incentives and tracking methods are widely discussed but rarely implemented. However, gamification may change the way people view improving their health.

As discussed in articles in The Denver Post and Forbes.com, the start-up Welltok has gained significant attention. It seeks to motivate users, such as employees of companies, to make choices that improve their health. The start-up works with companies and insurers to customize its programs. For example, the platform provides specific ways for people make better diet and exercise choices. It also offers rewards for achievements, including real prizes, such as cash. Part of the goal of this platform includes reducing the costs associated with unhealthy employees for employers and insurers.

More specifically, the Welltok website shows options for companies to browse, such as a personal health itinerary and a CafeWell rewards program. The site discusses potential cost savings in high-value, budget-friendly incentives for users. The programs also available through Welltok includes a condition management option.

It’s interesting to consider how this and other gamified wellness platforms could change the way people view their health. If people receive online coaching and incentives towards healthier, more balanced lifestyle choices, this could dramatically change our culture. This platform may work towards encouraging user responsiveness, and could use data to custom-tailor programs. In the future, wellness apps for kids may become available, in addition to the gamified health apps for adults.

Welltok has received millions of dollars from investors over many years, and interest in creating high-value health platforms continues to grow. Through measuring data and providing real incentives, these gamified approaches may work well to improve people’s lives and health outcomes.

Image credit: Wikipedia

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Gamifying Sexual Health with OhMiBod’s Lovelife Krush

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OhMiBod’s Serious Game of Sexual Pleasure and Wellness

The smart people at OhMiBod may have ushered in a serious game revolution with the release of their new wearable device, Lovelife Krush. “It’s the gamification of sexual health,” declared OhMiBod’s co-founder, Brian Dunham, to CNBC’s Chris Morris as they discussed his product fetching one of Engadget’s top honors at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This top honor certainly helps OhMiBod efforts to launch their new device into a Sexual Wellness market currently worth $16 Billion and forecasted, by research firm Technavio, to reach $21 Billion by 2019.

Dunham’s new gadget shakes up an old exercise known as Kegels; defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, as repetitive contractions of the pelvic muscles.

Lovelife Krush is a soft, squishy silicone gadget designed to be inserted vaginally and connects via bluetooth to a companion app, The Art and Science of Love (TASL). The TASL app on your iPhone or Android then becomes a voice guided training program designed to assist women with exercising their pubococcygeus muscle (PC), as well as a smart kegel-activity tracker that has been gamified to unlock hidden features in the form of pleasurable vibrating patterns.

Alicia Marie Tan of Mashable recently profiled the device and wrote this about TASL, “… there’s a “GO PLAY” part of the app aimed at sexual intimacy and satisfaction. When you reach your training goals, you’ll unlock rewards consisting of special vibration patterns so you can really treat yourself.”

“The majority of women experience a weakening of the pelvic floor due to childbirth and age,” relayed Dunham’s wife and co-founder, Suki, to VentureBeat’s Dean Takahaski. “Our Lovelife Krush measures the pressure, control, endurance, and grip of PC muscles and helps women strengthen them through training challenges. Stronger PC muscles can lead to stronger, more intense orgasms. They also aid in keeping incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse at bay.”

The Dunhams point towards studies that, “… have shown a direct correlation between healthy sex lives and physical and emotional well-being.” Making the pairing of gamified elements with sexual health the perfect scenario for helping us all to “turn on” a much more happy and satisfying sex life.

Credit image: Pixabay

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Discovering KLM Airlines Next Top Model with Guido Helmerhorst

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Guido Helmerhorst

Promoting Employee Engagement and Collaboration in KLM’s IT Division

Last time, we featured Head of Innovation Technology and Learning, Guido Helmerhorst from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to discuss his team’s recent project, “KLM’s Next Top Model“. With support from higher management, the project aimed to promote employee engagement and interdepartmental cooperation of KLM’s IT division.

Watch the full interview below to learn about:

  • How did Guido become interested in gamification and weaved it into the KLM’s business process?
  • Why did the project team use a mystery narrative to onboard users to the platform?
  • what type of missions were users able to complete and how did gameplay contribute to the creative ideation process?
  • What did the team discover about the users who participated in the project?
  • How did gameplay encouraged people from different departments to talk about the organization from a fresh perspective?
  • How has the project shifted attitudes inside the organization since the completion of the project?
  • What other gamification initiatives are currently being implemented in KLM?

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


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Engaging Collegiate Community with Gamified app U of Nine

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Game Based Training App U of Nine Appeals to Colleges

Game based training has caught the interest of colleges across the country. The different ways in which gamification could be implemented on campuses has not gone unnoticed. In a recent PRNewswire article, some gamification companies are meeting the new demand. According to the article an organization called ATIXA (Association of Title IX Administrators) is working in conjunction with an educational quiz based training company called Trivie to create some very useful resources for colleges.

Atixa focuses on Title IX and promoting gender equality, sexual crime and harassment prevention, and other forms of discrimination from occurring on college campuses. Trivie has a good reputation for creating easy and engaging educational based games. Together the two companies have begun producing an “app-based solution” for the problem of how to easily educate and inform students, faculty, and employees about sexual harassment, sexual violence, alcohol abuse, stalking, and other pertinent topics.

This app-based solution is called U of Nine and approaches the issues of educating those involved in schools by focusing on where student and faculty engagement tends to be the highest, technology. U of Nine utilizes mobile devices to give students and faculty access to these carefully designed games.

In order to ensure effectiveness ATIXA got input from focus groups (to determine what was and was not engaging), experts from the various topics (to ensure quality of information being presented), and pilot studies. The companies worked hard to fine-tune the quizzes and games to ensure that they are meeting the goals.

The main goal of U of Nine is to meet the mandated standards of Title IX in a way which will truly engage participants. It was not intended to replace current seminars and other training methods, but rather be another form of outreach for students, faculty, and employees. It serves as a way to re-enforce what is being taught through the other programs.

One of the best things about U of Nine is the cost-effective nature of the program. It also can be easy to distribute and a great way to reach sections of people who might otherwise ‘fall through the cracks’. For example: part-time students, adjunct faculty, and transfer students are all groups who may not necessarily make their way to the other educational seminars or speakers. The mobile quizzes and games can also be good for those who work or attend satellite campuses, are pursuing online degrees, or are studying abroad. It allows for distance education, while using a form of media that is extremely popular. Lawrence Schwartz, CEO of Trivie, commented, “In an environment of short attention spans and rapid technological change, the micro learning method is an effective way for colleges and universities to train their students and faculty on important information in real time. This granular, short-burst approach to training enables U of Nine campuses to better engage their students, reinforce Title IX and VAWA Section 304 compliance, and promote campus safety.”

The quizzes are very short, only 5 questions at a time. Studies have shown that many people do not have long attention spans. Having short, easy to complete games encourages participants to complete the challenge and even continue on through all of the quizzes.

This is just one example where game based training can reach the masses and appeal to different groups of people. It will be interesting to see what new ways college utilize this form of technology.

Image credit: flickr

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Gamification Lens: US Army Special Forces Qualification Course

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SFAS class 04-10 participates in log and rifle PT at Camp MacKall on Wednesday, January 13, 2010.

How US Army Special Forces Qualification Course Centers Around Immersive Game-based Training

The United States Army Special Forces Qualification Course is a multi-phase training event that produces the most storied and versatile Soldiers in the world.  The principles of game based training percolate throughout the course, and the end result is irrefutable.

Real-time feedback

During the Small Unit Tactics phase (think Ranger School in one month instead of two) when you as a team member make a technical or tactical mistake, a squadmate may catch an immediate notional bullet in the gut.  Your squad is then responsible for appropriately treating the notional wound and carrying the wounded man and all of his 100+ pounds of equipment to an extraction point before you carry on with the mission.  Conversely, when the team functions in a tactically sound manner, the assigned mission flows quickly and relatively painlessly.  In later phases, asking the right questions of role-players leads directly to dramatically improved living conditions.

Transparency

At the end of each phase, team members are asked to rank the other members of their assigned team by proficiency and ability to fit into the team.  If he ranks low, he can be considered for repeating the phase.  If a student’s ranking is low enough, he becomes a candidate for a hearing before a board of officers to determine if has what it takes to earn the Green Beret and Special Forces skill badge. Across the arc of the course, these rankings accumulate to form a sort of social hierarchy within the student body which carries on past graduation in a very small community of operators.  There is never any doubt who you want on your team.

Badges

After two years of grueling training, a graduate earns three badges as the gamification rubric understands them.  The Green Beret is the first, the only military headgear authorized by Presidential Order, “a badge of distinction.”  The second is the Special Forces skill qualifier badge, called the long tab.  The third is the 18 series Military Occupation Specialty.  These badges immediately tell anyone who sees them what to expect from the man who wears them.

Onboarding and Mastery

During each phase of training, Soldiers have dedicated cadre who teach them the game of unconventional warfare from the ground up, first in the classroom, then in a field environment followed by a culmination exercise.  Not everyone comes to Selection knowing how to do long range land navigation, but the cadre teach candidates by walking them through the process while doing it.  Part of the selection process is finding out who can integrate the given training and instruction effectively enough to pass the land navigation course.  The same concept applies to the multiple small skills that add up to performing an effective combat patrol in a simulated hostile country, complete with native language speaking civilian role-players.

Competition and Teams

Each man on a Special Forces team is intensely competitive with himself and his teammates.  By the same token, no one wants to be the man who blows the mission or gets a teammate killed through missing something.  For that matter, no one wants to be the last one across the line during the morning run.  This attitude is fostered and grown during the SFQC.

In terms of quantifiable results, by the time a student graduates the SFQC and earns his badges, he is considered capable of training, leading, and advising up to 90 indigenous soldiers in long term combat operations with minimal external support or guidance beyond a general mission concept for a given area.  He earns this consideration because he has already performed these duties in the deadly-serious game environment of the Q Course.

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Integrate Popular Fitness Tracking Apps With NewU

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NewU

Make Health And Exercise Into A Game With NewU App For IOS

When asked what he did to stay in shape for his concerts, famous Van Halen front man David Lee Roth was rumored to have answered thusly: “I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.” That would make David Lee Roth a poor spokesman to NewU, a slick new mobile app that gives users points (called “Sweetsweats”) for every calorie they burn, points that can then be redeemed for merchandise at e-commerce websites including FlipKart, SnapDeal, and Amazon.

NewU is a free IOS app (and apparently not yet available for Android platforms) designed to integrate with all popular fitness tracking apps. Once that integration occurs, calorie burn statistics are pushed into NewU and converted into Sweetsweats. If the user changes his or her fitness tracking hardware – perhaps from FitBit® to MapMyFitness® or from Jawbone UP® to Apple Health® — NewU is supposed to seamlessly reintegrate with each new tracker. Moreover, NewU also provides users with access to what is described as “curated” health and fitness goods and services such as food, gyms, spas, nutritionists and other resources. NewU also has its own flavor of “selfies,” called “Fitfies,” and users can share them to inspire friends and earn bonus points when a user’s fitness partners join NewU. Bonus Sweetsweats are also awarded for your health and fitness-related recommendations.

NewU markets itself as a “gamified health and fitness platform” that can create a “viciously good cycle for the 2.1B global obese to get fit.” Perhaps Kumar’s goal is an app with global health-improvement utility, but that is still probably a way off. NewU’s slick interface highlights merchants offering discounts. For example, 100 Sweetsweats earns the user 10% off on “select food and beverages.” Though other in-app purchase opportunities featured ubiquitous Western brands like Reebok and Nike, all of the pricing was in Indian rupees, and there was no obvious place to reset the currency classification, nor were there language options other than English, so both non-English speakers and Android users will have to wait for further iterations.

Image credit: flickr

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Gamification Startup For Pre-School Learning: Kidaptive

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Gamification Education App For Pre-school Learning

Gamification startups are a dime a dozen in Silicon Valley and the surrounding high tech area. Kidaptive, which makes an educational app aimed at preschoolers called Leo’s Pad stands out for two reasons. The founders of this startup located across from Stanford University have incredibly impressive backgrounds and the company raised 18.2 million dollars in seed funding which is unheard of for edtech.

The co-founders of Kidaptive are Dylan Arena Ph.D. and P.J. Gunsagar. Gunsagar is a graduate of Stanford Law School and the founder of Prana Studios which does animation and 3D effects for Pixar. Its credits include Disney’s movie Planes. Gunsager’s ties to Prana may account for the distintive animation seen in the Leo’s Pad “appisodes.”

Dr. Arena and the majority of the Kidaptive employees and advisory board members have doctoral degrees from Stanford in education and related fields. Arena in particular is a star of the academic world with a laundry list of advanced degrees, fellowships and even a stint as a United States Presidential Scholar for his work in assessments. His Ph.D. is in Learning Sciences and Technology Design which is perfect for someone whose title is Chief Learning Scientist. He is widely acknowledged as a leading authority in game based learning.

Leo’s Pad presently consists of 6 appisodes with plans to create a total of 25. The series stars a young Leonardo da Vinci. He is joined by junior versions of Galileo, Marie Curie and Confucius. Eventually a total of 8 figures representing all the arts and sciences will join Leo. They have been chosen with an eye towards covering all eras of history, having a balance of men and women and portraying a variety of ethnicities.

In addition to first rate animation, the app includes a comprehensive system which tracks user progress called the Parent’s Pad. The app teaches the usual numbers, colors and shapes but it also addresses social emotional skills like perseverance and delayed gratification. In all the app will cover 75 skills kids need to be kindergarten ready. The programming includes an adaptive algorithm which adjusts difficulty based on each user’s proficiency. Future plans call for the content to be part of a paid preschool enrichment program.

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

C8 Sciences Offers Alternative ADHD Treatment with Activate

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activate

Health Based Video Game Offers Novel Alternative to ADHD Drugs

The numbers of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have steadily increased in the last decade, figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. Many of these children are prescribed pills for treatment. But pharmaceuticals come with side effects that parents may not want to risk. Some companies believe that technology can treat the disease and they’re doing it with games. Focusing the child’s behavior on a video game with a health care objective has helped some children alleviate the behaviors observed in ADHD.

The idea of using video games to treat a disorder characterized by hyperactivity seems counterintuitive. After all, in today’s digital age, flashing images and messages on various devices serve as a distraction to people – even those who don’t have ADHD. But The New York Times notes that C8 Sciences, maker of the game “Activate”, says that research shows that the right challenges and rewards – in limited sessions of play – can help children. The software in Activate tests a child’s ability to memorize, categorize items, and develop thinking strategies. The game also comes with a physical exercise component that helps children develop athletic skills and work toward participating in sports with other children.

Some ADHD experts are still wary. Russell Barkley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina and an author of several books about ADHD, points The Times toward research indicating that playing games may help children become better at playing games but not necessarily help them improve their schoolwork or their behavior. The Times also notes that a 2013 analysis of 25 studies on ADHD brain-training programs found that the training’s effect was “non-significant or negligible.”

The minds behind these video games treatments for ADHD treatment say that their approaches are rooted in science. Bruce Wexler, a retired Yale University professor of psychiatry and one of the co-founders of C8 Sciences, says that in addition to improving the function of an ADHD child, the company’s game creates an individualized program for each child that becomes progressively more challenging as each child makes progress.

Approximately 200 U.S. schools have purchased the Activate program so far, The Times reports. Some of the schools even use the game for children who don’t have ADHD. Wexler calls the expansion into educational settings “a school lunch program for the brain.” But don’t take Wexler’s word for it. C8 Sciences aims to get Food and Drug Administration approval of its game as an ADHD treatment. If the company gets the regulator’s blessing on the technology, doctors would have the choice to prescribe games instead of pills to treat ADHD.

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

3 Beneficial Impact of Games in Education For Students

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Kids are told non-stop to put the video game controller down and go outside. Or read a book. Or play with siblings. Video games have gotten a bad reputation as a waste of time, but in the field of education, they just might redeem themselves. The incorporation of games in education has its benefits, including increased learning retention, greater appreciation for diversity, and opportunity to focus on subject areas that need improvement.

Learning Retention

According to TalentLMS, learners recall:

  • 10% of what they read.
  • 20% of what they hear.
  • 30% of an oral presentation with visuals attached.
  • 50% of an observed action with explanation.
  • 90% of an action if they perform it themselves, even if it’s a simulation.

This information shows that the traditional methods of reading and lecturing are not effective as learning tools when used on their own. Adding games to learning provides support to the learner by rewarding him with instant feedback, visible motivation (like progress mapping), challenging (but achievable) goals, and recognition within a community. The resulting learning environment is one of engagement and positive reinforcement.

Greater Appreciation for Diversity

In a traditional classroom, students’ interactions are limited to other students who attend the same school. When gaming is introduced in the classroom, it opens the doors to players in other cities, states, and even countries. As a result, there is evidence showing more tolerance of other cultures among game players: 62% of gamers hold a favorable view of people from different cultures, while only 50 percent of non-gamers hold this view.

Subject Area Focus

There is an educational game for every subject area from math to ELA to science. These games allow students to work at their own pace and focus on an area of personal improvement while also collaborating with peers. For their part, teachers have the ability to track player progress and monitor student performance.

Gone are the days of mindless video gaming. As the future of education develops, games will become a fixture in any classroom.

Image credit: Wikimedia

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Gamifying the Mobile Shopping Experience with Biddl

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Biddl

Biddl Releases First Gamified Mobile Shopping App for IOS and Android

The latest innovation in the mobile shopping space is Biddl, a U.S.-only smartphone application that hopes to make the experience more entertaining and visually appealing by “combining mobile game mechanics and gamification with easy-to-use shopping features…” according to PRNewswire. Developed and released by Biddl Inc. for both iPhone/iPad and Android platforms on October 14, 2015, Biddl invites users to compete for high-end branded items.

The way that the application works is that bids are made in Biddl “currency” known as “Bidds.” Though each Bidd costs $.50, Biddl awards Bidds to new registrants and Bidds can also be bought at auction, at least at the present time. In fact, multi-Bidd groups (known as “Bidd Packs”) were sold in the first day auctions where a 50-Bidd Pack sold for $.04 and a 25-Bidd Pack sold for $.01.

Other items auctioned off in the first day that the application was live included Amazon gift cards of denominations of $10, $20 or $30 that sold for pennies. While the prices at which the items sold are shockingly low – a $20 Amazon gift card for $.02 – each penny of the price also reflects an expenditure of Bidds, which a buyer first has to purchase in order to participate in the auction and which are not refunded. Thus, while the auction presumably has only one winner (unless the Buy Now feature that we discuss later is utilized), Biddl essentially recovers the value of all Bidds that were expended by all bidders because those bidders have to purchase more Bidds to continue participating.

That being so, one of the FAQs quite appropriately alerts the user to the fact that a bidder needs to act strategically when bidding: “Since Bidds cost money,” the site advises, “you should not waste them by bidding fast and increase the auction price.” It also suggests that a bidder bid at different times of the day because levels of competition are likely to change depending on time of day and also to take into account how many other would-be buyers are bidding on the same item.

To soften the possible negative reaction when an unsuccessful bidder comes to understand that the Bidds that he has expended in the auction are not returned to his account (thereby greatly differentiating this site from traditional auction sites like eBay, where the amount bid is never expended unless you are the winning bidder), Biddl has introduced its own “Buy Now” feature. Essentially, a losing bidder can recover all of the Bidds that he expended on his unsuccessful campaign to win the auction if he agrees to buy the same model of an identical item at a “Buy Now” price offered in a limited time period – suggested to be one day – after the auction ended.

Biddl’s innovators say that they are positioning Biddl in what they perceived as a “gap in the market for gamified mobile shopping” by allowing users to make direct purchases, bid on auctions and play what they describe as a “fun mobile game.” Biddl also integrates Facebook by encouraging users to “share” their auction wins on Facebook, incentivizing those users with awards of Bidds for certain kinds of referrals.

Image credit: flickr

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

A Review On The Benefits of Video Games in Education

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education

Resources and Further Readings on the Benefits of Video Games in Education

Many recent articles have been critical of the computer games industry siting evidence of the negative effects of computer games on learning and even on physical and mental health. These studies raise the alarm about how video games lead to addictions, violent behavior, sexism, lack of physical exercise and other terrible consequences in children.

However, some recent study reviews have suggested that those evaluations are short-sighted. A review by Professor Gerald Mattingly found that the consensus of research confirms how playing video games (both violent and non-violent types) improves visual attention as well as spatial-motor skills.

Educational video games and simulators can teach educational skills such as algebra, biology, photography, computer programming, and flight training. Studies also suggest that appropriate simulation games can improve a child’s sense of self esteem and even improve socialization skills, leadership skills, and team building.

Professor Mattingly cites several useful references in his review:

Barlett, C. P., Anderson, C. A., & Swing, E. L. (2009). Video game effects confirmed, suspected, and speculative: A review of the evidence. Simulation & Gaming, 40(3), pp. 377-403.
Etuk, N. (November/December, 2008). Educational gaming: From edutainment to bona fide 21st-century teaching tool. Multimedia & Internet@Schools, 15(6).
Gee, J. P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (rev ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pink, D. H. (2006). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the world. New York: Riverhead Books.
Shaffer, D. W. (2006). How computer games help children learn. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

The 2010  New Media Consortium (NMC) report points to the intensifying interest in game-based learning which is driven by clear successes in using games for military and industrial training as well as new research on cognitive benefits of game play. To quote the report,

“Developers and researchers are working in every area of game-based learning, including games that are goal-oriented; social game environments; non-digital games that are easy to construct and play; games developed expressly for education; and commercial games that lend themselves to refining team and group skills.”

Since 1999, a team led by Professor Chris Haskell of Boise State University have been developing a wide range of animated, curriculum-based games available on line or in physical form for classroom use. The group, called BrainPOP have been holding annual Games in Education symposia in Troy, New York since 2007. A sample of the contents of the most recent symposium suggest the breadth of current interest for games in education.

  • Gamify Your class without Electricity
  • The “Let’s Play” Phenomenon: Video Game Commentary and the Common Core
  • Creating the World’s Greatest Thief: Making and Using Alternative Reality Games in Your Classroom
  • Making Games Instead of Playing Games: Tabletop Game Jams in the Classroom

Clearly gamification in the classroom is well on its way. Play has always been an important part of learning. The use of games in the classroom may harness some of that natural potential.

Image credit: Flickr

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Gamifying Driving Safety With Mobile App TextNinja

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How TextNinja’s Mobile App Reinforces Safe Driving Behavior

While automobiles have been part of the American landscape for a century, mobile phones only started becoming commonplace about 15 years ago. Today, the pairing of the two products forms a dangerous combination leading to distracted driving, and in far too many cases, car accidents. TextNinja, a gamification startup is trying to overcome the problems caused by the collision of these technologies with a new technological solution: a mobile app that helps keeps drivers’ focus where it belongs – the road.

Chicago-based TextNinja has developed an app and Bluetooth-enabled device that recognizes when the user is in his or her car, and silences text notifications while the car is being driven. The app can do that because the device connects to a car’s onboard diagnostics computer, Chicago Inno explains. The app automatically responds to incoming texts with a customized message; when the drive has ended, the user is notified of all missed messages. That should keep drivers from glancing at their phones when they should be paying attention to other cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

“The more I looked, the more I found that no one had a very good answer to the call of distracted driving,” TextNinja founder and CEO Jim Ramirez told Chicago Inno. “This is one of those problems that’s big enough and currently doesn’t have any good solutions.”

Simply silencing the phone and postponing messages might be enough to keep older drivers from glancing at their phones. But Ramirez tells Chicago Inno that teenagers and younger drivers, who have grown up surrounded by mobile technology, would have a harder time changing their cell phone behaviors. To overcome those habits, Ramirez gamified his app to reinforce safe driving habit by rewarding safe driving behavior. Drivers receive points for miles driven without texting. In the future, those points could be applied to rewards such as insurance rebates, coupons, and gift cards.

Ramirez says the app could also send reports to parents of teenage drivers. With that reporting capability, TextNinja is in a position to also look for partnerships with car insurance companies, who might be eager to have more information about the driving behaviors of their insureds. For now, TextNinja is hoping that it can become a platform for changing the dangerous habit of looking at the mobile phone while driving.

Image credit: flickr

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Ball State Achievements: Improving Learning Outcomes and Student Retention

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Gamified Mobile Application Helping Students Stay and Succeed at Ball State University

Last time, we featured Ball State University Achievements program coordinator, Scott Reinke to talk about the university’s student engagement app, Ball State Achievements. Developed in-house, the mobile application helps at-risk students engage with the university ecosystem and improve learning outcomes in higher education.

Watch the full interview below to learn about:

  • Why did the team chose a mobile platform to deliver content to its target audience?
  • What were the results since the program’s launch? Were there findings that surprised the team?
  • How did the team designed the actionable tasks found on the platform?
  • Why did the team not rely on extrinsic rewards such as prize money and gift cards to incentivize user actions?
  • What were the challenges for creating a gamified solution for a higher education setting?
  • What is the team’s vision for the future? Would this type of gamification platform be scalable for a larger higher education ecosystem?

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.

Download this episode (right click and save)

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Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.

Decoding the Psychology of Video Gamers with Nick Yee

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Uncovering Gaming Behaviors and Motivations of Video Gamers

Last week, we featured Quantic Foundry co-founder and analytics lead, Nick Yee to talk about Quantic Foundry’s Gaming Motivation Model. Combining social science and data science, Nick’s team was able to decipher users gaming behaviors and motivations through the unique framework.

Watch the full interview below to learn about:

  • How Nick’s team designed and developed the gaming motivation model?
  • What was the experience like studying social science (i.e. conducting an academic survey) using social media?
  • What were the most surprising findings when studying the user’s age and gender on their gaming motivation?
  • Did the gaming motivation framework enabled Nick’s team to establish user persona’s of their survey participants?
  • What are the 2 schools of thought in explaining the relationship between data points?
  • How can the gamer motivation framework be applied in the real world, beyond the context of video games alone?

Bonus: Interested to find out about your gamer motivation profile? Try taking the survey here.

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