Gamification Summit New York – What’s Exciting & New – PART 1

Gamification Summit New York – What’s Exciting & New – PART 1


As many of you are getting ready for your deep summer holidays, we’re gearing up over here for the next Gamification Summit – which will be held in New York City on September 15 & 16th. I want to share some of the exciting news about the event and the elements of the program that have me really personally excited.

Reminder: Early Bird pricing expires this Friday, July 1! It will be the last time to save $300 and guarantee your spot. GSummit SF sold out, so be sure to get registered today!

First off, we’re stoked to have 2 amazing keynotes. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson from Gilt Groupe will be talking about how to reinvent retail with fun. As anyone who’s a student of human motivation and gamification knows, Gilt isn’t just about getting a great deal on luxury goods. It’s also a lot more fun than traditional retail! They have countdowns, surprise/delight, great opportunities for bragging rights, and a loyalty program that doesn’t give discounts or freebies. No small part of their success is due to understanding the player psychology from the perpective of a game designer, and we are excited to have Alexandra–one of the true innovators in retail–join us.

Equally cool is Susan Bonds, the founder of 42 Entertainment and one of the world’s greatest experience designers. Her ARGs (Alternate Reality Games) have motivated millions of people to get off the couch and play, sometimes over years, without substantial prizing. Susan’s true achievement comes into focus when you consider how difficult it is to motivate anyone to do anything in the physical world. She’s done this for some of the world’s biggest companies and entertainment brands, and it’s both an honor and a privilege to hear her share her process. Little known fact about Susan: She was Jane McGonigal’s boss when Jane worked at 42 Entertainment!

Part of our goal with the GSummit is to bring together practitioners in gamification and engagement science from across the spectrum, including smart people doing cool things who are reinventing their industries. We ask everyone who speaks to share data, anecdotes and truth from the stage, and we program from vastly different disciplines to learn what’s working and what’s not. No matter what your role, there’s something to learn at GSummit, and it might not be what you expect.

Some of the sessions that are sure to challenge you to think include Gamification and Jihadism: Recruitment Lessons from the Front Line from Alix Levine. You may have read Alix’s article on the Gamification Blog or seen her covered in other outlets following her report in Foreign Policy on how jihadis use games/gamification for recruitment. Alix is leading thinker on the spread of extremism via the Internet, and she will share her insights about what the dangers and power of gamification based on her startlingly insightful research.

Also, join an esteemed panel on one of the hottest debates of our time, Rewards: Real vs Virtual. Leading experts from Google, RecycleBank, Kiip, AirAsia and Badgeville talk about what they’ve learned in building reward systems and loyalty programs from scratch. They’ll share insights, data and key mistakes/successes they’ve had in crafting consumer benefits that may surprise you. Whether you are a strict adherent to my SAPS model, or you believe in the power of discounts and free (or both) you won’t want to miss this discussion.

Finally, one of my favorite examples of gamification in recent memory is the Speed Camera Lottery. Designed by Kevin Richardson for the Fun Theory Award, speed camera lottery asks us to rethink how speed cameras (or any system) can be turned from negatively reinforced (get a ticket if you speed) to positively reinforced (get a lottery ticket if you go at/below the limit). Kevin’s amazing use of game thinking caused a 20% reduction in speed when tested in Sweden, and it forms the basis for his amazing talk about how to rethink our world in a positive, gamified way. I can’t wait to see what his brilliant mind has cooked up this time!

And, of course, dozens of amazing speakers, from companies like Microsoft, NBC/Universal, TopGuest and more, each one doing something fascinating with gamification and game mechanics. I’ll be back after the holiday with even more in-depth insight about our speakers and their talks, and I welcome you to participate in the discussion of the content at

Be sure to register before Friday to save and guarantee your space!

Whether you’re a Marketer, Product Manager, Creative Director or CEO in Fashion, Retail, High-Tech, Advertising or Finance – gamification is going to transform your industry. Join us at GSummit and get in the game.


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