Is advergaming dead?

Well, not really. Advergames are games built around a rhetoric message, usually related to a brand. See for example the classic Magnum Pleasure Hunt and Colonel Sander’s Quest from KFC. I could talk about all the examples but, yet, do you really care about advergames? Gamification vs. Advergaming The interest for advergaming decreased over the past years, if compared to gamification, for example (see Google Trends). Gamification emerged as concept that includes design process, through the application of game design elements for non-leisure contexts (Deterding et al., 2011). In other words, gamification is about making situations and contexts more “gameful”. The confusion of the blurred line between games and gameful design could have been one of the reasons why advergaming decreased the interest. Well, advergames are games, and gamification is a design process. I could even go further and say that advergames are persuasive games and gamification could be more related to motivation

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Photo: Colours - via photopin

The secret of success? Love.

So, what is the key secret from extremely successful people? Waking up early? Having more hours of sleep? Running miles? Eating almonds? Walking you dog? What is that? What is about other people? That’s the problem. If you want to be a “successful” person, just do one thing: be passioned. You need to be in love with one idea. I was just thinking about all those life hacks and recipes to be healthier, richer and blablabla. Watching videos, reading blog posts. The same thing. It’s always about the others. And if I’m doing all of it? And if it’s not working? What’s wrong? Maybe I’m not in love with one idea. Being in love with one idea could be simple. It could be just in front of you. What drives those people that you see talking in TED? They are in love with one idea. Just the fact that you

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Crowded Underground

The psychology of crowds in the gameful world

Originally, the definition of gamification is related to the application of game elements to non-leisure contexts, as a design process. Each day, “gamified” (I prefer the term “gameful”) applications are developed through simply implementing badges, points and rewards, which can become a problem if not well-designed. It can be transformed into something really forced or fake that people will drop as soon as they are not interested anymore. The “human” element can’t be overlooked in this process, particularly because we are dealing with motivation. And motivation is situated in a context. Motivational affordances can be related to the object and to a situation or context. Because of that, it’s necessary to understand what is the context which will be transformed by people through gameful experiences. Previous research regarding gamification has brought to the conversation concepts of culture and beliefs, as rituals and festivals as forms of play. However, this is not the

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My idea of fun: exterminate!

I should be writing a paper right now, but I couldn’t leave this day without any comment about this lovely google doodle. I was having my cup of tea, a very sunny and cold day and then, first page, Doctor Who game. Brilliant. 1- “I should be writing a paper right now…” Oh wait, here is one of the key elements of building a very good game: games create curiosity. In that case, I’m a fan of Doctor Who, so I would be invited to interact with the doodle anyway. But try to get some elements that caught attention to play: button, colours, animation. That’s interface for you. 2- “Oh, look, all the Doctors are there and you can choose one to play!” When you recognise elements from the narrative of the game, you are inside the game world. You know the story. If your Doctor dies, he regenerates into

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Let’s talk about Game Design Economy

I’ve decided to write this post for probably the same reason why you came to read it. What is about Game Economy Designer or Monetisation Designer? It seems that the story of freemium, in-app purchases and other aspects came really to stay. And it makes totally sense. As a designer, I was questioning myself about the skills for this type of job. First, let’s try to analyse what do they really mean by Game Economy Design. In this article, published almost 2 years ago, the focus of the economy in game design was strictly in virtual currency. As we know today, the game economy expanded to free-to-play games and IAP. It’s not about virtual currency anymore. It’s a combination of real-world money and virtual goods. The amount of examples of mobile games that have IAP is huge. In order to progress in the game, the player might have to buy some

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iBeacons: a tool just for retail?

Retail industry just got a new tool for collecting people’s data and giving the consumers a more personal interaction. The iBeacons are small sensors that are connected through bluetooth technology and can send to people’s mobile devices specific information/content about products located in a store, for example. Most of the examples presented using this type of device was related to retail stores. The consumers could enhance their experience and because of the mobile technology characteristics, the store will able to collect relevant data from consumers, providing special material to stores to improve the customer experience. It’s a like a loop. People get into the store with their mobile phones, they are able to access specific content from products and with that they give precious data to the retail shop. This data will be analysed carefully and will be able to give insights about the customer experience. It seems very simple.

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The golden marriage of research: digital arts and social sciences

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go the Festival of Research Methods in Oxford and I was very busy trying to find out what sessions to go. Unfortunately I couldn’t go to the MIDAS session and now I know that I missed a very lovely part of it. However, I had the chance to follow some tweets and enter into their website to know more. This post will give a brief explanation of the MIDAS project and why you should fall in love with it too. Well, if you are researcher in the area of arts, design and social sciences you will love this. Imagine if you could combine innovative methods, experiences, interactive 3D environments to study arts, museums, disabilities, security and so on. That’s MIDAS and it can be gold and I’m not the only one with the same opinion. The body, the digital and methods – multiple site

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What my grandfather taught me about social media

  It’s been more than 2 years that my grandfather created his first Facebook account. It may not sound something extraordinary, but what called my attention was his purpose. My grandfather is full of life. He loves people, social events, music, his students and his family. He uses Facebook to basically stay in contact with people, finding ways to support them in their activities or just giving his opinion. He is 80 years old. I’ve been researching some articles about social media and Facebook and what caught my attention was the idea that “oh no, teenagers are moving to other chat apps” and this sounded like the end of the world. First, I’m not a “pro-Facebook” or something like that. Second, teenagers can do what they want. If they want privacy, good for them. I think everyone does. The main concern here is that it seems that sometimes those articles

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What I’ve learnt from my first Hackathon

Last month I was invited to participate to a Hackathon through universities in the UK. Hackathons normally take around 24 hours and you and your team need to solve a specific problem during this time, eating sweeties and working like crazy – with not too much sleep. Technically is not very different from working hours in a newspaper to get your project done before the news are published to the public. But well, this was different. It was like playing a new game for hours. However sometimes it’s difficult to know what to expect from it. How do I find people to do this with me? Am I that good? What am I going to do? How can I help? For this post I will highlight my experience (from the perspective of an UI/UX designer) and how we managed to get a prize in the end of the competition. Yay! /o/

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Colour blind mode: a way to include more players into the game

Playing a game is more than just connecting your devices with a new system. It’s being part of a context that makes sense, a magical world, full of new experiences, stories, characters and challenges. For a game designer, it shouldn’t be different. In the book Rules of Play, the authors Salen and Zimmerman argue that the creation of meaning (and, in that case, a meaningful play) should be the goal of a successful game. So, considering this, the role of the designer is to build significant systems, that will be the encountered by players and then, create experiences. Now imagine the scenario. You’re a game designer and you have to create a game that is suitable for colour blind people. How would you proceed? And why? First, it’s known that are lots of levels of colour blindness. People that have this problem can’t perceive the colours very well. As a

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