Saturday, March 30, 2013

Gamemooc to Horizon Report to Empire and State Game!

Gamemooc has shared lots of great things for me to consider! One of the most recent is a business game called Empire and State. Other students of the MOOC may say, where did you see something about that? It was a link on page 23 of The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition under the section titled "University of Washington Business Simulations"

Why Empire and State? It's free, looks fun and is the first "political strategy MMO" I have ever seen that interests me.

This demonstrates another benefit about the Gamemooc.  Besides the connectivism atmosphere, the friendly people and the knowledge, there is an opportunity to explore all kinds of new things!

Update! I dug deeper and see the following in the game's FAQ: "Linux and Mac OS X support is to be determined" No Mac love. Well, perhaps I will try again another time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

CARROT - TODO Game app

I give you the CARROT iPhone app. Finally, someone made a TODO app that entertains a person when getting something done! This is an example of good gamification!

The video tells it all:

This is the app that I always wanted to make, but never could get it high enough in my TODO list. It provides pleasurable audio feedback, a smooth interface, points, levels and is easy to use. It even has pleasant surprises and a sense of humor. Pro tip: make it happy and the experience is even better.

So, I put my tasks in CARROT and my tasks come from Goalscape. It's a powerful combination!

As CARROT puts it, there may be hope for humanity. Good job!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Level Up Your Fluid Intelligence

It has been shown that one can increase their Fluid Intelligence if they play the right games.

What is Fluid Intelligence? Fluid Intelligence is the ability to solve novel problems. With a high amount of Fluid Intelligence, one can solve problems they have never seen before.

Gabe Zichermann discusses Fluid Intelligence 11 1/2 minutes into this video:

Fluid Intelligence has to be exercised. As the medical section of the free dictionary puts it, if you don't use it, you lose it over time. Remember, you can increase it even.

So, how can we increase Fluid Intelligence? They can play a game such as Dual N-Back as described in a Wired article.

Where can one get n-back for their computer? One can download a Dual N-Back game from sourceforge. The tutorial is there as well.

Here is a quick video of me playing and explaining it.
Enjoy! ( Thanks goes to the Games MOOC which inspired me to post today! )

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Least Satisfying Life Ever - Gamification Time

Our job is to help everyone avoid the most boring life ever. What's even more important is to help people avoid the Least Satisfying Life Ever.

So how do we help each other towards optimal fun and satisfaction? While adhering to a code of ethics, we can do it through Gamification. We can apply game mechanics and game design to life challenges in order to optimize a fulfilling life experience.

In order to solve personal and world problems that have eluded people forever, we need a new innovative framework that looks at challenges and takes us all to the next level of happiness.

It's Gamification time!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gamification Meets Technology Mentor Program

It all began with watching Jane McGonigal's TED talk, The game that can give you 10 extra years of life. I realized that Psychology, technology, and Game Design have come together at last; it's called Gamification. To our delight, it's fun and successful!

Let's take a step back...

Besides being an iPhone/iPad software developer, I'm the chairperson of our department's technology Mentor Program. It's our mission to empower people to share technological knowledge with each other.

Up to now, we did two things. 1) We published a list of people who want to share knowledge. 2) We roughly tracked how much time people spent instructing others. It was OK yet boring.

We set goals. The last quarterly goal was something like: We want 10ish hours (10 to 15 hours) spent sharing knowledge. Weekly, I would report how things are going with: "OK everyone. Our goal is 10. Everyone excited?" (..ZZzzzzz...)

In January of 2013, things were real slow and knowledge sharing was minimal. Something had to be done! After consulting with a friend of mine Julie Price, we Gamified our program.

Now we do three things. 1) List of people and how they want to share knowledge. 2) We track every 15 minutes spent. 3) We share our accomplishments as scores, a departmental score and each instructor's individual score.

Following the Extreme Programming idea of Big Visible Charts, Shane Davenport came up with the idea of a fundraiser chart like approach which I playfully name funraiser. Our goal was 700 points which is 17.5 hours of knowledge sharing.

We blew the top off our goal! Here's the chart:

At the time of this writing, we are at over 1000 2310 points which is translating to about 58 hoursWe even have 3 weeks left!

Update: We ended the quarter with 2310 points which translated to 57.75 hours. The year over year growth aka YOY in the program was 45% and the gamification was only introduced in this last fiscal quarter!

For the curious, the photo contains 3 sections with names that are blotted out white in this photo.  Sections contain a list of instructors who got us to our quarterly goal with their names in a star image and another list of instructors who have gone above and beyond our quarterly goal.

So, there it is! Some tuning should be done, sure. There are even many fun directions this can go! 

Like Gabe Zichermann points out, Gamification is an ongoing process as opposed to just slapping something on top. Discussing how game thinking can become a part of what you are achieving is for another time.

Until then, may we all have a life filled with Epic Wins! 
( Pssst! If you have questions, contact me, Mike Finney or post them here! :) )