The Green Room

I'm an expert on gamification for events. AMA

Hello,
I’m Pete Jenkins and I am an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd I mentor and train people and companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve their business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK’s Department of International Trade in January 2019 and I am now an Export Champion for the Department of International Trade, UK.

I chair Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners. The most recent conference was in December 2019 in Berlin. I also founded the Gamification Awards. The Gamification Awards are global awards for the gamification industry and include an award for Gamification in Sustainability. The awards are judged by industry experts for their design, creativity and utility. The award goes to the companies and individuals who are excelling in their field.

I am an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry. I am in my 11th year as a Lecturer at the University of Brighton where I lecture on gamification and entrepreneurship at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. I also guest lecture on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe.

Over the past 19 years I’ve built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. I am also an Ambassador for the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce.

I’ll be here to answer your questions about gamification, improving engagement at your event and encouraging sustainable actions by attendees live on 2020-07-21T15:00:00Z2020-07-21T16:00:00Z.

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Talk soon!

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Hi Pete,
Thanks for doing this AMA! How did you transition from working in security software and telecoms and internet into becoming a gamification expert?

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Can you share some examples of gamification that engages people at events? e.g. improves recycling, travel choices etc

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I love how gamification plays an important role in important habit changes. What are some of your favourite examples?

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How do you come up with new gamification ideas?

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Hi Pete, do you think there is a particular age of people who would enjoy gamification more than others? thanks Thalia

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So, I’ll be honest here. I’m not sure I really know what gamification for events is. Can you explain please?

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Do you know the SDGS 2030 Game https://2030sdgsgame.com/? I’ve played that and reallyenjoyed it. If you know it, how does it compare to other things you do?

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What is your opinion of the importance colour codes of bins of various waste streams eg. Yellow for recycling, green for compost? Do you think it needs to be a universal system? I have experienced confusion as various countries and regions have different colour codes.

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Hi everybody,
Thanks for the great questions so far. Pete is here and ready to roll so please keep the questions coming in. Over to you Pete…

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Good question. The main issue I faced in my IT business was getting users to adopt new systems and processes. I was looking into better design methodologies when I came across the word ‘gamification’. I found a short online course on the subject and started using a gamified CRM system within my company. Three months later I sold the telecoms business so that I could concentrate wholly on gamification. That was in 2012 and I’ve been gamifying ever since.

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I love this question :slight_smile: In short there isn’t. There are however people who forgotten their love of play. In these people it can be rejuvenated. Indeed the fastest growing demographic of game players is the over 60s. They are retiring and buying games consoles. Often this is to play with grandkids or to try and boost their brain function.

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Thanks for the question Livvy. One of my clients recently designed a small branching choices game (think choose your own adventure novel) for their internal staff to highlight different travel scenarios and the consequences of these decisions. It was fun to play, they had a good laugh making it too. Top tip for a free tool, they built it in https://twinery.org/2

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This is a trickier question. I see this issue even locally (green bin where I live is for garden waste and just a few miles away in Brighton it is for recycling!). From a game design standpoint you should design for the culture of the people playing the game. So you would build multiple versions to take into account the players expectations.

On a slight aside, my local area gamified recycling habits with a Gold Star Recycler badge they awarded to residents (and placed on bins). We wrote a blog post about this a while back: https://gamificationplus.uk/recycling-habits-gamified-adur-worthing/

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Thanks Pete. Can you provide some examples of the types of real time feedback that an organiser can get from gamification of events?

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Haha, I have so many favourite examples. I’ll share two:

  1. Plasticity - this award winning game is available to play for free on Steam:
    Plasticity is a hauntingly beautiful puzzle-platformer where you explore a plastic-ridden world. Traverse flooded cities and ravaged lands as you make choices that profoundly change both gameplay and your future. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1069360/Plasticity/

  2. GetWaterFit - this gamification from one of my clients (Save Water Save Money) focusses you on learning how to save water and predict your success. Check it out here: https://www.getwaterfit.co.uk/#/

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Hi @thalia that’s a great game. There’s a few more SDG related games out there too. There’s one from SAP called the Wheel of Purpose https://wheelofpurpose.cfapps.eu10.hana.ondemand.com/ and I’ve seen another SDG card game for budding entrepreneurs that helps you brainstorm business ideas that promote or work with the SDGs. I’ve printed these off and used them for my Entrepreneurship students before. Can I remember the name of this now, nope :frowning:

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Hi @SarahTosone, the secret is to keep playing a wide variety of games and then ideas come to you naturally - so your home work is to play more :wink: Apart from that you are wise to use a design framework. In our own framework you start from the organisation objectives and behaviour changes you want to encourage. Then you understand the demographics and types of games enjoyed by your players. From that point it becomes a lot easier to come up with gamification ideas. You can get a copy of our Gamification Success Framework here (but you have to win 7 levels of our game first to earn it!): https://gamificationplus.uk/game/

I also recommend the book The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell in order to get really good at this: https://amzn.to/2ZLpY0g

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Enjoying these questions too much, my cup of tea got cold!

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Hi Pete,
I’m very interested in this subject so thank you for doing this AMA!

How should event planners motivate people to attend online events?

Have you seen any interesting techniques to improve engagement for online events, beyond having chat and live polls?

Do you think online events can ever be s engaging as in-person ones?

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