Gamification 2015 & four shirts

Yes, my dear reader: It's here. It has come. The preview of what 2015 will bring us in gamification.

I guess that to minimize the risk of diving in the dark and blurry waters of the future, we should take a look at the ideas forecastedtwelve months ago, in order to see the state in what they are. We will see that in many cases we have move forward, but also very cool challenges lie ahead.

Mix gamification with other disciplines

Games that (HR) People should play

Three or five years ago we were evangelizing small groups within different organizations, exploring together if "theend justifies the games." It was at the Fun & Serious Festival last year where I had the opportunity to participate as a speaker talking about artisanal gamification, and observe that, in regard to integration with other disciplines, gamification has advance naturally hand in hand with one of our "older brothers": the video game industry. In the recent Gamification Spain Meetups electronic entertainment has been present one way or another, and gamification design solutions has showed multiple overlapping areas of interest with the former, including professional skills or working methods, among other things.

What remains for 2015? Coupled with the above, another challenge I posted was the design of truly memorable experiences. There are still many disciplines with whom we need to nurture the same close ties that we had with the videogame biz. Boardgame design and alike can teach us a lot about mechanics and player strategies (Gsm Barcelona was the first stone in this road, but much remains to be built). We can add value to that know how by clarifying organizational needs and by opening doors in certain business contexts where “play” is not seen as useful as we would like.

Art, cinema, painting, comic, magic performers... All of them can teach us how to convey complex ideas intuitively, and that is one of the sources of a truly memorable experience. Examples? The latest newsletter of CookieBox shows very good projects in this regard that reflects the openness and multidisciplinary nature of gamification.

Building a strong gamification community

Here we have advanced the most this year, I think. The impressive Gamification World Congress initiative, incredibly well leaded by Sergio (@gamkt), Jose Carlos (@josek_net) and their team, has managed to bring to Spain many of the gamification aces, worldwide.

At a different level Gamification Spain Meetups, which I have the honor to coordinate with Victor (@victormanriquey), Ricardo (@rickyrola), Cristina (@cristinapages) and lots of local fellows organizing each encounter, has grown to reach today more than 150 members, five editions and at least two more planned for 2015.

They are not the only places in which gamification has been on the scene (It comes to my mind smash-tech, GAMESIS and others in different parts of Spain), but the GWC & GSM are perhaps the more specific and the oldest forums in Spain.

The next obvious step could be mixing these two initiatives into one. A single image, whole and international brand that will allow the generation a common fields of knowledge, something of which we have been talking a lot as the year comes to an end... Watch out, 2015!

Ethics, scalability, KPIs and Society

Those are four of the main dimensions where gamification should settle part of its philosophical and methodological foundations. In addition to large projects with awesome KPIs evolving its weight toward social mechanics, such as BBVA Game thanks to Bernardo Crespo (@b_crespo) and his team of design cracks, or Compettia’s Challenge Me. The incoming year gamification will fully enter in the educational world thanks to projects like “Zombiología” (@zombiologia) or “Settlers of Mars” (@jlred1978) which, despite numerous obstacles, serve as the stepping stones of the quantitative and qualitative value of this approach in class.

There are many more projects. You can see the vast majority of them in the Gamification World Map created by the likes of OuiPlay (@ouiplay), Flavio Escribano (@ludictador) or Carlos G. Tardón (@carlosgtardon), among others. Many of these initiatives are small ones now, but they represent the seeds of ideas that could escalate to really powerful levels... Didn’t we talk twelve months ago whether the market would go at cloning successful projects or it will opt for the experimental and indie designs? I think it's still a pretty divided answer, even if I found  a certain bias towards the latter.

Do we continue business as usual?

As we move forward, new doors are opening. An Coppens (@AnCoppens) challenged community at the GWC, quite rightly, to promote greater presence of women in the various gamification forums. Very interesting idea that could be extended not only to genre, but also to cultural diversity when seeking for gamification perspectives (Has gamification a place within oriental business culture?).

On the other hand, a strong community that tends to globalization and with lots of small projects booming, need ways to rigorously systematize the growing body of knowledge generated. As it happened with coaching, logistics or HR we also should expect the apparition for “experts” claiming mastery and panacea without scientific basis, generating unachievable expectations that will do no good to the methodology, to potential customers or to the gamification community. We need to be able to cope with this trend.

Maybe is the time to rigorously design one common, professional certification for this methodology?

And you .... What do you think 2015 will bring us? I'd love to hear your opinion!

PS: Thanks everyone for making this 2014 awesome and playful. And to those who gave me their love in the form of t-shirts, mugs or by just sharing with me their ideas. you know who you are, my friends.

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