#GWC14 Past and Future of Gamification


I’m at the Gamification World Congress in Barcelona today.
We began the conference looking at ancient history (above) and the origination of gamification with Nick Pelling, inventor of the term in 2003.

This session wasn’t that relevant for my normal HR audience but I found Nick quite charming (eg in terms of being the originator but not the oracle) and loved the start to the conference (protohumans and astronauts) and so still wanted to post.
Nick became interested in gamification when realising that games culture was taking over the world – changing the way people thought about and talked about things.  things like digital downloads, easy to use handsets, immersive interface design (UX), digital content platforms (Apple istore etc).

Also the way that people make games a persuasive business model as well.  Ie you can’t do everything yourself, you need to create a digital platform for people to do things for themselves.

(Personally, I don’t think this is what gamification is about, sorry Nick.)
The big thing since then is social media.  Today it’s the two things together.  Exploring the fuzzy social interface between psychology and programming.  Changing behavior is as much political as it is technological.  Building software to act in constructive social ways.

There’s sometimes a bit of a bad small about gamification – getting people to do things in a funny sort of, gimmicky way.

But there is a lot of happening too.  Things you never think off egKickstarter connecting people who want to give money and people who want to run social projects.  Not about social media but social activity.  AngelList, Alibaba, Match.com.

Don’t think about what it is but what it’s for – joining people together and getting them to do things.  Future opportunities include things like social assisted living – helping young people help older people.
There are till lots of places where people get together awkwardly.

(And that I do agree with – most business organisations come to mind!)
We’re supposed to have a session with Brian Burke from Gartner taking us into the future (below) of gamification but he’s been delayed – I might add on more here later.

Photo credits Boris Perilli and  BCN Stories (as I’m sitting at the back with the power leads.)
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I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).


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