Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011: A year of Games in a Review

This message was sent by Mike Gallagher, CEO and president of the Entertainment Software Association:

ESA's 2011 Year in Review
Dear Friends,
The word "historic" is overused, but as we look back on 2011, it is a perfect fit for our industry's year. The U.S. Supreme Court's vigorous affirmation of our First Amendment rights, a new array of artistically astonishing games, and educators' increasing recognition of the role games play in teaching and learning made 2011 a remarkable year and set the stage for a great 2012.
I want to thank all of you for supporting our industry as we faced a momentous challenge to the constitutional rights of our industry's artists and creators before the U.S. Supreme Court. Your support helped amplify our voice, and ensured the Court heard our collective concerns about the consequences of the Schwarzenegger-Yee law at the center of the case. The Court's landmark declaration that video games enjoy the same Constitutional protections as books, movies and fine arts was exactly what we hoped to hear. The importance of this decision, both for our industry and for all who cherish free speech, cannot be overstated.
While the legal news played out in Washington, the rest of the world continued to be amazed by the increasing sophistication of the games our industry produces. As Seth Schiesel wrote in The New York Times earlier this month:
"Game makers are producing more high-quality entertainment for a broader variety of players than they ever have in the past. No other form of fun melds advanced digital technology, personal engagement and mass-market cultural relevance as felicitously as video games. That is why video games are the ascendant form of popular entertainment."
Entertainment will always be the heart of our industry, but I would also note the growing awareness that exists about the positive impact games have on improving other top priorities for the American people, including our economy, our education and healthcare systems, the workplace and the arts. Consider just a few examples from this year:
  • Art: Video games gained new appreciation as works of art, as their stunning graphics and captivating soundtracks attracted the art community's attention. The Smithsonian Institution announced that it will unveil a new exhibit dedicated to showcasing the incredible artistry within games at its American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. ESA is proud to sponsor the exhibit, titled "The Art of Video Games," which opens March 16, 2012.
  • The Economy:  As many of you know, video game companies continue to post strong sales, with sales of game content, hardware and accessories generating $25.1 billion in revenue in 2010. Gamers' increasing interest in mobile, social and online play is a key component of this success, and we recognize The NPD Group's decision to begin reporting digital game sales on a monthly basis and the firm's new partnership with EEDAR that will help it do so. Their decision recognizes the significance of digital games to our business, and will provide a more complete picture of industry sales.
  • Healthcare: Using an online game called Foldit, designed by Professor Zoran Popovic at the University of Washington, online gamers deciphered the protein that helps the HIV gene multiply. The protein stumped scientists for more than a decade, but the gamers unlocked it in just 10 days. While this is certainly a major breakthrough in the ongoing battle against AIDS, it also shows the unique power of our medium to solve incredibly difficult and complex problems.
  • Education: In September, the White House launched Digital Promise, a public-private partnership aimed at incorporating technological tools, including games, into American classrooms. The program will support research and development efforts to identify effective teaching technologies, develop new approaches for rapid evaluation of new products and explore ways to expand the market for learning software.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Presenting some cool applied game cases

Check out this presentation bij PSFK - some really nice and creative cases even some that help to make the world a little better like my trash can run for which I am still looking for sponsors!



PSFK Future of Gaming Report [Preview]
View more presentations from PSFK

Serious Games on BBCTV



It's a documentary from 2010 I think.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Magician hacks Kinect in Microsoft



Some great tricks with Kinect technology! Thanks to my good friend Mike Schulmeister.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ringtone special

Maybe somewhat off topic, but maybe relevant for some of you, or just nice to know...? Some facts about RINGTONES!

Ringtones
Created by: Music Production Schools target="_blank"

Monday, December 19, 2011

C&C Tiberium Alliances Beta test



The epic game Command & Conquer will come to the freespace on the internet! Join the beta now!

More information here

Zynga stocks available!




Zynga stocks are available since last Friday. The starting bid was $10 releasing 100.000.000 stocks (!) - so Zynga was aiming for a minimum of 1 billion dollars in public capital! 

The company was founded in July 2007 (less than five years ago!) by Mark Pincus and is named for his late American Bulldog, Zinga. Loyal and spirited, Zinga’s name is a nod to a legendary African warrior queen. 

Zynga's mission is to connect the world through games. Everyday millions of people interact with their friends and express their unique personalities through our games, which range from harvesting crops to building your business franchise, to playing poker. 
Through the company’s philanthropic arm, Zynga.org is committed to transforming the world through virtual social goods. Zynga players have raised more than $10 million for world social causes since Zynga.org launched in October 2009. 

Games that Zynga developed over the past four years are (amongst others): 
CityVille – Build the city of your dreams. 
FarmVille – Grow fruits and veggies and raise animals on your very own farm. 
Words With Friends – Test your lexicon against friends in the #1 mobile word game. 
Empires & Allies – Build your city, grow your nation and conquer the world. 
Mafia Wars – Start a crime family. Run your mob businesses. Then take over the world. 
Indiana Jones Adventure World – Grab life by the boulders. 
Café World – Slice, mix, and grill your way to building the hottest restaurant on the block. 
Mafia Wars 2 – Welcome to the dark side of social games. 
CastleVille – Create your happy ending. 
CityVille Hometown - Create the town of your dreams. 

Top Zynga Games (MAU): (According to AppData.com) 
CityVille 48 m 
CastleVille 35 m 
Zynga Poker 28 m 
FarmVille 31 m (this used to be 61 million in 2009 & 2010) 
Empires & Allies 16 m 
Words With Friends 13 m 
Adventure World 9 m 

Their User Numbers: (According to our latest S-1/A) 
 227 million monthly active users 
 2 billion minutes a day of play 
 4 billion neighbor connections 
 54 million daily active users 
 450 million social actions a day 

Some noble things that Zynga.org did in 2009 through 2011: 
Zynga is committed to transforming the world through virtual social goods. Zynga players have raised more than $10 million for several international nonprofits since Zynga.org launched in October 2009. Players have purchased virtual social goods within games like FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Zynga Poker that have benefitted earthquake victims in Haiti and to school lunch programs for children in Haiti. In 2010 Zynga players also helped to build the L'Ecole de Choix School in Haiti. Recently, Zynga players banded together to support victims of the deadly earthquake in Japan, and raised more than $3 million for Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund and Direct Relief International. had the opportunity to donate through more than 10 Zynga games, including FrontierVille, Café World, Mafia Wars and CityVille. In addition, following the devastating tornadoes in the Southern United States, players in CityVille, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Treasure Isle and Vampire Wars rallied together to raise more than $250,000 for Save the Children and Direct Relief International’s efforts. 

Below some more fun facts about Zynga in an infographic 




Gaming and the Millenials - a summary

I was reading this article about millenials based on research done by MTV Networks. A lot of their conclusions are stated in my book 'A Brand New Playground (www.brandnewplayground.com) and I summarized the essence of their study below: 


 Half of Millennials said "People my age see real life as a video game" and almost 6 out of 10 said "#winning is the slogan of my generation" (certainly #epic_fail seems to have become their anti-slogan!) 


Principle #1: Play fair or you are "fair game" (What I call 'Be Righteous' in my book): these days you can't bullshit your customers anymore. Be real and be fair and don't try to cheat you customer into bad (poor quality) - overpriced - products. 


Principle #2: Leverage the leaderboard  
People are always interested in 'how they're doing' compared to others. A leaderboard shows your position compared to other players and MTV links this to 'wanting to know' what price we pay for products and whether that price is fair. The internet is of course an easy way to compare prices. 


Principle #3: Smart-cuts, not short-cuts 
Gaming evokes intrinsic motivation to reach objectives. It's very interesting that in games we tend to search for 'work arounds' to achieve the same goal in many different ways where as in real-life most employees are used to do the same routine every day and actually are afraid to change their behavior because it might have a different result (or at least it creates uncertainty). 


Principle #4: Deliver dopamine/adrenaline fixes


Half of respondents in the MTV study — perhaps those more prone to Millennial micro-boredom — believe that "life can be less stimulating than gaming." The complementary game dynamic we found fascinating was "positive randomness" — if a game is too predictable, it is boring, but if there are too many random surprises, it is too complex. 


This can be explained by looking at the 'flow'-model where we continuously balance between frustration and boredom using the skills available to us to fight challenges we face... this is the same in real-life, which I will explain in my next book 'The Game of Life'. 


Principle #5: Hand over that joystick. 


Millennials are accustomed to having a voice, and having it heeded. And they're frustrated when big corporations don't give them a voice or a true "role" as a consumer in the game. In a game the player is always 'in control' (at least so it seems....). Instead of just sending advertising into the world brands should start a dialogue and start listening to their consumers and accept that THEY (consumers) are in control of our brands, not the marketing department.... 


 Read the full article here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'Laat met je merk spelen' bijna uitverkocht!

Just to be disruptive a Dutch subject title today. It says: 'A Brand New Playground' almost sold out!
Of course I am referring to the Dutch version of my book. The first edition almost sold 1.500 copies so far in 15 months time. According to my publisher Kluwer this is good result for a book in such a niche-market that was written for Marketing Managers of which there are maybe 10.000 in The Netherlands. So I already sold my book to 10% of the market potential, which is excellent penetration! There are about 300 copies left, so if you want to get a hold of your copy of the 'eerste druk' (first release), order it here: www.bol.com or here www.managementboek.nl It - generally - is rated with 4 out of 5 stars - so don't take my word for it. If you send me a picture of yourself reading the book I will even hand sign it for you (Dutch residents only ;-)!

This is a Dutch review of the book in 2010 by Management Boek.nl
This is a Dutch review of the book in 2010 by Max Kohnstam:
The English version is still available for free through www.brandnewplayground.com




How many you say? Go figure!



During one of my presentations recently in the United Kingdom some one asked me how many game developers there are in the world. In my book I made an estimate that there would be at least 60.000 different kinds of boxed games available in the world since the beginning of the games industry in 1974. I wrote that in the beginning of 2009. Soon I learned that there were about 200.000 apps available for iPhone and that 70% of all downloaded apps are games (this was end 2010). The past year Android and Windows 7 phones have proven to become new 'handheld' gaming devices as well and with 500 million downloads for Angry Birds and a few million on WordFeud one can conclude gaming is mass-market. But still ... how many game developers are there globally woud you think? I said that I know there were about 20 big publishers in the world amongst them of course the 'console-owners' Microsoft, Nintendo and PlayStation, EA, Ubisoft, Activision and many others. But then - what is Steam? Is it a distributor, retailer or publisher? What is iTunes? Retail or publisher? What is Facebook, what is Google+ ... a gaming platform or a game publisher? It directly connects content with consumers so in that case it seems to be a publisher... ?

I just read a report on gamastura that there are over 750.000 registered game developers using Unity. 750.000 !!! Of which 200.000 are monthly active and releasing new games on a regular basis. These games are mostly web-based (or iOs / Android).

Read the article about Unity here: www.gamasutra.com

So how many game developers are out there...? I honestly don't know! And should we care? There are a lot, good ones, bad ones, mediocre ones, small and big. The only thing I hope is that game developers still start their companies with a burning desire to make great games instead of 'just' making money.
I recently held a presentation for students in Amersfoort and I really hope that they remember my first rule of entering this industry: do so because it is your passion, you love playing games and love making them! Don't enter this business to make money, because you will be disappointed and will never make it through your first three years. If you do everything you do with passion and dedication there is no doubt you will be successful, depending on how you define success of course ;-)

I guess life is not about quantity (how many) but always about quality (how well).

So be well - Be passionate!


If you would like to be game developer one-hunder-and-twentythree-thousand, check this blog first: http://www.gamedev.net/ 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Learning Faster by Playing Games?

Introducing Morten Geertsen - one of my new Bloggers to the Gaming & Branding Universe! This is his first article: a summary of a paper about the effect of serious gaming!


Here's the article:

Learning Faster by Playing!

I recently stumbled across this study on serious gaming: Transfer of Gaming – Transfer of training in serious gaming. If you are unfamiliar with the term, serious games are games used to teach something to a specific group of people. In other words: a learning tool with serious objectives.

Apparently it seems these days, companies and other institutions have increased their focus on such games. They see it as an attractive alternative to the traditional types of training. Here’s an example: A geography class might fly an airplane over a digital model of the earth to discover the location of various countries. Or a math class has to “catch” the correct answer to a math equation with the mouse. Maybe you remember one or two of such games if you look back at your school years. Also companies train employees by using such games to simulate the environment and real life practices of the work place.

The study answers the question, “Why do people play games?” Well, one major reason has to do with an evolutionary and developmental aspect. During play individuals perform new, unfamiliar activities and while doing this, they learn the “rules of the game”. They develop new skills and learn to adapt to new environments. Another important reason is related to the feeling of reward and being positively stimulated. Remember the rush of adrenaline you get when you score a goal in your favorite sport? This feeling makes us want to play the games because it feels good and is fun: Games for the sake of gaming!

With this in mind, we can see how serious games offer training possibilities for companies. A dynamic, interactive and rich learning environment is created to practice work-specific tasks to learn real life practice. These games give employees the opportunity for memorization, practice and forming elaborate cognitive structures or schema’s. They can be adapted to the individual learning needs and ability levels of learners, and that way offering relevant tasks at a level of desirable difficulty to strengthen the learning process.


The World Bank Institute is making a strong push for bringing Serious Games one step further with two leadership capacity building strategic games.

Companies can pass on knowledge about job tasks in a more stimulating and entertaining way than with traditional training programs. Research shows that games generally increase the motivational level. The games are expected to make employees more perceptive during the learning process, because the training is interesting and different from the usual types of employee training. The above implies that the use of games for training can be asolution for reachingroups of people who are not motivated by more traditional types ofeducation. But by making the employees motivated to learn, they will generally be more perceptive to the learning process. To illustrate this, I’ll quote a part of the actually study:

“In a tank gunnery training, a Space Invaders game is implemented as a bonus scenario. This requires the learners to perform their training tasks at ever increasing speed. As they like to play the Space Invaders game so much they are willing to spend their own time in the simulator and improve their skills beyond the training goals. It is also imaginable that players become so involved in a game that they start to explore other information or task elements related to the domain the game is set in.”



However, far from all such games are successful at transferring a recent amount of work knowledge to the employees. What makes some serious games successful in this regard?

Well, it is essential that the employees can see the similarity between the skills, knowledge and attitudes acquired by playing a game and challenges in real life. This mostly depends on what game industry specialist’s calls fidelity: To what extent a simulation looks and feels like tasks in real life in terms of physical measurable characteristics. Some games have almost no resemblance to reality and users playing them will only improve their ability to play that particular game. It will have no direct effect on the employees’ work skills. However, when having a strong focus on realistic, authentic practice, serious games are seen as powerful tools to strengthen the learning value and increase learners’ motivation to practice.

Companies might run into trouble when developing successful serious games. Not all tasks can be adequately converted into a game. Managers will have to identify the specific types of tasks, which have to be trained. Which skills to such tasks require? Can these skills be effectively trained in the game? Based on the knowledge about employees’ performance and learning processes, it will be possible to identify types of tasks that are better suited to train using game-based technology.

The study shows that serious gaming should be seen as a promising substitute for training. The amount of companies using serious games indicates the same. The games ensure that the employees are easily attracted to playing a game, are motivated to continue playing, and as a result: Learn! The entertaining qualities of serious games make employees more receptive to the learning process. Gamers typically emphasize the fun, engagement and flow aspects* of successful serious games. So although there might be barriers in successfully implement serious games into the workplace practice, the advantages make them a worthy alternative to traditional training programs that seem unattractive or expensive.

* The flow theory is explained in Bart Hufen’s book ‘A Brand New Playground’, which you can download HERE (link to www.brandnewplayground.com )

Friday, December 9, 2011

FRIDAY-FUN Joe Cartoon: Super Fly 2



This is an example of one of the first 'virals' ever! We used to share this stuff on floppy disks!

Fallout: Working pipboy 3000



NERD ALERT - NERD ALERT!

For all the people that play or have played Fallout 2 and 3... this guy just build his own Pipboy 3000... incredible what people sometimes do for the love of a game!

I must say I'm looking forward to Fallout 4, hopefully still singleplayer...




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Facebook & Students... behavior & impact on grades

Facebook and Grades
Via: OnlineEducation.net target="_blank"

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Catch the MINI - Another Alternate Reality Game


Tokyo gets its own Getaway.

Jung von Matt's MINI Getaway reality game is coming to Tokyo after a successful launch in Stockholm last year.
The alternate reality game, in which smartphone users 'hunt' and then hold onto a MINI and win the real car if they are successful, is credited with doubling MINI sales in Sweden last year. You can ask yourself whether that was all thanks to this game, but still - doubling your sales sounds remarkable! Especially with a game concept that asks quite a lot from your users. In Holland Volkswagen did the same in 2009 / 2010 with Pak de Polo... (Catch the Polo), he or she that spotted the car could take it over by stopping the driver and getting into the car. The one that got to drive the car the longest of all contestants (in KM) during the month the game was played, won the car. 




Although the Japanese version works similarly as the version in Sweden (Stockholm), it is on a much larger scale; the Tokyo gaming area is almost 32 times larger, at 240 square miles. The app has also been made available for Android as well as iPhone. The campaign goes live on December 3 and runs for nine days. For more information go to: creativity online




Monday, December 5, 2011

Red Bull - Human Flight 3D Movie (trailer)



When I did my interviews with gamers in 2010 one of the far most heard answers on my question why they played games was: "Because it makes you do things you can't do in real-life, like being Bat-Man or Flying..."

This video shows you how we as people are pushing the envelope in real-life to explore what we weren't able to do in real-life that was described in the old books and movies (like flying). If Red Bull is the challenge - These guys are Red Bulls matadors in a good way...

It also shows you that the challenge of just flying seems not difficult enough, so we add extra rules to make it more interesting (a bigger 'mental' reward).

Way to fly Red Bull...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

President Obama's Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands



Completely off topic - but the fact that I shook the hand of our Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently during a matchmaking session in the United Kingdom, I basically shook Barack Obama's hand through him ;-)

I am just proud I met him two weeks ago in the United Kingdom. He is very approachable and really pushing Dutch entrepreneurship in Europe and USA. I was in the UK to tighten strings between the Dutch and British game developers (and digital creative industry) and he was full of energy presenting during two high tea's we had in London and Manchester - Go Mark Rutte and Go Barack Obama! +1 I say!

I won't show these pictures anymore on my blog I promise - hahaha





Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Game in the City 2011 Indigo booth



This game is visually stunning and seems to be really fun to play as well!
I saw it at 'Game in the City' last Friday where I also gave a presentation about marketing your brand for young entrepreneurs (graduates).

The game is called Cargo Commander and is inspired by (amongst other things) 'The Cube'. If you haven't seen that film, go rent it soon!

The video will explain the rest and if you would like to parttake in the open beta, please go to www.seriousbrew.com/cargocommander and use the SECRET code: goldenticket ...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dutch Game Awards 2011 Openings Film



The opening film for the Dutch Game Award dinner last Thursday. I had great fun that evening with some great individuals from the Dutch Gaming Industry. Hopefully the organization can keep up the high level of tasteful food, drinks, chicks (chicken breast that is)...and euh... GAMES of course!

Below some more pictures of games and the dinner... I am the guy with the mustache... Remember Movember (getting sponsored for prostate cancer)...




 Two new friends I met that develop game trainings for students (gamesmaken.nl)

 Me and the ladies... ;-)

There was in fact - an iTable ... although not designed by Apple... 



A VERY cool game concept : a puzzle game made in two months by just one guy: Jay van Hutten - his 'one-red-button' game is called ichi: check it out on www.ichi-game.com


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nintendo at the LA Auto Show 2011



There is only one way to promote Mario Kart 3D... in 3D... in 3D...

That's what Nintendo did at the LA Auto show to promote the game on 3DS.

West Coast Customs took care of the production of two cards that actually feature in the game and they're exact copies! Thumbs up for Nintendo to extend their brand real-life. It would be cool to be able to drive these in Go Kart racing circuits throughout the world!

Fun up +1 !

target="_blank"

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bob Derksen over uniek project [Dutch - Sorry]

By exception a Dutch video from one of the partners I work with just because:

A. It was his first Pecha Kucha presentation
B. He did a great job presenting - very funny and very much as himself
C. It was a great project that I saw coming to life from close distance and really enjoyed being (tiny) part of.

Pecha Kucha presentatie from Today Designers on Vimeo.

Go to their website for more creative shizzle: www.todaydesigners.com

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Fun: Happy Ending... ?

Euhm... am I the only one that has different associations with the words 'Happy Ending'...?
Has Zynga lost it or is it just me...?



"

Students alert! - This should help you find what you're looking for?

During my graduation some 15 years ago I unconsciously started humming "... but I stiiiiill haven't fouhound... what I'm looking fooooooor....." [U2] - In the digital era searching for stuff is easier on one hand (thanks to search engines and blogs), but because there is so much information and mumbo jumbo on the internet it can be hard to find what you need. Sometimes even iTunes suggests songs to me that I already bought some time ago... Anyway - just a useless introduction to this infographic especially for (my) students! That should help you to use Google more effectively!

Get more out of Google
Created by: HackCollege target="_blank"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lady Mitra interacting with Wall of Balls.MOV



Last week I visited London, Manchester and Birmingham with a delegation of the most promising Dutch Creative Companies. During this tour we visited all kinds of events like the entrepreneur conference in the Milky Building in Tech City (Shoreditch) on Monday, the BBC studios, a match making lunch, a meet and great with our prime minister - Mark Rutte and a high tea in the town hall of Manchester. The third day we went to Launch - a game event in Birmingham and we visited RARE Entertainment - one of the key developers for Xbox Kinect. They created the best selling Sports
series. I went back to London on Thursday to have a fabulous day with my good girlfriend Mitra and she took me to all kinds of museums (VNA & Science Museum) and a fantastic authentic Iranian restaurant near Paddington and Hyde Park (hidden park as we call it).

This is just a small video of Mitra interacting with a video wall that uses the Camera Interaction Technology. At first we didn't understand what it was about until the balls started to copy the shape of her movement... Well done by the artist!

Below some pictures of the other stuff we visited during the tour in the UK and my moment with our prime minister! I handed over the Dutch version of the book (Laat met je merk spelen). Be sure to download your personal copy of 'A Brand New Playground' at www.brandnewplayground.com (it's in English of course ;-) 












Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Heineken Star Player BuzzmaniaTV.mp4



During my tour through the UK last week I saw a lot of interesting new cases of how games can be used to promote your brand and add some relevant content to your consumers context. This Heineken concept seems really interesting. I don't think it's out in The Netherlands yet (UK only), but it could be well-localized I guess, since 'play' and football is universal (especially/mostly within Europe and Latin America's I guess). Thanks Mark Wilson for showing this concept to me and for the beers afterwards ;-) look forward to our next meeting!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Office games are Serious games!

This article has been shamelessly copied from the newsletter by the Entertainment Software Association (check www.theesa.com to subscribe)


VIDEO GAMES IN THE WORKPLACE: A BOON TO BUSINESS

Companies know that keeping employees motivated and monitoring their performance are key to running a successful business, and many now view entertainment software as a helpful tool in these efforts. Increasingly, companies like IBM, Target, and Deloitte are integrating video game elements, such as achievements and real-time progress tracking, into the workplace to improve employee motivation and productivity. This new management trend gives workers an interactive platform to monitor their individual performance, motivate them to improve output, and encourage them to participate in trainings and other work-related education courses. 
Games have played a role in the workplace for several years, as many companies capitalized upon the engaging nature of games to train employees, build brand loyalty and advertise products to consumers. Given their effective role in the office, companies increasingly utilize the beneficial aspects of video games in everyday endeavors. In fact, tech-industry research firm Gartner projects that by 2014, roughly 70 percent of large companies will use video game elements for at least one business process. Additionally, the market research firm M2 Research estimates that by 2014, revenue from in-office game software, consulting, and marketing will reach $938 million, a substantial increase from this year's revenue of less than $100 million.
Already, a number of major companies have incorporated video game elements into a variety of business processes. SAP AG, one of the world's largest business software firms, uses a variety of games in the workplace, including a golf game that helps assign sales leads to employees and an environmental awareness game that awards points to employees for reducing their carbon footprint through various tasks like carpooling. At Target, cashiers receive a score based on the speed of each check-out transaction, and at the end of the day, receive a total success rate score. IBM integrates numerous video game dynamics into its business processes, including a game calledCityOne, an interactive simulator that helps corporate and government leaders learn how to solve complex business, logistical, and environmental issues faced by cities.
Other companies, like Facebook, Photobucket, Mozilla, and Fern Expo use tools such as Rypple, a social performance management platform that combines aspects of social media and game play with digital reward-giving. Rather than waiting for annual or semi-annual performance reviews, Rypple allows for active goal-setting and consistent, timely feedback in the workplace. Appearing similar to a Facebook page, the program enables project team members to interact with each other in a number of ways, including tracking the assignment and completion of work by using status bars and badges, taking and organizing notes from one-on-one meetings, commending specific team members for their efforts with achievement-like badges, and anonymously requesting feedback on projects and performance.
The application of video game components in the workplace produces significant results. LiveOps, Inc., which runs virtual call centers, provides one example. The company uses video game applications to improve the performance of its 20,000 call agents. Beginning last year, the company awarded agents virtual badges and points for tasks such as making concise phone pitches and closing sales. Additionally, digital leader boards allowed each agent to compare his or her achievements to fellow colleagues. Since the system's implementation, agents reduced their average call time by 15 percent, and raised sales by 8 percent and 12 percent among certain agents. 
As an increasing number of companies infuse video game mechanisms into their processes and office culture, many employees will be able to leverage these systems and methodologies to produce greater results and generate increased energy in the workplace

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Advergames and my tour in the UK next week!

As you might know - I am going on a 'UK-Tour' next week organized by our Ministry of Funny Walks, I mean Economic Affairs and Foreign Affairs and we're going to visit London, Birmingham and Manchester in four days time (and then some leisure time for me in London). During the tour we will meet a lot of game developers and brands that are interested in using games as a marketing tool. Amongst them are Matmi - and they have quite an impressive list of advergames and cool brands they  work for (amongst them: Lilly Allen!).

Check out the advergame below and be sure to check my blog next week to see the pictures after I handed out my book (Laat met je merk spelen) to our very own prime minister Mark Rutten during the high-tea in Manchester! You can still download the English version of my book HERE. Should be cool!

Also we are visiting the BBC Studio's in Manchester (on Tuesday), Microsoft Kinect and the conference 'Future gaming and digital media' in Birmingham on Wednesday. I will be in London again on Thirst-day, Free-day and Sad-third-day when I leave again.... ;-) so if you want to meet up - give me a shout through Twitter or Text message!

Matmi presents Iron Maiden The Final Frontier...


Check out more advergame concepts at their website: http://www.matmi.com/games_playgames.php

Kinect Effect... will it be like this....?



To be honest, I still sincerely doubt whether we will play games in this way. I would always miss 'feedback' whether it be through the controller in my hand, vibration, a steering wheel (makes sense driving a car)... etc. This is the same reason why a lot of people prefer a BlackBerry over an iPhone. The typing just feels better if you can feel buttons...

If you disagree - let me know !

Monday, November 7, 2011

Call of Duty - My personal best KD Ratio...



My personal best Kill-Death Ratio today in Call of Duty: 2,57...

I play on PC - Join me! ;-)

Trailer: GTA V Debut Trailer



It looks more like a film than a game, incredible! - Let the long-winter-days come -
I need time to play games! Grand Theft Auto V looks very promising. I hope that there is character development in the game like in Fallout and World of Warcraft. Up to now the games have been a bit too linear in my opinion, just running from mission to mission and do some side-quests. Although I really enjoyed GTA4, especially the scripted events with Ricky Gervais, driving in the sunset, listening to the coolest tracks on the radio and yes... of course... the strip club! ;-)

Uncharted 3 & Release of Drake Magazine...?

It's great that from time to time I can still be surprised...

I recently received a press release about 'Drake - The Magazine'.
In The Netherlands we've had magazines called Linda (the most successful), Jan, Matthijs (one-off), Felderhof and many others. Now for the first time, a magazine has been released with the name of a fictitious character from a 'videogame'.
Drake, the main character of Uncharted features in his own magazine about 'adventure, risk and chances'. The magazine was released a week ago and no one less than Giel Beelen (one of the top Dutch radio DJ's) presented the launch and handed out the first copy to the press.








Below a screenshot of the game, I can't wait until I find time to actually play the game!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Will this be our future? Deus EX: Human Revolution Trailer



It looks stunning!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A-Social Gaming?

Although I HATE the term 'social gaming' - since gaming in itself mostly is a social activity (either with other players or social interaction with your character in the game), I thought I'd post this well designed Infographic about 'social gaming' from Mashable, thanks to Lauren Drell.

It shows you something about the economics of social gaming and apparently some things have changed...! I told my audience yesterday that most of the time just 1% of all gamers is totally hooked on games and spends a lot of cash on in-game items, mostly 9% tries it for one time to see how it works and buys a few credits or in-game products and over 90% plays the game for free. You still need those 'free-players' however to establish a large consumer (player-) base.
This infographic however claims that over 80% of all 'social gamers' (read: gamers that play 'casual games' within 'social networks' or dedicated gameportals) spend REAL cash for VIRTUAL goods.
I found that amazing! Imagine how much money you can make selling virtual branded products in games. I know that Diesel is making MILLIONS in PlayStation Home selling virtual collection.




This graphic also says that Angry Birds have been downloaded 140 million times, but I recently read on Gamasutra that 500 million people are playing the game, so ... another reason why you shouldn't trust to much on research, data and these beautifully designed Infographics... But they give an idea what's happening on my Playground! 



Monday, October 31, 2011

Missing Our Deals Will Haunt You - Little Girl TV Advert - Phones 4u



This young girl surely looks a lot like 'Alma' from the hit-game series F.E.A.R. Don't you think?






This scene REALLY freaked me out the first time I played it through...