Ep 010 My experience at Gamification Europe

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This is a special episode. I’m taking advantage that the release of it is on January 1st and it is the 10th episode, to make this one different. Here I have no guest, it’s just me talking about my experience in the Gamification Europe conference and some key highlights I’d like to share of the talks I was able to personally attend (and actually pay attention to). Also some of my findings during the networking events (coffee breaks, lunch and dinner) In this post you’ll also find links to these talks as I mention them and a list at the end of the ones I couldn’t attend or comment on. Let’s get started!

Day 00 was arriving in Brighton straight to a dinner and interaction with other amazing gamification experts and gurus. This is the picture taken with my phone that has appeared on many of the attendant’s social media (happy to share these things)

Speakers dinner in Brighton before Gamification Europe

Jeff Gomez and the collective journey. This is especially relevant in a classroom setting where there is not a single hero but a collective journey that the learners go through. Certainly a new way to understand storytelling.

Jeff Gomez keynote speaker at Gamification Europe

After this talk cam a networking coffee break, we’ll discuss those fully altogether towards the end.

Next was Joris Beerda’s Octalysis gamification project with an international sales team they helped engage. The project included an overlay of an old map on top of the Google maps that those reps already use every day. Key: integrate what your users are already using.

Then we listened to Toby Beresford talking about how his journey took him into gamification. Key: use data and dashboards to track progress and the metrics in your system.

The next talk featured Jan Storgards whose talk was centered on how he has seen growth in the demand for gamification and the many things we can learn from games. Key: Always be on the lookout for innovation in your area.

We were then split into two groups, I didn’t have the chance of going to the group who participated in a massive escape room lead by Michiel van Eunen, but went to a gamification workshop with Sabrina Bruehwiler and Vasilis Gkogkidis. It was very insightful, I’d encourage you to take a look at the videos and perhaps do an in-house replica for yourself and some colleagues, I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from it. Key: follow a process and include playtesting.

Gamification workshop by Sabrina and Vasilis

Once again in two separate rooms, I then listened to Sylvester Arnab talking about hybrid solutions. We’ve heard of him before, so if you want more go to episode 5 of this podcast! Here: http://www.professorgame.com/podcast/005/

Right after him, I listened to Alex Chalkias, from Nokia in Greece explain how they used gamification to engage their employees in learning about the 5G mobile technology for later implementation in the company. Key: always remember which is your objective when you are doing gamification.

Day one closed with a talk from An Coppens where she delved into FAIL (first attempt in learning). I’m proud to share some of her stories were first told in Episode 004 of Professor Game! Key: remember that your first attempts might fail, be ready for it and iterate on your design.

An Coppens at Gamification Europe

Day two had a slight change of the agenda, as Melinda Jacobs had some flight delays and couldn’t deliver her speech on day one, so that was the first point. She talked about how the narrative is actually the story you are trying to tell with your system. She said for example that not too many people would be willing to play a round of Pacman before the ATM gives them their money… Key: Think of the narrative as the story that you want your learners to take away.

Melinda Jacobs at Gamification Europe

We continued with Marigo Raftopoulos, who went in deep into how gamification arrived into her life but also questioned many of what initially might have seemed to be a success and could also be framed as a failure of gamification. Key: Analyze your results after the implementation of gamification, and think deeply if you have achieved success and where you might want to shift.

Right after we had a lot of fun with professor Karen Cham, a colleague of Pete Jenkins at the University of Brighton.  She reminded us that gamification is not an end in itself, it is a way to achieve a certain objective, which is what I would highlight as the key to her talk.

The next session featured Ercan Altug Yilmaz, who convinced us using many of the known gamification frameworks that gamification works… because of science. Key: use gamification, it works when done well!

Next up was Dominique Mangiatordi who showed us a case study of gamification. Key: remember that cooperation can be a strong driver of behavior!

We also had a lot of fun with Andrzej Marczewski who created a fictional character “Dave” to keep the “names of the innocent” in some FAIL he has observed in his experience. Key: think your rewards through and don’t substitute intrinsic motivation with extrinsic rewards!

Andrzej Marczewski at Gamification Europe

The last section I could deeply pay attention to was the workshop with Michael Wu. It was of great help to take the first steps in gamification using data. Key: when you take a level-up in your gamification and get into more complex systems, remember you need to balance these out.

Gamification workshop by Michael Wu

The last session had three talks in each room, but as I was getting ready to deliver my own I must confess I couldn’t pay as much attention to my two colleagues as I did during the rest of the conference, so I’ll leave you to see the full videos so you can create your own opinions! (For the full list of videos go to the end of this post)

Finally, about the networking coffee breaks, lunches and dinner there were a bunch of highlights. But first, some pictures!

Some fun with Pete Jenkins

Bernardo Letayf Gamification Software of the year award

Keeping it fun with my wife!

  • Talking face to face wins over online every time.
  • Strengthen relations, create new ones.
    • Met (f2f) Marigo Raftopoulos, Melinda Jacobs, Ahmed Hossam, Ercan Altug Yilmaz, Vasilis Gkogkidis, Sabrina Bruehwiler, Jeff Gomez, Pete Jenkins and many more
  • Get last minute ideas for the talk.
  • Listen to others and spark your creativity, a chance to practice active listening.

Last but certainly not least, I have copied here the audio of my talk of Europe, hope you enjoy! BTW, next week we will have Bernardo Letayf from Bluerabbit in Mexico, founder and creator of the Gamification Software of the year. And it’s a software for education, which is his main focus. So stay tuned next week as well!

Here’s my talk at Gamification Europe, the full video and my slides.


  Full list of videos of Gamification Europe (those highlighted with thicker characters are those not commented on this post):
Day 1

Day 2

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