Ep 038 Deep Dive into Gamification with Dutch Driver

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Dutch Driver is a fanatical apostle for gamification, organizational development, and communication. Dutch’s 15+ years in organization development embraces a broad-reach of sectors; chiefly in Aerospace, the Federal government, Healthcare, Higher Education, and non-profits. He is a NASA certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a Certified Scrum Master in the Agile project management process, certified at Master Level III in Gamification, and certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator provider. He holds a B.A. degree from McMurry University and an M.A. degree from Texas A&M University.

Dutch gets up around 8-8:30 and goes into social media. Then he usually has breakfast and then gets back to work. He’s currently doing a deep dive into chatbots and he’s doing a live coaching chatbot, so that’s his current main focus (derived from his founder’s syndrome.) There’s a lot of potential in chatbots for many fields, certainly including gamification. Something he’s running across is that none of the platforms have an in-built gamification capacity, which is something that perhaps should be looked into given that churn is one of the main concerns in chatbots. Given that the click-through rate is huge compared to email, it is something that is definitely worth looking into. It is still exciting to receive a message through a messaging app.

His FAIL (First Attempt in Learning) story happened back when he was still in Alabama. He was in deep into gamification. He had gone through the training of Yu-kai Chou, Monica Cornetti, Gabe Zichermann, Mario Herger. This, however, didn’t translate into a massive amount of projects. One of the few projects he had with a local makers shop. They were trying to motivate their members to act on their membership. This was an entrepreneurial venture, later on, Dutch realized that this profile of entrepreneurs didn’t realize the need for gamification since they were yet to test their market and ideas. He was doing this pro bono, and you can see on the internet many people give away some free things with a purpose which is fine and can work. However, as he was starting out and they were also starting out, it was probably not the best idea to work with such structure, they needed to put some skin in the game to value his work. Getting people invested in the project is fundamental, this can be financial, personal or on any level, but its fundamental to get their real commitment towards a project. In some way, you need to cross the threshold into some sort of ownership for all those involved. In Dutch’s case, the client wasn’t even emotionally invested and when it didn’t come exactly as he expected, the easiest thing was to walk away and leave all of the work that he had done, basically undone.

One of his greatest success stories goes back to around 2009 when he wasn’t even intentionally applying gamification, he used to be scrum master and he was invited by the NASA leadership had trouble communicating that they would shut down a certain project. It was something fundamental for them, within their culture, to not be disloyal to the group. So Dutch went and used some agile techniques, writing some of the issues on index cards, then prioritized these issues and they found out what were the priorities for leadership. They quantified each of the issues (with Fibonacci numbers) and they would write down how big of an issue it was for each of them privately, then once they were all finished they flipped their number simultaneously. The discussion was very rich since you had people on all the range most of the time. This was something that was constantly being discussed around the water cooler but never arrived at formal discussions because they wanted to remain loyal to the group. This involved many different strategies, from agile to organizational development, passing through problem-solving and gamification.

Regarding Dutch’s process certainly involves the use of metaphors. He’s found that many times users end up disengaging with a platform because it goes stale, it runs out of new ideas. To tackle this, he uses sports metaphors, especially because in the US you have a month by month theme that you can use, for instance, January has the National College Football Championship, then comes the Super Bowl, in February he inserts the Oscars (not sports, but certainly a big part of pop . culture!), then in March its about basketball, then the masters from golf and so on. He loosely uses the rules of these games or activities for the motivational framework for the system. So there is, every year, a connection to an activity that repeats and is fresh and different! This also helps the understanding and minimizing the onboarding because many people already understand the rules.

A best practice for Dutch is certainly to use metaphors. This is not really far away from using narrative but also considers the rules of the examples used to incorporate and onboard the players much faster, it brings in familiarity. This could even help to stay away from the overload that John Meehan mentions in his episode.

His favorite game is Sherlock by Everett Kaser, it is a logic game, it is easy to get caught up in it. He has found that the game Journey has been the most engaging for him. He enjoyed especially a mechanic that means that you can meet other players, however, you cannot talk to them, it is just a small sound and that’s all the possible verbal communication, which he finds as the most meditative game he has ever found.

Dutch would really enjoy listening to Andrzej Marczewski on Professor Game once again! He would also want to listen to David Chandross. He would recommend Jane McGonigal’s “Reality is Broken.” Something else he would recommend is to go to YouTube and look for gamification tutorials, especially Google Talks.

His superpower would be user experience, especially since he’s been around for quite a while. His final advice would be to get into the Gamification Hub, find interesting hashtags on Twitter and save them so you can get back into it when you want. Keep in mind it is very important to find your tribe, it provides support, feedback and a great source of interesting conversations!

We can find Dutch on Twitter @Dutch_Driver, on Facebook Gambitions and even his email dutch [dot] driver [at] gmail [dot] com.

One thought on “Ep 038 Deep Dive into Gamification with Dutch Driver

  1. Pingback: Ep 040 [Part 2] Play all the games to create gamification with Tracy Wazenegger and Jon Cassie – Professor Game

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