Pau Yanez talks about geolocated gamification in education | Episode 069

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Pau has a degree in pedagogy and master in ITC applied to education. Pau is an entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience in the creation of digital businesses related to video games, serious games, gamification and mobile technologies. Among others, the businesses he has created are City Nostra, a geolocation video game set in the Sicilian Mafia; Geomotion Games, a consulting and R+D+i company in Gamification for Smart Cities; and PlayVisit, a startup based in Barcelona reinventing tourism and cultural heritage through location-based games and gamification. Pau is a big fan of strategy and resource management video games but also real-life video games that makes you go out and discover the world. He also loves to travel to discover new cities and countries, as well as to practice outdoor sports such as trail running or trekking.

Pau’s days are quite varied but he has some basic days that help him get organized. He starts at 6 am every day to walk his dogs! Then its breakfast and the first thing at work is to do the daily catch-up with the team. Then, depending on the day it can be meetings, events, networking, visiting clients, paperwork or other things. Then around 6 pm in the afternoon, he tries to have some time with his girlfriend and to play games (but this has been reduced lately). On some days he might be traveling because of international projects as well.

His favorite fail is related to City Nostra, bear in mind this was way before the explosion of Pokemon Go! and the whole location-based games. They were quite focused on the game itself, which ended up being one of their failures because this meant they left behind the business side of things because they couldn’t make enough money to make the game sustainable! The learnings they got was to be able to balance between business and game-design/development. Now he feels that his projects are only a success when these two are well balanced. It is always important to keep your objectives in mind! Otherwise, you can get lost only in the gameplay (which is a lot of fun of course) and lose sight of why you are there in the first place.

One of his proudest success stories comes from Geomotion Games. It is am R&D innovation that they have worked on together with Sylvester Arnab on the Beaconing Project. The objective was to create a technological tool so teachers could create games themselves, using ideas they got from previous projects like City Nostra. The idea was to make their lives easier because they are not necessarily familiar with programming. They managed to get them to create these experiences without needing to program a single line, using location technologies. This is something that can still be checked out at beaconing.eu and register to experiment with the tool!

His process to implement gamification is based on a participatory process, involving customers and/or final users. They bring together their team with the customers and users and use tools like the Gamification Model Canvas by Sergio Jimenez of Aiwin and the Gamification World Congress. This is a way to get a lot of input from the client and then they use their expertise in the company to make a proposal.

A best practice for Pau would certainly be to know your audience, he argues that if you know them you will be able to create something specifically for their motivations. Another one would be the co-creation because it will give them more involvement and ownership and certainly increase your odds of success. For the understanding of the users he creates user personas to have different profiles of the potential users, for example, if its for teachers you will have different categories or profiles so you can cater your design, when you make decisions you are trying to fit the different user personas. It needs to be as realistic as possible.

He argues he doesn’t have a single one favorite game, he likes resource-management games. If he had to name only one (or two) he would mention Cities Skylines and Starcraft II! Pau would love to listen to Oscar García Pañella! His book recommendation would be The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell. By the end, if you follow the advice and exercises, you can call yourself a game designer. The superpower of his team would be to know how to make people move around the city through their games!

The random question this time was around the improvement of teaching through gamification and Pau had a great answer! Listen to it on the episode by clicking play above!

We can find Pau on LinkedIn as Pau Yanez or on their website geomotiongames.com! Thanks, Pau for all the insights.

 

There are many ways to get in touch with Professor Game, you can go to my Twitter @RobAlvarezB, my Instagram, our Facebook Page, subscribe to our email list and even ask a question to future guests!

Looking forward to reading or hearing from you,

Rob

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