Amy Jo Kim’s Game Thinking Masterclass 2019 | Episode 080

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With a background in neuroscience, computer science, and psychology, Amy Jo Kim is part game designer, part web community architect.

Her design credits include Rock Band, The Sims, Ultima Online, eBay,,, and numerous startups. She’s well known for her 2000 book, Community Building on the Web, and her work applying game design to Web and mobile services.

Kim holds a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington and is an adjunct Game Design professor at Stanford and at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

If you want to know more about her challenges, proud moments, process, favorite game and all the goodness of her first episode, go to Episode 027.

Amy Jo has been working with teams, helping them to build compelling products for many years, and some years ago a client challenged her to empower his team so they could make a great impact! That is when she decided to record some videos to share it with this client for an initial test. It worked like a charm for them, she realized it really worked and re-recorded most of the content to make it a lot better. By now this is running for the fifth year and has been testing length, format and intensity. It currently stands as an eight-week program. She has now even taught it at Stanford. If you have been following her and her frameworks, you will realize that this masterclass has been a product that she has worked on using her own recommendations, she’s eating her own dog-food!

She spent some time describing the types of people who could benefit the most from this masterclass. The first are entrepreneurs, who are visionaries bringing innovative ideas to life (full or part-timers), she feels that this will dramatically accelerate results and increase the odds of success. Another profile is individual practitioners or consultants, of gamification for example, that want to incorporate Game Thinking into the work they do with their clients. She argues that it is ideal to even bring a specific product to work on for the masterclass and to advance on it using the key ideas throughout. Instructional designers, especially those using strategies like games-based learning, would also benefit greatly from the masterclass. One of the mentors is actually Karl Kapp, who is a colleague and one of her best friends. These profiles can expect to get a lot better results in what they’re doing. She also mentioned corporate innovators like product managers who want to get better outcomes, to deal with churn and retention, to unlock the secrets of Game Thinking.

Before actually diving into the masterclass we can have a taste of what it looks like on the inside with some free materials with her three core principles, found in her experience through game hits. It also includes five actionable techniques to find out what customers really want along with a roadmap for using game thinking to a project. It finally has the eight steps to finding product/market fit. It is a free mini-course. If you want to get this, go to The idea is that if you like this then you will almost certainly love the full masterclass! After that, there is a week for signing up to the live masterclass and it gets started!

The Game Thinking Masterclass itself lasts eight weeks work in a flipped classroom: she has videos recorded as prep for the class, which is highly interactive, lab-type and has communities split into groups and subgroups, templates, weekly coaching meetings with her and perhaps an additional coach often, a hot seat if you want to participate (you have 10-15 minutes to explain your situation and get feedback). It can be a lot of work if you dive all-in and use a specific project you want to make huge progress on, that is one way to approach it and you might invest 5-15 hours a week (or even more if you want). The other way to approach the masterclass is to go in for the learning itself, not necessarily with a project in mind currently, and you would be investing perhaps 2-3 hours per week. The videos will be available to you forever, so it could be a good reason to join since registration is only open for so long every year. Time commitment will depend on how much time you have available and, as stated before, on what you want to get from the masterclass.

The masterclass format itself, 8-weeks, coaching sessions, flipped classroom, provides space for real transformation.

If this is something that you might be interested in, starting with the free course to see if it works for you, you can go to There you will find the link to the free course but also if you register for free using that link you will have access to additional content and interactions with Professor Game. Click on the above for more details!


Looking forward to meeting you on the inside,


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