Games and Gamification in VR with Danny Stefanic | Episode 103

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Danny Stefanic is the brains behind the world’s first WebXR learning experience platform, LearnBrite. Also founder of 3D internet company ExitReality Inc, founder of the International Virtual Reality Association and chairman of the virtual worlds social network Koinup. Called a “visionary” by his peers and deemed by Wall Street CIOs and Silicon Valley VCs to be “one of the pioneers in his field”, he has been creating ground-breaking 3D businesses for over 25 years.

Danny actively works with young businesses to share his experiences and give back to the community. He has assisted companies with angel investment, international licensing, acquisitions, exits, managing distributed teams and has personally closed IP acquisitions valued at $85MM.

His life has changed quite a bit in the last decade, from having a large games team working out of a warehouse in Australia to now going to a fully remote work and team. Currently, his business is entirely remote and the daily stand-up meeting happens in a virtual 3D office that has documents, experiments and so much more. During the interview, he was in Spain but he can be in many places in the world on a regular basis.

One of Danny’s favorite fails comes from his interest in virtual reality, back in 2000 (after the Internet bubble) he had just exited a company he founded and started working on 3D internet, through an initiative they called Exit Reality. It took 8 years to launch and launched in 2008 as a browser add-on that could convert every webpage into an architectural space that is unique. The technology worked perfectly, the problem is when people went into the environment, they were asking what to do. The social aspect important and it was lacking, the number of users was, especially initially not enough. It was certainly missing gamification as well, there was no incentive for users.

The idea of using different thinking to solve problems is something that Danny is interested in, the concept of lateral thinking was used when naming his business Exit Reality.

Danny often faces the challenge of clients coming to him and they already are set on specific software or technology, before they’ve considered the learning outcomes they’re looking for. A lot of people get entrenched in what is new and want to go down that route without considering all of the options. Danny thinks it is important to be platform-agnostic, you shouldn’t care what platform the user is experiencing it on as long as its meeting the learning outcomes. Ensuring you’re creating user-centered experiences is by far the most important factor to Danny.

He has recently created the VR Training Canvas and assuming you’ve already chosen 3D or user-centered experiences helps you rapidly create a one-page plan of the scope and includes things such as what are the stakeholder expectations. This is the first draft that will be improved over time but this is how he scopes out projects. We also mentioned the Gamification Model Canvas.

His recommendation would be for Dan Ariely to be on Professor Game. He wrote a book called Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, Danny loved that he constantly was finding out new things and constantly engaged throughout reading it and would be inspired to listen to him on the podcast. He would also recommend this book as well as any book by Edward de Bono.

Danny considers his superpower would be thinking platform-agnostic. Many people get stuck in the idea of creating things for one purpose but never to go back on and look at again, building things as experiences that can constantly be improved is important for him. His favorite game at the moment is Assassins Creed and he enjoys the graphics of it as well as the history.

A final piece of advice is around making decisions quicker, failing quicker. If you’re thinking about doing something: take it and do it, don’t let life slip away pondering it.

Perhaps the best way to find Danny is on LinkedIn or at learnbrite.com.

 

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Looking forward to reading or hearing from you,

Rob

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