Humans are mainly happy when they experience two situations: working towards a motivating goal and reaching that goal to receive the rewards. It is the promise of a future, improved situation that makes us get out of bed every day and it’s the day our work is rewarded that makes us feel a deep satisfaction…Until we want the next one.
This system is at the core of every human being. It is what drives us through difficult times, and help us overcome, one after the other, the obstacles life throw at us. It is deeply hard-wired in our brains and that is exactly why we love games so much.
"Playing a game is the voluntary effort to overcome unnecessary obstacles." Bernard Suits
Remember the first time you played Super Mario. Could you do just one level? Could you stop after 5 minutes of playing? If you’re a human like me, chances are you got addicted to the game too. I felt a deep sense of satisfaction everytime I overcame an obstacle I was struggling with for a time, and I was really happy when I finished a level. The game made me go through too many good emotions to stop right there. I had to click "continue" to try the next one.
This is such a powerful tool. People’s brain is designed to want more good emotions created by the games. Obvisouly I’m not the first one to recognize this, since this is what gave birth to the trend we’re currently seeing called gamification.
Gamification is the art of transforming anything into a game-like experience. We’re seeing it taking over by brands mostly in marketing and education. When games was just a succession of unnessary obstacles, brands decided to add meaning into the mix and attach their marketing messages to a fun experience. Customers can now learn about a product in a fun and addictive way.
For example, when Nissan wanted to market their new 100% electric Nissan Leaf, they created an app linked to the car where customers could monitor their performance and environmental effort and compare to other Leaf’s owners. Nissan ranked them in a leaderboard and the best performers could receive rewards such as a 3 years complimentary service. This experience was a success.
But here, at Lift, we dive deeper into the impact of new trends in technology. Needless to say that it is technology that enabled the rise of gamification. But what impact can it create? Is it just about selling more cars?
The answer is no, of course. We looked around and found some great examples of meaningful projects powered by gamification.
Urgent Evoke is a project created by the World Bank where you are the hero omaf a comic book story where you’re asked to find solutions to real world problems. World Bank calls it the “Crash Course in Changing the World”. Those who complete the required challenges earn the distinction of “World Bank Institute Social Innovator.” They even took it a step further: the winners from the original graduating class in 2010 received benefits such as seed funding for new ventures, travel scholarships at the EVOKE Conference in Washington, D.C., and online mentorships with business and social leaders from around the world. All thanks to a game. Cool, would you say?
But the domain where gamification has its biggest impact is education. The learning process can be overwhelming, especially if you are doing it the old-fashioned way. I remember trying to learn by heart german vocabulary by reading it. Horrible. I tried with cards with a word on one side and the translation on the other, and it became a bit more fun. I learned better. It was the beginning of gamification.
Nowadays, hand-written two-sided cards is something of the past. Kids are learning to code with Raspberry Pi and think like entrepreneurs with Minecraft.
Can you picture a kid being able to build anything that comes out of his imagination. No more laws of physics or some kind of rule. That definitely create outside the box thinkers. You know us, we like to think about tomorrow. What is the next field that will benefit from gamification, and come together with the most meaning?
Gamejam was a 3 days hackathon that took place during #Lift16. We gathered different skills and amazing people to work on a project to gamify what we think is the next field suitable for innovation.
Everyday, kids who are suffering from Mucoviscidose have to perform exercises to clear their lungs in order to breath more easily. These exercices consists of blowing into a tube for 1 hour to get the muccus out. Every day kids are doing this tedious, boring but vital task. It has been 50 years now since patients having Mucoviscidose last saw an innovation in their treatment. We wanted to change that thanks to the power of gamification.
The idea is to use the heavy breathing as a controller to the game. Breathing out becomes the action that control the hero in the game, so it becomes less meaningless for the patient.
The first day saw some amazing action:
The second day saw some challenges but we overcame them by being awesome :)
Overall, the experience convinced us that healthcare is a field where gamification can play a huge role. The Lake Geneva Region is becoming the Health Valley of the world, so we believe that Gamejam has an opportunity to propose their knowledge and game design skills as a go-to solution for medtech startups.
Whatever the result, what truly is inspiring is the potential to change the perspective on the most tedious, painful and unpleasant tasks in the world and the powers it creates.
I strongly encourage you to think about the one task on which you could have the biggest impact, no matter the field, and tell us in the comments section below.
Maybe we can do something about it, so that playing games becomes the voluntary effort to overcome meaningful obstacles.
More information about the Game Jam at Lift16 here
Another day trip to beautiful Vienna for a last round fo visits in order to select the venue(s) for an upcoming innovation workshop organized for 120 people. After an intense day we've decided to host most of the event in a Hotel while organizing a special half-day program at the old Vienna's stock exchange. Can't wait to make this event happening!
It's time for the Global Entrepreneurship Week to take place. The city is buzzing with tons of events and happenings related to entrepreneurship! See you on Friday at the University of Geneva to crown the winner of the Pitch contest where I'll be a member of the jury.
Honored to participate to the official inauguration of -Pulse Incubator HES with all the representants of the schools of HES-SO in Geneva as well as members of the City and Canton of Geneva. We loved working on this project and we are looking forward to contributing to -Pulse future endeavours.
Facilitating a 3-day agile design sprint for a team of scientist from a Pharma company in beautiful Copehagen. It's time for the to work hard in order to prototype, test and learn while having some fun too!
Today we're selecting the first cohort of entrepreneurs and innovators that will join -Pulse Incubator HES in September 2019. The jury is looking forward to discover the pre-selected batch of projects!
Participating in the Strategyzer Bootcamp to sharpen my innovation management and innovation skills. It's a great opportunity to deepen my understanding of innovation tools and exchange with a fantastic cohort of practitioners.
Co-facilitating a 3-day innovation workshop with Greg Bernarda in a beautiful venue along Lago Maggiore. This is the 2nd out of a series of 3 workshops to support pilots projects from a Pharma company. Experts are invited to co-design and support teams in order to navigate uncertainty and de-risk their projects.
Today is the graduation ceremony of the third edition of the CAS Kick Off. The CAS Kick Off is a program that I'm organizing since 2016 with HEAD Geneva, fostering entrepreneurship and self-marketing for designers and creatives. Our 2018-19 cohort will pitch before receiving their diplomas, exciting!
Facilitating Lift:Lab Seoul with Jean-Henry Morin, a one-day creativity sprint offering an opportunity for participants to collaborate towards identifying new ideas, designs or ventures leveraging technology to serve challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
I'm facilitating a the Swiss-Korean startup workshop in Seoul to help startups from each country to develop mutual trust and creativity, learning with and from each other, while exchanging about business difficulties and tricks.
Delighted to join the Swiss-Korean Innovation Week 2019 organized by the Science & Technology Office Seoul, where experts from Switzerland and Korea active in the academic and industrial worlds are invited to bring visions and examples for a “smart living”.
We're facilitating a hackathon during Open Geneva for students from HES-SO Geneva to support them in their innovation journey. The format has been designed to foster interdisciplinarity among engineers, designers, artist and business students.
Facilitating a 2-day workshop with a big Pharma company in collaboration with Greg Bernarda. This is the first of a series of 3 workshops planned during the year to support pilots projects to go from idea to execution.