Last week was the 5th edition of Gamification World Congress. I have to admit, it was great fun. There were some extremely good talks, I especially enjoyed the parallel stage that had a nice mix of academic and practical talks going on.
A couple of highlights for me were Kevin Werbach and Yu Kai Chou. Kevin spoke about the need for more rigour in the industry, to start using more empirical data and not just intuition – a cause close to my heart these days! Yu Kai, in the face of his slides not working, pulled off a fabulous talk from the heart about the industry and how important games are to him and us all.
I have to mention An Coppens as well. On the first day she ran a fantastic workshop that highlighted how to design for different people, genders, ages and needs. She also kept the event on the second day flowing after a cracking opening talk. To top it all off she managed over the course of the second day to teach a room full of people the Macarena. She helped make the event even more fun with her energy throughout the day!
One of the things that made me smile was to see a number of talks mention my work, either the Hexad or other frameworks and odds and ends that I have created. It makes me very happy to know people are finding my stuff useful in the industry!
It was nice to see the industry is moving in the right direction, and the sense of community that has been built. However, there is still much to be done. There was the age old issue of people saying the same things as had been said year in year but never quite proving they had done them. There was also the issue of people not understanding what gamification is in some cases. But, all2 in all it was a wonderful event and I got to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones along the way.
I also was honoured to receive the award for Best Contribution to the Industry 2016 – for which I am hugely grateful and a little surprised. I was up against Yu Kai, Kevin Werbach, An Coppens and Pete Jenkins – all strong contenders!
Attached are the slides I used – turn up the volume when you click through them. If I said I came out to Motorhead’s Play the Game, you’ll get an idea why practical-play-2.pptx