Episode 63 – The Real Neuromancer

Phaedra is out on a well deserved vacation, and the Michael’s spend time thinking about cyber punk novels and current technology. We fight thru a few audio hiccups, but still come in with some deep thoughts. Hanging out and talking about how William Gibson’s Neuormancer is starting to be a reality with some of today’s tech, including Oculus Rift, Google Glass, and smart phones.

But first we have to ask:

Can you teach yourself Kung Fu with augmented reality?


Are you ready for the Tree house of Horror!!!???!!!

Show Links:
Michael R’s iPhone5s Love
William Gibon’s Neuromancer
Game play based on Neuromancer
Bionic Contact Lenses

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Episode 62 – Gamification Carrots & Sticks

Phaedra and Michael M hold down the fort for the podcast, discussing the treatment of video games in the media in the wake of the tragic Navy Yard shootings and drawing some interesting thoughts on the nature of serious games to assist with mental health.

Gamifying Travel
They continue with a discussion on gamifying travel, and explore an idea where the game is to crowdsource the best travel options & prices between city pairs, setting up a competition to find the best solution using humans instead of algorithms.  The suggestion for how to monetize this game brings up the experiment in Sweden with the speed camera lottery, where abiders (those who observe the posted speed limit) are entered into a lottery to win the fines of those that speed.  As is their nature, Phaedra and Michael explore ways to game the game, and come up with some interesting solutions, including having an option in Waze to optimize travel routing to maximize entry into such contests and methods to avoid creating situations such as in Benson NC where people might cruise up and down the road in hopes of getting more entries in the lottery.

Gamifying work processes
Strava is a geolocation-based exercise game for runners and bikers that reward the fastest times on a stretch of road with a crown to be defended and won back, should someone best your time.  Strava is used as a base to consider whether there’s a way to find a process that we want people to comply with, want them to execute as quickly as possible, minimize escapes by reinforcing abiders are put into a lottery to win something of value to them.  The additional randomness of the reward – the carrot – may get more people to opt in and play.  Figuring out what is meaningful to the player is key.  How can gamification and serious games help people to adopt a new process with carrots and sticks?   There is a game in there, we just need to tease it out.  We would love to hear your ideas!

upcoming conferences 
Michael M will be speaking at IBM Business Connect ( http://www-01.ibm.com/software/de/events/businessconnect/agenda.html ) on the theme of Smarter Supply Chain on the 15th of October in Mannheim, Germany.  His other speaking engagements may be found on Lanyrd – http://lanyrd.com/profile/carolinabigblue/

Phaedra will be a panelist on October 28th, at TransOvation (http://www.transovation.org) in San Jose, California, focusing on the theme of “New Technologies and Workplace Practices That Can Help Organizations Become More Innovative”

Selected show links:
Huffington Post article “House Set To Examine Link Between Video Games, Culture Of Violence In Wake Of Navy Yard Shooting”  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/20/video-game-lobby_n_3957441.html
Sweden’s speed camera lottery — http://www.thefuntheory.com/speed-camera-lottery-0
Strava – http://www.strava.com/mobile

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Episode 61 – Future Workplace

Both Michaels listen with rapt attention as Phaedra brings us all up to speed on the Future Workplace 2020 Summit Symposium that she attended this week past week, while teasing two upcoming events: CDC Games for Health and Women Gaming. We then take a quick left turn (that our phones notice due to the new m7 chip) around gaming our health with various sensors and devices. And then spin totally out of control thanks to LinkedIn and it’s game on cheating spouses.

We finally get back on track with a bit of tangible play examples based on the TechCrunch example.

Show Links:
CDC Games for Health Game Jam
Saudi Arabia Female Gaming Convention
Nike
Apple’s M7 Chip and iBeacon
Monktoberfest
Mixing real and virtual gaming
Cheating Spouse Nailed by a game!
Game of Life and on iPhone version

Your Hosts Vizify info:
Phaedra Boinodiris
Michael Martine
Michael Rowe

Links for discussion:
Gaming Talent Management
Gamification is Baloney

Drop us a comment! We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Episode 60 – Bubbly Bubblers in Gamified Buildings

Happy Water CoolerPhaedra, Michael and Michael were delighted to be accompanied by Ross Smith, Director of Test in the Skype division of Microsoft for this show, centered around games for employee engagement.

Ross described the recent work that he and his team have done with giving personality to buildings and using the building itself as the ‘game master’, to orchestrate and facilitate employee engagement.

Games for health
One of the intriguing examples (also discussed in Episode 58, but without the benefit of Ross’s first hand experience) uses a water cooler with personality as the mechanism for gamifying health.  While drinking eight glasses of water a day is a pretty well known health tip (I’m drinking my 4th big glass as I’m writing this!), it is easily forgotten in the hectic business day.  The team at Microsoft gave their water cooler a bubbly user interface and 4 emotional modes (sad, happy, attract/flirt and party) to experiment with increasing the amount of water consumed by the building’s people.  The results:  more water for more people, and a wealth of data, feedback and ideas to continue the innovation.  The picture above was inspired by Ross’ story and is my low-tech example of giving the water cooler in my apartment some personality as well!
Another example is classifying the food choices in the cafeteria as green, yellow and red, and then using that data to guide behavior.  If less healthy food choices are selected, the building might suggest using the stairs or a longer route for a meeting later in the day.  This has helped the team learn more about what people are willing to share, and what they are not, and inform future game design on what should have individual vs team collective goals to maximize participation while respecting privacy.

Games for social / business interaction
The game ISHI was used as the buildings were being opened to help the team come together in an open office, connected community.  Ross described how people may respond to some survey questions indicating preference between skiing and snowboarding, or cat / dog fandom, and then how that kind of data can be used to create groups and teams with common interests and help people to get to know one another even better.  The building invited people to come to a central space, then you have met a number of people with common interest across job roles and functions, with the goal of beating the clock to figure out what do they have in common.  This method of dynamic team creation could be leveraged to bring a creative team together to brainstorm how to solve a client’s problem just as easily.
Windows Language Quality Game was another game with similar tremendous results, this game wound up attracting more than 4,000 people play and review over half a million screens, separating actionable feedback from non-actionable feedback received from public beta testers of Windows software.  Ross noted that rigorous data collection is key, and his experience of 4x – 16x increased participation and results because of the game mechanics can demonstrate even to the skeptics the business impact and win them over.

We were delighted to have Ross on the show with us today, and if you would like to learn more about him and the projects he’s involved in, you can find him on the following links:

Web www.42projects.org
Twitter   @42projects
Facebook  www.facebook.com/42projects
blog  http://42projects.blogspot.com/

We are happy to have had you dialed our way.  You can find us on G+, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and more.  Please comment, friend, tweet and send us topics you would like to hear more about!

Selected show links
ISHI game for the Skype team at Microsoft — http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=200275
ISHI game documentary rough cut — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0W431tP6SM&feature=youtu.be
Water Cooler — http://www.businessinsider.com/like-to-flirt-at-the-office-water-cooler-a-microsoft-intern-built-a-water-cooler-that-flirts-back-2013-8
Vote for Sentient Buildings for SXSW — http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/21393
Microsoft Interns — http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/interns13-082613.aspx
Magic Circle of Play — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Circle_(virtual_worlds)
Everymove.org — https://everymove.org
Chore Wars — http://www.chorewars.com
uTest — http://www.utest.com

Games we’re playing (or thinking about)
Madden 25 — http://www.easports.com/madden-nfl
Assassin’s Creed — http://assassinscreed.ubi.com/en-us/home/index.aspx
SimCity — http://www.simcity.com
Bioshock 2 — http://www.bioshock2game.com/en/
Call of Duty Black Ops 2 — http://www.callofduty.com/blackops/
iPad games for toddlers?  Phaedra would like your suggestions!
Dragon Box — http://research.microsoft.com/apps/video/default.aspx?id=200275
Motor World — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motor-world-car-factory/id580666714?mt=8
Plants vs Zombies 2 – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plants-vs.-zombies-2/id597986893?mt=8

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Episode 59 – Productivity and Pleasure

The gang’s all here and we continue our discussion from last week’s ethics episode. Do you believe that we have the right to be told all the usage of data gathered from any game we play? It it our right, even when the game is free? Is there any difference between games and free services such as Gmail or Facebook? Should the data collection be opt in or opt out? How often do you read the emails you get from your favorite games or services, where they may be changing the terms of service? We discuss all of this and more.

Next week’s show will include Ross Smith from Microsoft, so drop us a comment or question for him in the comments below!

Show Links:
Last Week’s Episode
Clerks
Chasing Amy
Pixel People
Movies about Unicorns
Plants Vs. Zombies 2 – It’s About Time
Logic Pro X
CreepyDOL
Black Hat Conference
Getting Pwnd by power chargers

p.s. The hosts of this show do not promote building of death stars or other devices of mass planetary destruction.

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Episode 58 – Zombies vs Mummies

Porter Stowell joins Phaedra and Michael M for a rockin’ good time across a broad set of topics for this week’s show. Phaedra shares her stories from the Serious Play Conference in Seattle earlier this week, highlighting how Ross Smith has created a building with personality to interact with the people who enter and use it. We playfully riff off of the idea that a water fountain may say “glad to be of service” and how other aspects of the building personality may interact with people, and how municipalities could interact with citizens, rewarding them for taking action to help maintain the city.

Porter highlights how crowdsourcing has been incorporated in charity concerts, and the team speculates how technologies such as Foursquare (and Foursquare mayors) might be engaged for validation of the crowdsourced contributions.

The panel then turns to the question of ethics that was started during last week’s show, and reaches a consensus that disclosure is key for organizations using games to achieve a goal beyond that of simple entertainment. If you play a game, and the outcome of that play may be in the furtherance of another goal, the player should know in advance what their play is helping to attain so they may make an informed decision to play or not. Porter, Phaedra and Michael speculate on what it would take to gain informed consent to build the Death Star, and what kind of spin would be needed to do so.

How does Michael spend his vacation? Well, playing games! He shares his experiences with a couple of iOS games — Sid Meier’s Pirates, Plants vs Zombies 2, Motor World, and Simpson’s Tapped Out. We have an intense discussion as to whether mummies are zombies before Porter calms Phaedra and Michael back down. A thread between Motor World and the Simpsons is that both use doughnuts as a scarce currency. It’s all about the doughnuts.

IMG_0181

Porter has been playing a game played by 30m people, growing by 60% every year, where you sorting through useless data points in order to win. Porter stumped Phaedra and Michael on this riddle – see if you can identify what game it is before Porter gives it away!

Selected show links

Serious Play Conference, Seattle August 19 – 22, 2013 — http://www.seriousplayconference.com
Ross Smith — http://www.linkedin.com/in/rosss42
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy
Bill Gates, The Road Ahead — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Ahead_(Bill_Gates_book)
Nolan Bushnell — http://nolanbushnell.com
Gabe Zimmerman — http://www.gamification.co/gabe-zichermann/
Zoran Povović — http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~zoran/
Fold.it — http://fold.it/portal/
Dragonbox — http://dragonboxapp.com
ESP Game — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESP_Game
reCaptcha — http://www.google.com/recaptcha
World Community Grid — http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org
SETI@Home — http://setiathome.berkeley.edu
Waze — http://www.waze.com
Ender’s Game — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ender%27s_Game
Sid Meier’s Pirates — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sid-meiers-pirates!/id499794670?mt=8
Plants vs Zombies 2 — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/plants-vs.-zombies/id350642635?mt=8
Motor World — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motor-world-car-factory/id580666714?mt=8
Simpson’s Tapped Out — https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-simpsons-tapped-out/id497595276?mt=8
Techmo Bowl — http://tecmobowl.org

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Mummies, Microsoft, Motors and much, much more!

Listeners — you are in for quite the treat, with a jam-packed show from last Friday, filled to the brim with stories from Seattle, debates about whether mummies are zombies (or whether Egyptian zombies are mummies!), buildings that have come alive with Microsoft technology, games with pirates and automobile construction and oh, so much more. So much more, that it is taking even longer for our post-recording team to create the audio file you need to hear. When we say “it’s all about the doughnuts”, you will see exactly what we mean shortly.

We’re aiming for Tuesday, so stay tuned!

Episode 57 – These Are Not The Hosts You Are Looking For

While our Co-Host Michael Martine is on a bit of a well deserved holiday, Phaedra and Michael R look at wether Carrot is a good example of a social to do app. We also review how social investment may work based on Wired magazine’s work with Kapital, and then we go off on a tangent when Michael R – mis-reads an article. We look forward to our rescheduled interview with Emotiv CEO Tan Le. And, we tee up the idea of ethics and a game’s actual intent – should they be obvious to the player? All this and more – on Games At Work dot Biz!

Show Links:
Emotiv Kick Starter
Stealth Version
Carrot App
The Social Index
When the Title is mis-leading

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Episode 56 – The Shame Game

Do you want to overlay the world or replace it? This is the question that your friendly co-hosts discuss as we learn that Oculus Rift has gotten a new CTO. Do you want to augment your face with constant data and insights? What layer of the world are you watching? Were the Vapors prescient in the their lyrics for “Turning Japanese?

Phaedra then gives us insights in the minds of finding a good sale. Is this the ultimate game for some? How viscerally do you play your savings game? Is it fun to save your business money by playing the compliance game? We have a bit of rant on the value of gaming compliance. What do you think, let us know in the comments below.. Do you play the shame game?

Stay tune for our special guest next week – Emotiv CEO Tan Le! Go support their KickStarter for the Emotiv Insight

Show Links:
twitter has a business model
Halcyon Days – Jason and the Scorchers

John Carmack Joins Oculus as CTO
High Fidelity
Dark Helmet reference
Google Chromecast – that Chrome thingy…

Who’s got time to Play Games

Business Travel is Dying
Gamifying Travel Compliance

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Episode 55 – Do Not Play This Game At Work

Tom Grant, analyst from Forrester Research, joins the show to talk about his new website Serious Games At Work and his love of board games. We look at a listener link on do Games at Work really help productivity. Realizing they are probably asking the wrong question. They should be asking – Should you be playing pirates games at work? If so, who get’s the red stapler?

Seriously, we discuss that the game part has to be more of a periodic entry into the Magic Circle, and not a mandatory daily activity. This allows businesses to achieve effective optimization, while still keeping the game fresh and engaging. Have you thought about refreshing your serious game content to keep your employees or customers engaged?

Show Links:
Serious Games At Work
Twitter
Crusader Kings II
Scourge of War – Gettysburg
Breakaway Games
Avalon Hill
World Boardgame Championships
Homo Ludens
Buy A Feature
Do Games At Work Help Productivity
Microsoft’s Language Quality Game

Obligatory causal reference to Daniel Pink

Monopoly removes jail
The Dinner Party Download
The Rant Episode

Saving Throws:
Emotiv Insight Kickstarter
Jaw Bone Up Team
Hospital Process Game
Serious Games At Work
Endgame Eurasia

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