If you head to Google today and search for 'Zerg Rush,' you’ll get the appropriate search results and soon find your page bombarded by an onslaught of 'O's that will eat away at your results.
Tracking the hot trend of gamification -- using game-like elements to boost engagement in everything from social games, such as Zynga's FarmVille, to losing weight and staying on top of your finances.
<p>Texas native Libe Goad resides in New York City and has spent the past decade covering technology and video games for publications including Blender, PC Magazine, Bust, Seventeen and Sync. <p> Libe is currently the Editor-in-Chief of AOL's award-winning Games.com group, covering the growing social and casual games industry. Previously, she reported on consumer technology news for PC Magazine and other Ziff Davis properties and was the Editor-at-Large for gaming enthusiast site HappyPuppy.com. In 1999, Goad founded the one of the first women-targeted gaming/technology websites, GameGal.com. <p> A semi-regular TV talking head on CNBC, Bloomberg News, ABC, CBS, NBC and others, Libe has been named one of the 50 Most Influential Games journalists by Next-Generation, and has served as a judge for Spike TV's VGA awards, the E3 Game Critics Awards, and Independent Games Festival Awards.
It’s hard to argue about the evils of gamification when it’s being used to inspire people and corporations to act responsibly, whether that’s to improve your waistline, learn basic mathematics or, in the spirit of Earth Day, to go green. There have been many programs, both online and in the real world, that have offered cash for recycling cans, or discounts in exchange for used ink cartridges.
The first really major consumer hardware application for gesture control was Microsoft's Kinect. This high-tech camera accessory plugged into an Xbox 360 to add gesture and motion control, as well as voice commands to the popular game console.
The Nike+ FuelBand has appeared on my radar several times from several sources over the past few weeks. In each case, this high-tech exercise-tracking wristband has so inspired the people who use it that they're inventing their own games to play with it.
Unless you've been hiding out under a rock (and even then) chances are you're at least aware of the hit new mobile/social game called Draw Something. From casual game-maker OMGPOP (now officially a part of Zynga), this iOS game is best described as Words With Friends meets Pictionary.
It doesn't matter where you run.It doesn't matter how fast you run.
If you’ve been thinking, “Hmm, how can I gamify my mobile apps?” -- BadgeVille purports to have the answer.
A recently approved proposal to allow iPads to be installed in NYC taxis offers some very interesting possibilities, putting what may be the world's most popular game-playing gadget potentially in front of millions of taxi riders.?? Before getting too excited, note that this is just a year-long pilot program, currently approved for 30 cabs in New York (out of about 13,000 total).
The conference entirely devoted to the topic of using game-like mechanics to enhance real life is back, and will be held in San Francisco June 19-21.The three-day conference, called The Gamification Summit 2012, will include a new 'inspirational format' where there will be no panels.
Over the past week we’ve witnessed a fascinating phenomenon in games. Double Fine, a game developer run by lauded game maker Tim Schafer (Secret of Monkey Island, Psychonauts), asked fans to directly invest in its next big project.
Bring up the word ‘gamification’ to many game makers and you’ll get a common response -- a facial expression that’s similar to what you might have after accidentally stepping in dog droppings on the street. Google ‘Gamification, bad word’ and you’ll find your share of diatribes against this whole trend, though the problem seems to be less about the idea -- using game-like mechanics to change behavior -- and more about the term used to describe it.
In one of those rare, only-on-the-Internet moments, an anonymous former Zynga employee has opened the floodgates, speaking in great detail about his experiences, both good and bad. The question-and-answer session, hosted on reddit, has already cased a firestorm of controversy, and it should be required reading for anyone interested in gamification, casual and social games, or the interactive entertainment industry in general.
To be honest, I have a lot more interest in the high-profile Super Bowl commercials than the Super Bowl itself. But football is, under all the money and hype, still a game, and the natural question to ask is, how do we tie interactive and/or video games in with this once-a-year cultural experience?
Spending much of my time delving into the trends driving social and casual games, it's worth noting a slow-burn development that may be of use to gamification developers. The once lowly Hidden Object Game, or HOG, has come to eclipse farming/city building/etc.
So many game mechanics rely on proprietary points systems, especially gamification plays that involve collecting or loyalty card programs. Is the humble 'point' a needless level of abstraction?