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A famous example – Nike+
When designed correctly, gamifcaton has proven to be successful in engaging people to
change behaviors, develop skills and solve problems, in many different areas.
Nike+ has turned ftness into a game, designed to solve motvatonal issues when it comes to
running, and has now >18 million members worldwide.
A less famous example – “Zombies, run! 2”
“Players act as an Avatar ("Runner 5“) through a series of missions, during which they run and listen to various audio narratons to uncover the
story. While running, the player collects supplies such as ammuniton, medicine and bateries, which can be used to build and expand their base.
The app can record the distance, tme, pace, and calories burned on each mission through the use of the phone's GPS or accelerometer. When
using the GPS feature, the user can also opt to partcipate in a zombie chase which requires the player to run faster for a short period of tme or
be caught by zombies and lose their supplies, or even fail the mission. “
Who am I to…
• recently read “Reality is Broken”
• took a KTH course in game programming (PyGame)
• took a MOOC course in “Gamification”.
• think it is great fun
•…and I have two kids…
• (both learning math while playing)
What's the fuzz?
Gamification currently peaking on Gartner's Hype Cycle for (2013) Emerging Technologies
Arguments against gamification
The power of gaming is not yet fully understood, and gamers are
sometimes seen as “wasting their time” or not “living in real life”.
and it can be misuse to get people
to things that they don't want to do.
Attention Problems…? Wot?
Not my kids...and anyone with a ten year old can atest that kids spend a lot of tme
spellbound, focused on the task at hand
Lack of atenton – a poorly defned task?
Why Gaming – rewards
Playing games can be seen as a happiness engine (if voluntary)
• Providing constant rewards at difficulty levels we just can master, which
is unlike real life, where things often are too easy or too difficult
We are evolutonary designed for “small” rewards.
Find food, get sleep, etc, etc
Studies reveal that we are happier with constant rewards than winning
a million on the lotery once.
Computers and video games have come a
long way since
and so have those who play them. Todays games are enjoyed by
players all ages and backgrounds.
“No other sector has experienced the same explosive growth as the
computer and video game industry.”
The ten-thousand-hours of practise theory
According to the iconic game-designer Jane McGonigal, the average young American
has spent more than ten-thousand hours playing video or computer games by the age
of 21. This corresponds to the tme spent in elementary school (1th
to the 9th
teached all other subjects in Sweden…
…the conclusion is that these youngsters will not just be good gamers, they will be
exceptonally good gamers. Hence, we will soon have an entre generaton possessing
outstanding technical skills at the same thing – gaming.
What a human resource! Not to be confused with human resources management...
The Cambridge Handbook of Expertse and Expert Performance, K. Anders Ericsson
Gamers exceptionally skilled – at what?
McGonigal's reveals that gamers are exceptonally skilled at one thing – collaboraton.
Collaboraton described as the collectve effort of achieving a joint goal and/or joining forces.
It's about creatng something that would not be possible to do alone.
Sounds a lot like a drug discovery project?! (as well as many other types of projects of course)
Crowdsourcing – Wikipedia
“If you take Wikipedia as a kind of a unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project – every page, every
edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in – that
represents something like the accumulaton of 100 million hours of human thought...It's a back-
of-the-envelope calculaton, but it's the right order of magnitude, about 100 million hours of
thought” –Shirky and Watenberg
No trivial effort – take 1 million people and convince them to spend a hundred hours each,
or take 10 000 people fve full-tme years for free...for no extrinsic reward
But…there are 1.7 billion internet users and 24 hours a day...hypothetcally 100 wikipedia projects
could be pulled off every single day....why are there not more?
Very, very difficult to achieve the necessary critcal mass – spread to thin – too many demands
But there's hope – Wikipedia is a good multplayer game. For example, player acton has direct and
clear results, edits appear instantly giving users a powerful sense of control. There are also
experience points (edit counts), etc
How to crowdsource MP’s expenses?
In 2009 more than 20000 Britons joined forces online to investgate one of the biggest scandals in Britsh
parliament history by playing a game.
According to leaked documents, hundred of members of parliament (MP’s) regularly fled illegal expense
claims, charging tax payers up to tens of thousands pounds.
For example, Sir Peter Viggers claimed £32 000 for personal gardening expenses,
including £1 645 pounds for a “floatng duck island”...?
The public was outraged, and demanded full accountng. Government released all documents, but in a
unhelpful format, an unsorted collecton of more than a million expenses forms and receipts as scanned
Editors at the Guardian knew they needed all the crowd help it could get, and decided to tap the
wisdoms of the crowd with a game.
The Guardian set up a web-site for this (one person, a one week job)
How to crowdsource MP’s expenses?
3 days into the game – more than 2000 players had analyzed 170 000 electronic documents.
Why the success? Rewarding partcipants the right way: emotonal rewards of a good game.
Also using classic game rewards – having a clear sense of purpose, making obvious impact, making
contnuous progress, enjoying a chance of success, and experiencing plenty of fero moments. The game
featured all of these emotonal rewards, in masses.
Easy to take acton and see you impact right away.
• A real-tme actvity feed showed the names of players logged in, and
their actons, made the site feel social, sharing the same experience.
• A series of top contributor lists long-term and short-term to motvate
• “best individual discovery” page for key fndings from individual players
• Key results...on average each MP expensed twice his/hers salary...a
culture of extravagant reimbursement than originally suspected
• At least 28 MP's resigned, and criminal proceedings against 4. Hundreds
of MP's were ordered to repay a total of 1.12 million pounds
The crowd of gamers did this important work faster than any organisation could do...for free!
Linkedin “game” to get people to complete profile
Examples within medicine?
Helping patents taking their pills in tme
Video game to sharpen up elderly brains
Pfzer video game in clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease
AZ sales example
Examples within drug discovery?
Foldit is an online puzzle video game about protein folding. The
objectve of the game is to fold the structure of selected proteins as
well as possible. The highest scoring solutons are analysed by
researchers, who determine whether or not there is a natve structural
confguraton (or natve state) that can be applied to the relevant
proteins, in the "real world".
When playing EteRNA, one can interact with thousands
of other players with the goal to improve computer
models predictng RNA folding.
A Facebook game about drug discovery (BI). It
did not engage me (not realistc, not user-
friendly and not collaboratve)
One(!) example within medicinal chemistry?
A computer game very much like today's compound library enumeraton tools, combined
with a predicton. Not too different to my day-to-day work.
Computer-aided drug design is similar to (serious) gaming – it fulflls many of the criteria required.
One can certainly leverage on game techniques even further.
The software does not all have to run on iPads or the new PS4, and include badges and leaderboards,
but to reach the next level they need to be much more collaboratve and intuitve.
Copy more, copy better!
Jane McGonigal, Reality is Broken
Kevin Werbach, MOOC Gamifcaton
Jordan Shapiro, Twiter, Forbes