What is gamification? I thought you'd ever ask. This is all very new, so there is not one universally accepted definition. But let me offer you the following, which has the major components that we see, generally, when people talk about the concept. Gamification is the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts. There are three parts to that definition. The first is game elements. I'll talk about this in much more detail, what exactly that means in a later session. The second is game design techniques. And the third is non-game context. So let me give you an example or two and then I'll explain about each of these in a little bit more detail. So, the first example is Nike Plus. Nike of course, make shoes. They make running shoes and therefore, Nike wants people to run more. And so what they do with Nike Plus was they developed a device, uses a piece of equipment called an Accelerometer, that fits into the sole of your shoe. And it tracks every single step you take when you're running. And so therefore, the device knows how far and how fast you're running and it communicates wirelessly with a Smartphone or your PC, which can aggregate together all of that data. And then what Nike did was build a set of applications around it, that made the experience of running more game-like. So, the Nike Plus Application has some functions like for example, telling how far you've run, the fastest run you've ever had, the longest run you've ever had, various kinds of tracking data. You can also compare yourself to previous times and so forth to track what you're doing. But then interestingly, you can also establish goals and challenges. And if you are successful in achieving those goals, you get a trophy or a medal. Now that sure seems a lot like a game. And Nike has built all sorts of other features into this system including the ability to compete against friends, or the ability to get encouragement from friends. And overall what this does is takes the experience of running and makes it feel somehow more like the experience of engaging in some kind of game. Now you're still going out and running. This is not saying, go sit down in front of your computer and play a running game and see how fast the avatar, the character in the computer can run. No, you're actually going out and running but the game structures around it help to encourage you and to make that whole experience of running feel somehow richer and more rewarding. Second example, also for the purpose of getting people to run but it looks very different. So this is something called Zombies Run. And the theme here is that you're being chased by an army of blood thirsty zombies. Pretty common kind of motif, hopefully not something that any of you have experienced, but a common setup for games. Only here the goal is not to get you to sit indoors on your smart phone and play the game. The goal is to get you to take that phone with you and go out and run. And as your are running, the Zombies Run game is telling you that actually the reason you're running is that you are running from the army of zombies that wants to kill you and eat your brains. And as you go you'll, you'll hear from the game the zombies are getting closer and you can see on a map where they are. You can get to power packs that will help you get special powers, or go faster. Your friends can get in the mix as well. The game that you are playing it's a very lightweight game, but it's taking the experience of running and now subtly making it feel like more fun. Subtlly adding another dimension to that experience of running. Different kind of added dimension to what we saw in Nike Plus this is a much more immersive. Kind of game-like experience as opposed to the challenges and rewards and so forth that Nike Plus had, but both are examples of using game elements and game design techniques to serve a purpose which itself is outside of the game. So, those are good examples of what we're talking about here. So now le t's go back to the definition and unpack in some more detail what these three aspects are, game elements, game design techniques, non-game context. First of all, game elements. You can think of game elements as the toolbox if you will. The pieces that you have to work with. If you are trying to build some kind of service that uses the bits and pieces of games. Not the game themselves, but the regular design patterns that make up the games. So, let me give you the example. This is Empire and Allies. It's a casual social game on Facebook made by Zynga. And clearly this is a game. We can see the kind of graphical interface that we typically see in a game and the various kinds of, pieces that give a game-like experience. You don't need to know how to play the game, you can just can look at it and see that's a game. But, if we look below the surface, we can start to break down, what are some of the elements of that game. So for example, the game has, points. A way of keeping score as you are accumulating something in the game. That's a very common thing that's in games. We sorta take it for granted that lots of games, especially online or computer games have points. But that's the whole point, if you, well, it's a regular pattern that occurs in many of these games. Similarly, you can level up you can collect resources here I believe these are barrels of oil that you've accumulated that you use to build other more complex things in the game. The game can send you on quests to find missions where the game says, go defeat this enemy, and you'll get certain kinds of rewards. Avatars, showing your character. The social graph showing you your friends, who you can play with or challenge and so forth. These are all, bits and pieces that go to make up this experience that is Empires and Allies. They're not the whole experience. There's a lot more to the game than this. But they are parts of the game that we can pull out and then think about reusing. And the point here with gamification is that we can do this with games. We can look at what are the elements at different levels of the game, but we can also do the same thing for services that are not games. So here's an example, this is called KEAS. It's a service that, helps people in companies, engage in activities to make them healthier. Whether that's exercise or eating well, and so forth. The company was started by a guy named Adam Bosworth who, was at Microsoft and BDA Systems and later ran Google Health. And, he has, the way it works is that you form groups within your company and you get a series of challenges and you report on your activities, things like exercising and so forth. And what we see here is exactly the same kinds of elements that we saw in Empires and Allies. So, we see again the points and we see again the levels. And if you look at this interface for points and levels in KEAS, it looks very similar to the one that we saw in Empires and Allies. I mean, graphically it's almost the identical thing on the screen and that's not by accident. Here KEAS is using a familiar structure that some of their players or participants may have seen and not only adopting those conceptual elements, but adopting some of the aesthetics of them as well. Similarly here are the quests that you go on, here's the social graph, seeing what your friends do, here are the avatars. The, the visual graphical representation of each participant here we also see rewards. If you do certain things in the game, you get more points, or you get other benefits. And down here you can't really see it on the screen but you see the label for it, badges. These devices that demarcate or represent a certain achievement in the game. So, there are exactly the same game elements in the KEAS service as in Empires and Allies but you can see there is a great deal over lap and a notion of elements. The notion that there are these regular design patterns is something that's common across games as well as gamified services. So, that's what I mean when we're talking about game elements. The second thing here to talk about in gamification is game design techniques. And the reason we need to talk about that is that games are not just the elements. As I already said, there's partly the visual experience of the game. But more than that, games are not just a jumble of elements that have been stuck together in some haphazard way. Games are things that are designed systematically, thoughtfully, artistically for the purpose of being fun. And, so the things game designers do is not just a matter of pure engineering. There's a lot of engineering involved. There's a lot of algorithms, a lot of technology involved but there's also an artistic experiential side of game design that involves thinking about problems in a certain way. And that involves taking an approach that uses concepts that are common to all forms of design as well as some concepts that are novel and specific to designing these things called games. And here especially I'm talking about video games although some of them relate to all games. That kind of practice is something that like the game elements can be applied outside of games. And some examples of gamification are more focused on the elements and some of them are more focused on the game design modality. And some have elements of both, that's why both are part of the definition. The other thing to understand about, game design techniques, is that it involves a way of thinking. It's not just a set of practices, but it's a way to approach the challenges that you have. And so, later on the course, I will talk in much more detail, but just what that mean to think like game designer. The third piece here is non-game context. And here we mean anything other than the game for its own sake. So, when you're playing a game, you're playing to have fun in the game. But if you are playing say, for reasons that relate to your business. You're playing because you are serving some objective of your company or you're playing because you're trying to learn something that's relevant to your work. Or you're playing to get a job. Then that's a non-game context. What you're doing may still be game like but the purpose, the rationale for the experience is something outside of the game. It's some purpose that has a validity and a intention independently of the experience of the game. And that doesn't just have to be business although, most of the examples we use will start with that context. It could be something like running. Now running is important to Nike for the purpose of selling shoes but running is important to people who are doing it for the purpose of being healthy and for the purpose of having all of the benefits that people feel like they get from running. So, non game context is anything, where your objective is outside of the game. So, circumstances were something involves some combination of game elements and game design that is for a purpose other than playing the game, that's gamification.