Future Spirals of Gamification at AVG

Gamification is one of those buzzwords which popularity grows exponentially lately and, as often happens, which meaning becomes fuzzy and diluted. I was asked by AVG, a software security company, to share our take on gamification and specifically on the the future of gamification (an invitation came from Maurice McGinley, an ex-Philips Design colleague of mine who is now heading an innovation group in the company).

When talking about the future(s), I often have to talk about the past first, and in this case it was a *very* distant past: in fact, I had to talk about entire history of human kind – and all that in an hour or so! To cope with this task, I had to chose the framework very carefully, so I bet on Spiral Dynamics. The result was an interactive workshop for the AVG team, wich combined a theoretical introduction and a number of practical exercises (mini-games).

The ‘theory’ part was structured along the ‘colors’, or vMemes, as formulated in the Spiral Dynamics, and for each of them I also provided a set of ‘gamification’ strategies and methods. This hopefully allowed me to present gamification not as a set of random tricks, but a phenomena intricately linked to both social and cultural and norms, and at the same time propose some ideas about possible future developments.

To convert these otherwise fairly abstract ideas into some actionable framework, we developed – and played during the workshop – a couple of games, enacting ‘gamification’ for different vMemes – here you can see the moment of one of such games:

From what I can judge, the exercises (and the workshop in general) was very well received; we even managed to run it internationally, since the Czech team from Prague was also able to join, and not only listen to the story but play as well (this ‘Czech’ aspect was also pleasant for me; I lived in Prague for one a half year, when I studied Sociology at the Central European University).

“It was an informative and useful workshop”, says Maurice McGinley, head of UX Innovation at AVG. “It gave us a clear framework to understand the workings and motivations of gamification. I have a new set of practical handles and hooks to help me approach new design project”.

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