Does the idea of “turning everything into a game” just sound silly to you?

Then your business might soon just be someone else’s football and you may become nothing more than their pawn

Just because business is only just beginning to realise that serious gamification (turning everything you get your clients to do into a kind of game) can work, doesn’t mean that you can afford to just sit back and wait for the results

To bring yourself up to date on the rapidly burgeoning practice of gamification you need to watch what is undoubtedly becoming a ‘seminal video’ on the subject of ‘introducing game mechanics into things other than games’ which is a presentation (widely described as mind-blowing) by Jesse Schell.

Now that you’ve been swept away by Jesse’s tsunami, it’s time for a more calm and detached examination of the current state of the gamification art

Here’s Jesse’s work-life story:

Jesse Schell founded Schell Games in 2002 and has offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Austin, Texas.

Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center since 2002.

Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games, and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association.

In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.

Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online.

Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Jesse Schell founded Schell Games in 2002 and has offices in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Austin, Texas.

Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center since 2002.

Game philosophers

The names of those in the game business who transcend the limits of game development and have ultimately become respected as ‘game philosophers’ are all familiar to the web tech community:

John Carmack, Will Wright, Shigeru Miyamoto and Peter Molyneux.

Is it possible that in Jesse Schell we have found someone awesome enough to join this esteemed pantheon?

Your comments and alternative candidates please!

Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games, and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association.

In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.

Jesse has published an award-winning book called:

The Art of Game Design (considered essential reading on the subject by many in this field)

Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online.

Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer’s Mime Circus and the Juggler’s Guild.

In the second video, which was called:

Reporters’ Roundtable: How game mechanics are infecting everything

The participants on this CNET showwere:

Rafe Needleman, host

Dru Wynings, who is the founder of Reputely, a start-up that “brings game mechanics to your Web site’

venture capitalist David Feinleib of Mohr Davidow Ventures. David led investments in companies like Doxo, Hi5, and Visible Measures, and is currently looking at opportunities in the game mechanics space

Gabe Zichermann, author of the book, “Game-based Marketing.”

Check out the Funware blog, which is about “gamification.”

And if your appetite for further insight into the prospects for gamification has been whetted, here’s one more video.

I’ve left it until last, because although it has more Jesse Schell, it has the following characteristics which prompted me to put the requirement for putting the ’round table’ video before it:

  • It has a long introduction before you get to the part with Jesse’s presentation
  • There is a superb film which is also shown before Jesse’s bit (so I wanted to get the ‘educational’ material about gamification which was in the round table discussion dealt with before giving you the ‘entertainment’)
  • The first part of Jesse’s session is actually mostly a recap of the presentation given in the first video. Nonetheless it is still very much worth watching this recap, because it includes updates on that (now iconic) ‘first showing’, which incorporate fascinating ‘audience reactions’ and salutary ‘lessons learned’ in a way which in practice unquestionably renders this utterly exemplary in terms of ‘how to follow-up presentations’
  • This presentation is much longer (nearly two hours)

Visions of the Gamepocalypse

This video is presented by FORA.TV and The Long Now Foundation

The first host before the short movie was Alexander Rose, director of the Long Now foundation.

The movie was called Pixels, by Patrick Jean of Onemoreprod

The presenter after the movie was Joel Tan of YBCA