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Games For Change

Engaging games with game mechanics aligned with and reinforcing social issue goals.

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It may seem crass to mention gamification (not my intention) when the challenge is a particularly sensitive one, I can't help but wonder though if there could be a role for it in gathering information or spreading awareness.

If as several have pointed out ‘youth culture’ can slip under the radar unnoticed (see Louise Wilson's post on Shoefiti /open/usaid-humanity-united/inspiration/shoefiti ) because it is misunderstood or seemingly innocuous, maybe the fact people who do have internet access on their phones are drawn to playing games could be a good way of creating awareness, gathering information or as Gartner Inc. suggests empowering people…?

The image I have used is from http://www.gamesforchange.org/2012/05/2012-games-for-change-awards-nominees-announced/ - worth a look I think.

These are Gartner's ‘goals of gamification’: 

(taken from http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/1629214 )

1. Accelerated feedback cycles. In the real world, feedback loops are slow with long periods between milestones. Gamification increases the velocity of feedback loops to maintain engagement.

2. Clear goals and rules of play. In the real world, where goals are fuzzy and rules selectively applied, gamification provides clear goals and well-defined rules of play to ensure players feel empowered to achieve goals.

3. A compelling narrative. While real-world activities are rarely compelling, gamification builds a narrative that engages players to participate and achieve the goals of the activity.

4. Tasks that are challenging but achievable. While there is no shortage of challenges in the real world, they tend to be large and long-term. Gamification provides many short-term, achievable goals to maintain engagement.

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Photo of Annie Brown

This is old now, but I thought it was worth sharing. I have never been a gamer, now I sort of wish I was! http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

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