Gaming for the Greater Good

Uploaded by stanfordbusiness on 16.03.2011

Moderator: We are here to talk about Gaming for The Greater
Good. One of the things I want to delve into is what that
means is the Greater Good the right monicker for this is
implied one thing and then reading through the topic clearly
that's broader than what I think of is sort of colloquially
the greater good we will get into that in a few minutes. Let
the panelist introduce themselves and what they do briefly.
There will be points for Clarity and Brevity and then we
will jump into some of the topics here, may be I will start
with you Molly.
Molly Kittle: Clarity and Brevity okay, Molly Kittle, I run
the Client Services Team at Bunchball. We are a company
right down here in the valley. We have about 50 large
enterprise customers who use our platform and our consulting
services to add game mechanics and game dynamics to non-
gaming environments.
Nicole Lazzaro: My name is Nicole Lazzaro and I am a
consultant in the game industry for the past 19 years. I run
XEODesign and essentially I make games more fun. I am most
known for having the audacity to ask the question you know
can games make us change how we feel, and I used in 2000,
2003, 2004 I used Paul Ekman's facial action coding, where
you measure emotions on the face that really unlock what
makes game fun so that's what I do.
Mark Nelson: Hi, my name is Mark Nelson. I research Mass
Collaboration and Mass Interpersonal Persuasion here at
Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab and last year we also
spun out a new lab Stanford Peace Innovation Lab where we
are essentially trying to take everything we know about
using technology to illicit desirable behaviors and build a
platform where we can measure how much impact we can have
doing that.
Byron Reeves: I am Byron Reeves. I am Professor here at
Stanford in the Department of Communication. I am a Media
Psychologist, I do empirical experiments about how people
think and feel in relation to interesting features of
interactive technology. The last six years we have been
chasing juicy features of multi-player games in the lab. I
am also co-founder of a startup called Seriosity. And we are
trying to take game mechanics and game sensibilities and
psychology to the enterprise and figure out how to build a
venue that is a game where people can go to work.
Moderator: And Byron may be we will start with you and may
be you could just explain game dynamics, broadly speaking
what are they and why do they work in everybody can add in
but -
Byron Reeves: Well actually we all have our own list,
chapter four in total engagement, by Reeves and Read is our
list that you know I won't go through them all but there are
mechanics that are reliably used in games that have been
successful over the years that engage people. You started
out with one of them points for brevity but levels, teams
different features, our list actually is that we are trying
to take from the social science literature about how these
games work so we are very interested in the feedback and the
time domains of feedback, games do really well in short time
domains, your workplace might do well and annual reviews or
not even in that well in that time scale. So feedback is
very interesting. There is notion of social interaction in
teams and co-operation as well as competition is very
interesting that the mechanic of self representation,
finding someway may be it's a full blown avatar, may be it's
some other way to represent yourself that vesting something
of you in the interaction on the screen is terribly engaging
and we know that because we are looking at people's brains
while they interact with avatars. So, all this I mean there
is a long list I don't know how long you want to get this.
There are a lots of lists available but it's taking these
mechanics from trying true recipes in these games and I
think there is whole gamification exercise really figuring
out how we can take them and drop them in other context
other than just entertainment where eye-balls are the
criterion and trying to come up with some other metrics to
apply them too.
Nicole Lazzaro: I have a shorter list. So in terms of game
mechanics I really love you guys speaking on work that you
do. What we have done by looking at people's faces is we
found that people playing everything from Tetris to Halo,
home, school and work, young and old, Diner Dash, World of
Worldcraft. We have found that you know player we basically
we videotape them and looked at those favorite moments and
organized them by emotions, via these emotion clusters. We
have four basic groups and we looked at those emotions and
what were the similarities and types of choices players were
making. And it turns out the games tend to engage us, our
best selling games in four ways. The first way is what we
call hard - usually the first one is the novelty enclosure
and we call it easy fun, you know basically just being able
to drive around the track or drive the race track backwards,
throw all your since the pull pluck later, driven by
curiosity wondering and surprised you have done that yeah, I
have done it too. The second one is hard fun which is all
about challenge and mastery. So that's basically is that
frustration, oh yeah because that basketball group is way up
there and it's really small. That leads to this feeling of
wining like yes, I got the basket sponsored, one grand pre.
No word in English for that emotion so I use fear, you know
at the time for you know like yes I got your body is on fire
that's how I visualize it. And you know there're goals,
obstacles and challenges and obviously points. The third one
is the ability to socialize around games. So we have found
the games a lot of emotions in games best moments in games
happened in social context. Games are an excuse to hang out
with your friends. So you have what we call people fun,
which has amusement and
[inaudible] which is the joy you feel when the arrival
experiences misfortune. You also have naches which is a
Yiddish term for that pleasure and pride when someone you
help succeeds. Lots of great emotions, more emotion and
people fun than the other three combined. And people playing
in the same room and more emotions in play, then playing
same game in different rooms. Lot of social interaction
around that so not surprising I mean we realize in 2004 it
took us a while to get on Facebook and actually get some
good social games, but yeah so that's a big loss but then it
was of course serious fun and the serious fun is all about
the ability for game to actually change how I think and feel
and behave. After the game is done I have gotten some
reward, and some time it's a badge but more importantly it's
now I am smarter I have lost weights, I play DDR or that I
may be closer to my friends or some value that that game
experience creates. Players enjoy games that actually change
how their all games teach, so those are kind of the four
Moderator: And then Mark I had a question for you and I will
bring it back to Molly, is this multicultural, are these you
know fundamental ways people think and behave and react or
have you found that not to be the case?
Mark Nelson: So there are levels of this that are basic
biology, we don't think of ourselves this way very often but
we human beings are actually a herd of animal, we are right
in there with the gazelles and the zebras and so forth. And
that means we are hard wired to collaborate and cooperate
much more than we are hard wired to fight with each other.
And so if you want to trigger those in
[inaudible] and oxytocin dose and so on. If you are coming
at this from a business perspective you should think
yourself as a drug dealer, dealing with legal drugs and you
should be thinking about how do I trigger what biology has
been hard wiring into us for millions of years in terms of
social bonding, this feeling of connectedness, the feeling
of being part of something greater than ourselves all of
those things are deeply wired into our biology.
Molly Kittle: I agree but I think I disagree with the drug
dealer part.
Legal drug dealer.
Molly Kittle: Oh, I think what I do is I really draw from
the patterns and then I model the pattern you know in the
real world to you know model a game mechanic around it, and
if you go too hard like you create a skinner box, skinner
box is very reliable very predictable. But if you create a
skinner box, a skinner box it will have the behavior but
they are not fun. You know you are just addicted to the game
and it's actually then causing a lot of pain so you have to
be careful.
Moderator: And so Molly that was really this nice thing, and
my next question which was does it have to be fun?
Molly Kittle: No, it doesn't have to be fun in the sense of
that we think of fun. I think enjoyable, satisfying,
gratifying. Fun I think frankly has gotten a bad rep, fun
can be scary to a banking website, fun can be scary to a CEO
who is trying to increase productivity in the workforce.
Nicole Lazzaro: But then you mean the trimphone.
Molly Kittle: The trimphone can be yes, but then a human fun
absolutely so I guess it's important to differentiate
between the word and the emotion. One of the things that
really, when we did our research about fun, what's so
interesting and why I want to say well people are banding
about this term fun, well what is that and we really met
more towards engagement because this wave of engagement but
it's interesting that hard fun is different than easy fun,
it sounds like hard fun is actually you know my favorite
player quote is a wife of a hardcore PC gamer, she says I
always know how my husband feels about a game, if he screams
I hate it, I hate it, I hate it, I know two thing, (A) he is
going to finish it, and (B) he is going to buy version two.
So when we have fun we are often working, we are often
experiencing a lot of frustration in fact the only way the
arms go out for a nice fear always when you are so
frustrated you are about ready to throw that mobile phone or
whatever it is out of the window and you succeed at that
point that's when you win.
Moderator: So I have mentioned the topic is Gaming for the
Greater Good. Is that a good topic? We are talking about a
variety of things here. When I read that topic I thought
this was for social change in the NPO sense of the world not
business, not necessarily education. Here Gaming for the
Greater Good, we are right -
Molly Kittle: I would want to argue with that, it's like the
only way we are going to get greater good is if we change
the business. I mean it's got to be integrated, I follow a
lot what Kevin Jones says on this and it's sort of like he
has his metaphor of you know you work in an office you know
for part of the day or for all of the day you come home with
money in your pocket. You then go to a charity and then you
know in one pocket when you put and you had another pocket
pull out money to give to the charity need to reverse the
damage that was done by the hours you put in at the office.
So I think something about that system could be a little bit
more optimized perhaps, a little more efficient. So I don't
buy complete bifurcation but yeah.
Mark Nelson: I think there is some we are just looking at
the narrow slice of this, and we built on a lot of buyers
work on engagement we realize that some point in the peace
innovation lab that if you look at positive engagement and
if there is some buckets about you know you got to get
people from ignoring each other, we will ignore the negative
side of engagement how to reduce conflict but if you just
get people from ignoring each other, to being aware of each
other, to paying attention, to communicating, these are all
things we can measure, we can measure the quality and the
point of view of those kind of interactions a little bit of
coordination, a little co-operation each one enables the
next layer basically. When you get out to collaboration
where you have people doing things for mutual benefit that's
a really good proxy for peace for us and that's completely
measurable and quantifiable in lots of beautiful ways. And
the more work that gets done in web-based platforms, the
more hard metrics we have about exactly what's possible that
I don't know how many of you have seen the work we did with
Facebook but we can measure interactions that are directly
representative of some aspect of peace in really interesting
ways so just for example 67,113 Pakistanis and Indians
friended each other on Facebook yesterday, we never had that
kind of data before you know that precession, that scale and
that dynamic like they are going to give us trailing data by
the minute if we ask for it. So yeah I think there is huge
potential here to change the world for the good in really
interesting ways, and I think game mechanics is a tool box
that we simply have never had before that I think takes us
pretty close to a new human super power in the same way what
I mean by that is in the same way that for the most of
history we are looking up at the birds going oh if only we
could fly like the birds but we can't and then the hundred
and some years ago suddenly technology came together in
interesting ways and suddenly within a decade we were flying
further and faster and carrying more than any species ever.
That's what I mean by a human super power I think we are on
the verge of that kind of potential for collective action.
Nicole Lazzaro: But I think you can just add couple of more
examples one of our clients built the game on Facebook
called Happy Oasis takes place in the Middle East and you
click on camels instead of cows. And if you can imagine 60%
of the population in the Middle East is under the age of 24.
You imagine the sort of you know the kinds of changes that
you could actually make through you know in terms of
collaborative you know game mechanics you know in that with
that kind of population you could actually create social
bonds that cross tribal lines and I think that's really
amazing that we might be able to do. And in fact what your
games have always lead the interface design industry in
terms of new interfaces so we have always you know there
were pie menus in the sems, there was gestures on the V you
know his voice control all of these things have happened in
Games First. So there is no question in my mind that even if
we can't have a specific game you know that actually changed
the world we are going to be able to prototype you know new
types of dynamics, new superpowers to create new ways, new
days way to dealing with each other, I mean the game that we
are working on right now with my company which is called the
Tilt: Flip's Adventure in 1.5 Dimensions. And I have used
this model the model of four keys to fun to actually I have
created the first game on the iPhone to use we use
accelerometer which I here with iPhoneDevCamp and we have
now get a bigger version of the game on the iPod which I can
show later if you like. And what you do is you earn Tilt
points but eating carbon out of the air and gathering
planting seeds. Those Tilt points are geo coded so we have
got people playing from here to Shanghai and now we are
partnering with companies to do things in the real world, so
like with the Vermont Energy Investment Company they are a
line item on the Vermont Energy Bill where actually taking
some of their we are actually you know working on some games
to actually have people do stuff in the real world to
conserve energy they earn points in the game. So there is
some electricity power.
Moderator: That was where we wanted to go and this is really
relevant, everybody would like because you are doing
perspectives on it but how are we talking primarily about
online or a combination of online and offline and I know
Byron that's near and dear to some of the things you are
doing so many -
Byron: Yeah, I actually think one of the more interesting
developments in the games is the blurring of that
distinction between online and offline and this is terribly
engaging. If you turn off the lights in your house the smart
meter recognizes that electrical use is down and that data
is transferred to your game screen and you get 10 points on
your iPhone or the Carbon Monster Diaz or whatever it is we
have worked on that game as well. Then your house becomes a
joy stick for play on a screen in media and the same in
transportation and health. If it's blood test insulin
related test and adolescence are cooperating to see what
group can have the best scores in compliance that can be
input into the game as well and transportation driving,
there is lots of interesting new car possibilities for games
because there are sensors in the world that are providing
automatically a lot of data by what's going on. So you get
this blurring and that is terribly engaging I mean there is
no as part of our work here over the last 20 years there is
no switch in the brain that sleeps when you go from real
life to mediated life and so it's very important to
recognize that that blurring can really created lot of that
engagement. So I am very high on the ability, if you are
working in a company and what you do on your screen, how you
resolve a call that's come into a call center influences how
your team does in a virtual game I mean that can be a very
engaging blurring of those two worlds. So I really like that
possibility for new games.
Moderator: How are you playing it Molly?
Molly Kittle There is a couple of different ways we are
applying it and then also in the industry OPOWER is a
company that's not a customer of ours but I find what they
are dong incredibly compelling because it's the now version
of the dream that Byron just mentioned. So many times pay
attention to what someone's doing they optimize for the
metric that we are measuring and OPOWER just basically gives
you a point of reference where you sit in relation to others
in your neighborhood in terms of energy consumption. You
either are consuming less or more and if you are consuming
more you have got a sad face and if you are consuming less
you get a happy face. And so people are changing their
behavior to optimize for the happy faces and that's a great
example of something very offline but incredibly tangible
and impactful and noncomplex. The other point that I want to
make about employee productivity. Byron you mentioned you
want people in a call center to answer more calls. There is
a company we work with called LiveOps and they have a
distributed call center these employees aren't actually
employees, they are contractors so LiveOps has no ability to
mandate do they take training, do they show up to work and
so how do you organize and crow a workforce that is
uncontrollable. And they have used game mechanics and game
concepts to help them do that by rewarding users for taking
training, getting certifications, displaying their badges
other call center employees can look at badges and
proficiency and come to certain people with questions. They
are really motivating a community even though it's
Moderator: They are a motivating force, organizing force,
scoring mechanism what I have missed in the -
Molly Kittle: Well I would add that you have to be careful
especially with scoring points that unbalances Twitter in
fact this gamification idea can actually kill. Okay if you
remember, if you have ever driven across the Bay Bridge that
they have introduced, the game designers from Bay Bridge
have introduced a variable toll rate to encourage off rush
hour travel, off peak travel which actually works more
people drive when it's not rush hour but don't be on the Bay
Bridge the toll plaza at 06:59 p.m. on a Friday night
because literally there would be dozens of cars pulled over
on the meeting, people stopped in the active lane looking at
the scoreboard waiting for that toll to drop from $6 to $4.
Basically if you give people score they will optimize, they
will basically change their behavior to optimize it. But
then there are secondary effects and so when you are a game
designer that secondary effects, those tertiary effects
that's all goes into games. The other thing too is the games
also have choices and the games have the emotion profiles.
So like with the iPhone it's a very social device which is
great and it's really genius what they did on the operating
system because like if I will take my iPhone and share my
photos with you well what would you do? You would tab, you
pinch, you zoom, right to look at the photos. What you do
with same gestures but on the back of my hand we better be
on a date or something because there are so much social
emotion meaning in those gestures and how lovely for a
social device to actually map those into the platform. So
game design is not just about points but it's creating these
player experiences, these emotional experiences that people
go to and there is one, the one of the top Facebook games
since the beginning they have always involved people,
plants, and pets all of those mechanics are engendered care
taking kind of things. It has nothing to do with points and
badge, doesn't mean they are deaf, only there is definitely
good mechanics there. But there is other stuff happening
that creates something that really matches that social
Moderator: Mark and Byron what is this application of game
dynamics how did they affect leadership and what skills
leaders need to have, how they approach leadership and then
also beyond leaders, the folks that leaders are interacting
Mark Nelson: Yeah so we did a year long study. I did this
with Tom alone it was an HBR piece about a year and half
ago, looking at leadership in the more complex multiplayer
game so this is a World of Warcraft version where we
actually went to IBM, got permission to ask middle level
executives to fess up that they would spend 500 hours
leveling up to a level 70 and were leaders of online guild
and making websites and doing recruiting and performance
reviews and what not in this complex skill. And we actually
looked at how leadership happened in those skills and how it
compared to real life. And a couple of headlines are really
interesting. One is that, so first of all these are
substantial organizations that happened in this game. This
is not Farmville type play this is more sophisticated play
but it's worthy of emulating I think. So these are
substantial organizations that are over months and even
years that can involve tens and hundreds of people in a
hierarchy with the sharing mechanisms, performance reviews
as I mentioned, a need to settle disputes and whatnot. One
of the things that the games provide that really influenced
ideas about leadership is enough metrics, enough
quantification, enough information, enough transparency
about expertise, about how people are doing, about who
contributed what to the rate even your damage per second or
your contributions per time unit. There was enough
information that leadership seemed to be more property of
the environment of the games than of an intrinsic quality of
the individuals that were doing a leading. So it's not you
are born to lead and we just need to find the right ones and
mentor them but it's you lead, now I will lead tomorrow, you
seem to be doing better on this task you go so leadership
happened really quickly or transitions happened very quickly
and the environment became a substantial part of that
leadership which is really kind of an optimistic view of
leadership that if you provide enough transparency, if
everybody knows what's going on first of all everybody can
be a better follower so leadership is a little bit easier in
that respect as well. So imagine, so what we have done is
imagine taking that transparency that happens in World of
Warcraft and dropping it on a large national retail sales
chain. What if all 200,000 people that worked in your
company knew everything about the sales activities of those
200,000 people? So you could find out the guy that you will
encounter in Akron, Ohio what fantasy team he was on or she
was on and what points were being collected, teams being
formed, quests being and that transparency really has an
interesting opportunity to open up leadership so it's not
that supervisory but I know what you are trying to do, you
have got a hard job supervising us all. I will help out and
our team will win and I get to share and the spoils of the
team victory.
Molly Kittle: How much of the factor that you were actually
in a play environment do you think that that helped? How did
that influence? You know you are in a play environment so it
doesn't really matter if I fail as a leader, how big a role
did that play in mushrooming at
Mark Nelson: Yeah that's a good question, the fact that
failure doesn't quite hurt as much as I think important and
it may even less because it is in a play environment but it
can hurt. If I have got 100 friends that I am playing with
and I look bad in the ring that's a knock and it's every bit
a real knock and I am going to be depressed and my social
relationships that evening are equal to a bad day at work.
So the social part of it is very much there even though it
is a play environment. What the managers are about, several
hundred managers that we interviewed at IBM what they said
was I believe it's the same thing it's the same process. I
am taking things from the game world and applying it at work
and vise versa.
Moderator: I mean in that context this is all volunteer
labor so to speak that's people taking their free time, not
time they are being paid with and if you fail then as a
leader in that context it doesn't have certain ramifications
but it certainly has other ramifications. You don't get to
keep your position because you have a title and there is an
art structure you are only there by virtue of people saying
we will follow you. Well it might be an interesting thing to
do in real life if that wasn't the case as well.
Mark Nelson: I think if you just add may be nuances a little
bit the leadership is becoming much more collaborative that'
s really clear and the pieces about that seem to be really
important about it's much more now about creating an
environment that people want to become part of. And so
leadership suddenly becomes much more about nurturing, about
pushing from behind, about supporting your people, about
pushing them forward and providing platform for them
providing a spotlight for them, getting out of their way.
Those all seem to be really identifying factors and this is,
I have been going through this personally I mean when I
retired from banking it was early 90s and it was very much a
command & control organization. People did what I said
because I paid them and damn it if they didn't I fired them.
That doesn't work anymore especially in an organization
where you have the whole bunch of volunteers working for you
because they just love the project and they only care about
what you are doing so that's being culture shock. There is
one other issue though and that is a whole lot of things
that we used to think with leadership are actually
management and administration. Those things are getting
better than software. Those jobs are going away and anybody
who thinks that's leadership should be paying attention to
the fact that that's getting architected into the game
mechanics. And there won't be people doing that anymore and
that will be a good thing because now all the politics that
goes with those kinds of gatekeeper jobs is becoming much
more transparent in software itself. People trust software
more than they trust human in that situation.
Nicole Lazzaro: The interesting thing that I am pulling out
of that too as far as like what is a core game mechanic is
that games are and what fascinates, what pulled me in the
games from the very beginning is that games are I did a lot
of user interface design for Roxio and number of different
other companies and what was interesting or - is we get
games are self-motivating tasks there is nobody holding a
performance bonus or something like that for you to learn
Photoshop I mean for you to learn World of Warcraft. You
know you are paid to learn Photoshop and so there is a lot
of interesting things if you look at games for their
interfaces and what is it that they do it creates this nice
self-motivating and that's how do we master challenges like
with hard fun we can actually use these games to figure out
well how do we apply some of these things take them out of
games and then put them in into the work itself. So for
example I just gave a talk at the game developers conference
and in this for the Smartphone Summit and what I did was I
sort of slide with this futuristic like what would a task
look like and one of the parts I most like is just we
usually have like this distraction radar like a heads up
display for the interruption that's coming but the force
that can squash it before it gets to me. Now we don't want
actually visualize it that way but there is a lot of ways
that we are going to be able to change how we work and the
tools in which we work with they are really, we are
basically, we are implementing flashcards right now and the
tools we are going to have in the next generation they are
going to be much more responsive to what naturally motivates
the people.
Molly Kittle: And that's I think the key is that this is all
about what naturally motivates us and this is the toolset on
top of those natural motivators that extracts them puts them
to use in whatever type of environment for whatever type of
Nicole Lazzaro: Yeah and if you think about a cubicles, I
mean let's face it I mean cubicles are cages for people. It'
s the workplace or a zoo the humane society which shut it
down in an hour. Because it's not suited it fails to provide
the metal furniture for people to do the work. We spent so
much time in Facebook because all social interactions will
extract from the task, we spend so much, we caffeinate
ourselves because the work fails to engage us and so we can
look at things that software that does engage us for these
queues and what is it about this how does all work, how do
we get leaders that way and we are going to change the way
the workplace works.
Moderator: That brings the background of earlier topic I
would like to dig into it a little bit more just this idea
that their game dynamics and we have made this big thing and
some of these are fundamental and cross cultural and all
that but applied to a business context versus a more social
organization business context versus some of the more peace
studies. Those applications versus educational applications,
are they the same, are we retargeting the same tools or are
they different? I mean what are some of the tools that you
all use at Bunchball versus Mark some of the tools that you
think about or the ways you apply it, we haven't talked
really about education at all but we can dig in I will just
sort of open that up and would like to get a level deeper on
Molly Kittle: I think all of us are talking about
recognition, transparency, feedback and all of these things
work very well in any environment we can think of what human
beings are interacting with work, with play socially but the
tools that I use on a day to day basis for customers seem a
little bit more tangible than the ideas behind them but the
points that you mentioned levels, leader boards, badges but
those things in and of themselves that's not the way that's
not the importance and that's not the motivating factor.
They tap into what's already happening inside of us. So you
brought up a good point earlier that if you are not a good
choice architect then you are going to set yourself up and
your users up for a failure so it's all about designing the
experience and taking into consideration yes your business
goals you have to make money there is an end goal for the
business. But there is also almost more importantly, the
people that are driving your business, generating revenue -
ROI for you we can talk about that and thinking about how we
are measuring and collecting data, telling that return on
investment story for engagement all of those things are
important but you won't have a return on investment unless
you are thinking very seriously about the user experience,
how they are interacting with either the website, the
application, the game whatever it might be and what they
want, what their identity is, who they are and what
motivates them. You asked earlier about do these things
impact everyone in the similar way or different types of
people impact differently. We are uniquely individual but we
do have a common motivating factor. We all do want to be
recognized and we all are looking for feedback.
Nicole Lazzaro: And I think that what we have ignored for
years and for decades is that the importance of play. It
then has human beings especially in the developed world. I
grew up, I spent half of my childhood overseas and it's
quite clear to me get these, that we have really relegated
play to sort of this outside that's just for kids not us,
but all games teach and play is actually really all mammal's
play plays a very important part in the learning process
whether it's learning ABCs or learning how to create a
balance sheet. And so our tools don't allow us to play but
if you want us to take into here's some guidelines is what I
do to create game out of anything is you want to first
simplify the world you then can clarify the goals that will
tap into
[inaudible] highest flow so if you look up him as well. And
then you want to amplify the feedback Mid.Com works so well
is because you can set those goals and wow I have never seen
progress like bar charts are just so fat. You can really
feel your progress along the way. And to that purpose I have
also shared whitepapers on my website and I will let you
guys into I just opened this URL for the game developers. I
have been at San Francisco. It's called 4K2F, Four Keys to
Fun just and that's routing you to a new place and
you can actually download what I call GAME specific game
plan and you can create a game plan to save the world and
what is a game? It's Goals, Actions, Motivators and Emotions
so GAME, and is little spreadsheet people call as CHANGE. So
there are 13 questions that you answer and you can do in
about 15 minutes, you can create a new game to save whatever
part the world you want to.
Moderator: How many of you guys are actually social
entrepreneurs or one of you is social entrepreneur? So the
thing to pay attention to this interesting here is this
toolbox of gamification allows you to look at something that
wouldn't normally be thought of as business and starts
actually quantifying what value is. And so a lot of people
will look at the word and say peace innovation. This is not
turning your philanthropy or else government diplomacy. It
turns out actually it's not, it's business. We can go in, we
are working on a pilot right now with partnership focused on
gang violence and we can start mapping what impact gang
violence has on property values and on the tax base, and on
the mortgage portfolio of banks and lenders and on insurance
claims. We can start quantifying that in a great deal of
detail and saying this is exactly how much this problem is
costing you as a property owner and you as a community
member and you as a business and we can identify the
businesses where that pain aggregates. Then we can go to
them and make a very interesting pitch about how we can
minimize their risk or actually increase the value of their
portfolio etc. So pay attention to that kind of model
because this toolbox allows you to go look at things that
were traditionally in the non-profit we can't figure out how
to do business there, we can't figure out how to make the
markets work there. But the things were traditionally in
that domain suddenly become really interesting new business
propositions when you have this kind of toolbox.
Mark Nelson: I think there is a great question on what's the
difference between social metrics and the criteria and
business criteria and whatnot. I want to make a little bit
of admission I think we would all have to an interesting
serious game it's really an interesting portfolio of tools
and solutions looking for problems to solve. And the same
basket of stuff can be used to make a call center work
better, to have volunteers contribute on website, get people
to reduce energy use. So it really but each of those
different metrics and problems can be radically different.
And there is an alignment process where you bring your bag
of stuff that where it's in games, the ingredients for
different recipes and you really have to spend a lot of time
asking about exactly what in this call center is going well
and not well and what are we trying to optimize and
minimize. And align those metrics and it's really a
difficult process, it's not just like throw a leader board
point system, a narrative teams, etc against wall. There is
really especially in the more complex and I would venture in
the future the more successful applications that alignment
processes, there is really a lot of thinking that goes a
lot. If I were making the call center game, I have a game
designer and three call center guys on that team board about
their ratio. And the same with some of these other social
metrics I mean thinking about energy use for example, on
reducing energy use, yeah points kind of work without much
consideration but it will work a lot better if you know a
lot about that behavior. So that conversation about defining
the behaviors associated with the changes that you want,
finding the metrics that can be automatically input into the
game, finding a way to recognize those behaviors what you
want people to do more of, less of, about the same is really
tough process still.
How many of you have the prayers and played the leaf game?
Yes on the first, no on the second.
Yeah so basically you get these releases being more eco-
friendly as they were and that's a game but it's like kind
of suddenly begged into the design of the car. And yes, you
need to get the business case up and you have the business
model so your business runs. But I think also we know how do
we make, how do we make it fun and I argue is that we were
really looking as how can we understand and even change the
human architecture that underlies the stuff that we are
doing, it underlie, it provides, these games are going to
provide us these windows into changing how we think, feel
and behave, it will create new tools for thought allow us to
design, you guys do all design, new tools for thought. And
we think about it what we really need to curates, to end
Global Warming to bring on conflict resolution to resolve
conflict resolution as we need to learn how to a chase
wonder, we need a discovery machine. So adding more
curiosity when you are surprised to like Google, Google
already does this with the Wonder Wheel. We need to be able
to add more create a self-motivating task, using
understanding, hard fun like challenge and obstacles and
goals how that works. We also need to create Empathy Engine
so what we would take that next step is like we have got the
property value argument but then how do we create empathy
and how do we, what kinds of mechanics increase empathy or
what would you do that. And then, finally, we have got been
able to create eco-simulations, because James Hoggies has a
wonderful book on what games can teach us about learning
literacy and he says you master simulation, you master the
content. Has anybody played like Sim City? So, after you
have played Sim City, I don't know for me like it was like,
I was left till 3 in the morning in the office is the only
game that only computer would run then I went home and I
drove to work the next day but it was in the surreal state,
only a couple of -- sleep like wow power lines. Sure, and
then the whole world, whole world that had been completely
they have been there my entire life was now suddenly new. I
come back from playing rock band with my friends, drive
across to San Mateo Bridge and I play guitar right and for
that, I can literally see all eight lanes are traffic, every
car in both directions. So there is something really
interesting. We don't understand what games are doing for us
but I think that's the next generation, that what's all up
to you is to take what we are learning in games, take what
you enjoy that games and applying it to these other
Well that rolls nicely into - through push it to get some
thoughts and questions but not just questions I mean some
interaction and other areas that you all would like to ask
about the topic but also some particular areas of greater
good that we could talk and kind of do gaming at the improv
here and talk through how would you do that. And I have got
one, it's a little tangential and that is that machine that
I took game engines and made movies using these games is it
a possibility as opposed to designing a game specifically or
game dynamics specifically around particular goals. Could we
take some problems we want to solve and plugged them sort of
in the backend into things that happen in Warcraft. I mean
if you are trying to solve protein folding problems or
logistical problems, could you in fact, sort of program this
in without changing what anybody does, what Warcraft were or
the topics that three billion hours a week in play. Is there
way to solve some problems that happens transparently? Has
anybody tried to do anything like that?
The answer is may be.
Controversial I suppose.
Yeah, the answer is may be, there was a game called Star
Wars Galaxies, when we first started thinking about
applications in the enterprise and in Star Wars Galaxies, to
survive in a game, you have to make stuff. You have to take
on a job and you had to make it, market it, sell it, do the
whole thing and these were very sophisticated jobs and there
was a job called within the doctor category, called
Pharmaceutical Manufacturer and we are playing this game and
showing this game to a bunch of scientists at Eli Lilly. And
in this, who were interested in gaming because they had pain
points about collaborative science that were very
significant in their development. And in this game, you have
to search the galaxy for interesting catalyst for chemical
reactions. You had to actually dock molecules and think. So
it wasn't quite the real science but it was so close and all
the points in the marketing and the whole wrapper around the
game could remain the same if you could actually and they
just went to town thinking about a very sophisticated
collaborative activity. This is not just, not something, not
a simple behavior, this is over signaling amount of time and
actually spend some time trying to think about exactly what
that would mean and doing a lot of other getting a lot of
other advantages in there as well getting low bit of wisdom
of crowds involved, the leadership issue is very important
if you are working at Lilly and have done it Prosac, you are
the only guy that gets stock in the room and all the young
scientists will get to talk with the games that who cares
what you did last week. So there were some really
interesting things that came that. And the games all have I
mean Warcraft has a thousand APIs in and out so there is a
creative, there is a sand box there for somebody to play and
I am glad you mentioned that, to reverse that, not to spend
another $100 million building a Warcraft that will do
scientific collaboration but actually build that. And so you
can go to leadership boot camp in Warcraft, now working for
a company so instead of going to the road scores and getting
closer there, why don't this is one guild, this is another
guild, and we are going to square it off. And see if you can
get the farthest and it periodically at the right moments
will tell you a little bit about leadership and how group
dynamics but it's played so I think it's a great thought.
Moderator: Are there some? So let me push it back out here,
Just looking at those two examples I would say you are
playing games all the time, you just, they are more inline
with your social norms and reality and you don't create
escapism as much. It's not that you don't respond to those
game mechanics or dynamics. It's that you are doing them in
your own life and you are playing in your own life. That
example you gave was great, I mean people who really wanted
to develop in school, who want to be recognized, who want to
be panels. I mean there is lot of human desires that
manifest themselves all the time so yeah.
Molly Kittle: I think I would add to that in the research
that we have done, we have been interviewing players, I have
been interviewing players for 20 years. So and one thing
that I learned is that the number one reason why people don'
t play games and this is interviewing people in their homes.
They have perfect access, they have got someone in their
home, why are you not playing? And usually, it's just too
addictive. One of my favorite quotes this along this line is
I don't play his kind of games because somebody has to
remember to take care of the kids. So it was an interesting
point and we are and I have been talking about these for the
past three years or so, four years ago in a sense that if
you get, if you create a system that unbalances the human, a
lot of them are going to reject. And so actually, by just
trying to drive your DAUs or the number of hours per week,
you can actually do in a long term your business, your
brand, your game to service because if they have to pull out
it's often like called Turkey, no, I have to finish my MBA,
I am not playing Warcraft anymore. We have had lots of
interviews with that and we have had people, people talk
about, the people that monetize on Facebook. Those really
$900 a month, I mean no, sorry $900 a year, that was the
same. That's still not saying virtual goods like what are
you doing and you know, I was at the home and it's like what
are you doing, this is not, we should not be spending $900.
But it's, there is definitely something that unbalances that
health of the individual and I really believe that people
will, if you provide something that's entertaining or
provide some benefits, they are going to come to you and you
really don't need to design these skinner boxes. In the end
it just puts you on a blacklist which you really like the
gambling industry.
Mark Nelson: I am curious why you asked the question because
if you are dealing with a game architectural that you have
voted on to do something and it's not working which by the
way, the 95% of the people I have talked about our
gamification are dealing with exactly that issue. They are
like, well we hired programmers and we put the reader board
up and so it isn't pixy dots. You can't just sprinkle it on
something and expect it to work as Gay Dickerman used to
say. He is right, it's a difficult part of challenge to make
this work and so we do have new tools here and when they
work they are really powerful. But it's still an art. And
it's becoming a science so we have a time but don't
underestimate mobile handset it's hard work still to make
the alignment between the behavior you are trying to get in
the real world and what the tools are that you are going to
use to incentivize your -- behavior.
Nicole Lazzaro: An example I would like to share is back in
the day when we used to, remember when we used to milk cows
instead of clicking on them. There was inherent engagement
on the task. You could see if you are on target, the pail
would fill with milk, you could talk and help your
coworkers. At the end of the day, those pails felt heavy as
you carry them back to the barn. All sources of wonderful
natural engagement. But something gets lost in transition
when we work with virtual and sort of mouse driven. And so
there is this interesting opportunity to like really go into
like what make these mechanics much more interesting and
part of the real world.
Nicole Lazzaro: Now, you are talking about measurement of
effectiveness of the design or of the behavior of the
Nicole Lazzaro: Well, I mean there is a great example like
hey you are going - you just put it how many calls I make a
day, return on a day and then so you are going to have
people calling and hanging it up, hanging it up, just to get
the numbers right or the length of call.
Mark Nelson: So there is a whole menu of things that come
into play that when you think about that. And the games are
going to work the best in cases where there is quantitative
information that can be fed back in multiple time units. But
then in a call center there is a lot of stuff. There are
moments by moment customer satisfaction surveys that are
being input. You could do voice stress analysis, you have
got a clock running on call handling duration. You have got
points that may be a team is accumulating based on how the
team action is doing. One of the greatest things that
actually happens in a place like this whenever you have a
behavior or a piece of work that is important but it is
unrecognizably important because it's so small like turning
the lights out and the glaciers in Antarctica, that's a long
causal chain there. But you can give recognition I mean you
can find some metrics so in the call center example, it
brings up the issue of what is it exactly that we want
people to be doing, what are the behaviors, what could we
bring in here that could be automatically assessed. I mean
may be you could look at and these are all things that have
been done, look at facial expressions. I mentioned analyzing
voice so looking at pacing, there is good research that if
the pacing of my, if I match my pacing to your pacing in a
conversation you will like me more and things like that. So
you can find ways to bring these things and just like in the
games put them in a dashboard, they are instantly
recognized. Well it's not that you are interfering too much
with the task. But the games bring up the point of what is
it that we need to be measuring.
Nicole Lazzaro: The most interesting metric I have seen or
that I have been playing with is something
[inaudible] which I think is like the net-referral score
which is something about how likely you will be to refer a
friend or maybe actually measure that behavior, so after the
call, how likely is that customer, how many of those
customers actually bought again or some of their behavior
that might be, because it just does, it links it back to
some business goals.
Mark Nelson: Just to touch a little more on the level of
complexity in the task into where you can score a higher
complexity stuff. There is interesting work out there, being
done by colleagues at NASA and also Nikki
[inaudible] and his team at Carnegie Melon, that shows that
yeah if you can decompose a task well enough and a whole lot
of this comes down to task decomposition, but if you can
breakdown a high level, high skill task well enough, you can
get really good traction and really good results on that
basis. So I'd just point you to that work to look out, if
you are looking how to measure
Nicole Lazzaro: Yeah that was intrusive, easy to think about
competition, but we forget the Latin groups of that word
which really means to come together to better ourselves and
getting to by pursuing the same goal. And so a lot of
mechanics tend to be wind-loose, but my favorite restaurant
in Oakland, one of my favorites is Petros and they pool
their tips, great service because at the end of the day, it'
s basically everybody is taking care of everybody.
I have got a really quick answer to that, because I was just
talking to representatives of foreign government two days
ago, who were saying, we have been doing everything metrics
based and the thing is people just make up metrics to fill
in their forms, because they know that they are being rated
on whether they are filling the forms, they will have
[inaudible] so we know that the metrics are rubbish. Anytime
that people have to actually write something down or fill
out a from, you are on a wrong track -
We made the systems, is that what you are saying?
Yeah, but you are now two or three layers away from reality.
You need some way of just, you need a sensor in the
environment that can just track people's behavior, to just
see, did somebody or did somebody not do that. And if they
have to think about it, they have to fill out a from, if
they have to record someone that they did something you are
already on the wrong track.
Yeah if you simplify the world, you clarify goals, you
amplify feedback for things. You also want to suspend
consequences. And the more you suspend the consequences, the
more playful it is and then you can pull that in the fantasy
and that you might want to do for more dangerous stuff, you
have stuff that's a little bit more outside of their box or
you have stuff that's a little bit more far-field. And that
might help those kinds of problems make them more fantasy
and then that take a stuff that's little bit more pedestrian
and kind of
[inaudible] put that more in the real world.
No, I think the answer is there needs to be, there are lot
more learning and training games than there are actual work
productivity games, because it's just easier data, that's
the only data we can get to right now. But the real
opportunity here is to apply this sensibility to the actual
interactions, I mean why allow people to just have fun and
have a playful engaging orientation, just for learning and
training, so don't be bored to tears, when they leave the
training room, why not actually bring that into the game and
say, yeah nice to have you working at our call center, sit
down here and start playing, when you get to level 7, we
will let you talk to old customers. And when you get to
level 14, we will let you run a group or whatever it is. So
actually doing it in the work context, I think it's more of
the real advantages and that's just to redesign of work. For
a little bit harder with respect to tying it to the actual
metrics, but you are right on right track, its sales force,
[inaudible] all of that calls out now that you could
actually feed this information in the games and be
incredibly influential, we think by bringing that stuff to
We are playing with that blur and with flip, which tells and
flips adventure even
[inaudible] dimensions where you have got the cell phones
working with the Vermont Energy Investment Company and we
are designing these
[inaudible] real early, but we are doing this AR which means
Ultimate Reality or Augmented Reality and you basically can
tag and you can do an energy audit, we got a crowd source
and energy audit for building. So you can like tag those
light bulbs as part of the game, it goes into the database
then people can whatever. And then there can be a layer of
fantasy. When I do serious games is I recommend that layer
of fantasy sort of the optional, so some people can be like
you know I don't really want to be the fancy part of. And
then some people can go, they will get dressed up, they will
put in the lab coat, they will put on the hat, the funny
hats and they will just go have fun for the weekend. And
other people will be much more serious about it, but we are
allowing our range because not everybody really feels
comfortable playing. One thing I should mention about
platforms, we have early talked about, but the mobile phone,
it's going to be an amazing, very disruptive force. I don't
know if it's clear to you, but right now, we have over 5.6
billion mobile phones on the planet, cell phones. And that's
3.7 billion of cell phone owners. There are more cell phones
on this planet today than there are FM radios. It is the
most pervasive technology, the communication technology
device ever manufactured and it's gotten there, to me that,
in 10 years. Prepare that too like gaming consoles like 1.1,
1.2 billion. Again gaming consoles, handheld consoles, that'
s only the kind of thing from 1975 to today. There maybe 400
million people playing on Facebook, but there are 500
million smart phones and that's only in three years. So when
you think about gaming, and think about building businesses
be sure to remember that we are really going to ubiquitous
models, where these things are lightweight, they got a
camera on and know where you are, there are all kinds of new
things, new ways to blend real world into that, into
whatever kind of gaming console.
We have just a challenge. I want to test these people with
something --
[Informal Talk]
So anyway I think they have a really tough challenge for
this group. Okay, gosh we have got lots of tough challenges.
And then we haven't done anything on this side, so please.
Yes that's a very good question. I did know little more
about the game in Japan compared to here. But basically the
regions we have done, it has been mostly US, we had done
[inaudible] in Korea. But we have not run stage in Japan. I
think that there is an interesting, there is customer and
interesting social modifier that it does allow you to be
social and it does allow, there are some interesting
cultural, there are some interesting cultural -- that I
think factor into what might make things the most
interesting. But I need to know a little bit more about the
game like what the mechanic is. Yeah talk to me later that
would be good.
Right, very good, advanced mechanic is the most products,
it's not really -
Yeah I am an undergraduate from Stanford actually in
[inaudible] and I also took some production here and also
some programming courses, so that's kind of where I am very
different. And with serious fund, it definitely badges, we
are definitely big part of it. But it's collection-
completion mechanics, it's also repetition and rhythm and so
dancing games, music games, change how I feel, think and
behave, so those can be in repetition and rhythm, so setting
up a pattern over time and those can be very, you know that
can change your mood, that can be very good. And then
anything that all games teach and so really giving you
something to think about after the play is really important.
Why a badge works is because it makes fear, like yes I just
won that emotion dies down, it goes away, so it's nice to
win a prize, so serious fun is all about what that prize is
and it could be a mental prize, it can be all kinds of
things, it doesn't -
Exactly, I think one of the things you want to build in
there is just a research layer where you can actually
profile individual players and run constant
[inaudible] to see who responds to what. And then you get a
much quicker, much better sense of, is a bigger badge going
to work for this person, is something more colorful work for
that person, something more personal work for this person?
And you also get a much better sense of what's driving
individual people, which of the different dimensions that
people play games for is the reason that that player was
playing the game.
And I don't want to fail in my task here, so let's make
sure. I always sweep around and I see at least these three,
so let's start here.
That was different definition, let's use games, do thing
people don't want to do.
You can't do that, and it's taking the portfolio ingredients
that we have all talked about. First of all, it's
understanding what is the behavior that you want changed,
what are the motivations, intrinsic and extrinsic associated
with those behaviors? Why is it hard? What do you want
people to do? How much is an individual experience versus a
social experience? I mean the badge may only work if I can
show it to my friends. I don't care about the badge, but if
I show it to my friends, it's really, I think it would work
in there. In fact, we have got two or three projects within
this large game grant project at Stanford, it's looking at
transportation and
[inaudible]. There is an engineer on campus
[inaudible] that has done exactly the gamification idea that
you mentioned for transportation in India with great
We had a pilot for drivers challenge, mountains you have run
[inaudible] and we just said, hey let's just photos of what
you are doing, put a tag for the game on Twitter. We scrape
them, we put them up on a website and it adds some fun to
the game, there are many more they are doing, right,
recommend looking for work.
Just also looking at what is the key reason that they don't
want to do in the first place in addressing that. I think
car pooling is a great example because there are so many
emotional tie-ins. The car is our identity. How do you use
the identity, the American identity, how do you create the
same kind of, use the word compulsion that we now have to
recycle, there is not a place to recycle, I feel like
something is wrong, because I have been trained overtime and
it's cultural, it's social, you feel social discussed in the
technical, it's "throwing something away" in the trash,
which should be recycled eventually tip over and
Yes, this is the red team, this is the blue team, I wonder
it's going to have to volunteer.
Now that would be yea, and that's --
And executing that with a lot more style than I just
mentioned, but that's one way to do it, providing
transparency for that, providing virtual recognition for
that, creating ways in which you can instantiate the
success, not the failure that doesn't work as well, but the
success of the two teams. I mean just all these different
ingredients, there are specific examples. So it's like
health carrier, large healthcare plan, it's using game
mechanics to do employee volunteer right now with success.
I'd just think of a big whiteboard.
Draw a line down the center and on one hand, put social
emotions involved with volunteering, so generously,
gratitude. The feeling of elevation you see some human
[inaudible]. And on the other half of the board, put
mechanics, these are things you can do in a game of World of
Warcraft, you get a house pack and If I give it to you, I
will generous, you feel gratitude, you might feel elevation
same here
[inaudible] and later in the game, you can give it back to
me or something like that and then those emotions kind of
roll through the game. So you want to think on that other
side like what kinds of actions would then get us to those
different emotional states.
I am reading a book right now called Zilch by Nancy Lublin
that has lessons from that non-profit world for profit
world. And how do motivate people in the context where you
don't have in fact money and power. They are volunteers and
you need to motivate them and talk about how do you bring
nonprofit activities into for-profit and how do get feel to
that, it's interesting, I am enjoying it, it's an
interesting book and it's not exactly your point, but it is
lot of the same, how do you motivate people to do things
where it's not about tying their pay to it
For games, one of the
[inaudible] on Nintendo DS, what's really interesting about
that particular game is you play, basically it's almost like
Flash -but a little more -- you write down the
multiplication, got old number game and stuff like that.
What's fascinating about that design and I think it's the
two things, one is that there is a social UI, there is a
little character that says, yeah good job or whatever. But
then the other thing is that you can only, you do three of
the challenges, you will actually get a little stamp, you
put on that calendar, like yes I got a stamp, you get a
designed stamp, you get places stamp. But if you play that
challenge a second time in that day, you score, but you don'
t get credit. And so to level up in that game, you have to
come back, it rewards you for coming back everyday. And so
just by designing that kind of design over time then that's
what builds a habit, so it's not like I play
[inaudible] for five hours and I leveled that you actually
won't - that won't do as much as doing 15 minutes everyday.
Because there is customer of ours HopeLab who is amazing.
Oh yeah they are doing some great stuff.
Yeah Zamzi is a product for kids who are having weight
problems and it actually tracks their activity level during
the day and at night, they plug that, put that in and they
get to use the
[inaudible] during the day for all of their activities to
interact socially, so really tying in what kids want to do
with what they might not be inclined to do to create this
feedback loop and then train them over time, I have seen 30%
increase in activities for kids on those programs.
One area that I think is going to be really bright for a lot
of commercial activity and startup activity and that is the
general area of compliance you know 25% to 40% of
prescriptions that are written are not filled or medicines
not taken properly on time, this is a huge issue perhaps
[overlapping] one of the most important issues a lot of game
mechanics can be applied to that if executed well.
And if you apply to that, you want to look at that core word
I mean it's like I am telling you what to do, we need to be
compliant of our rules. That's not game thinking, that's not
very playful. So think about you will start there and then
the design your game from that, it's not comply, we want to
you know see
[inaudible]you must do this, but do something that makes it,
because we were saying no don't want to, like don't want to
fit in that box
If you are starting a company, say that we are compliant
Yeah, so actually funding.
[Informal Talk]
I think we are out of time, I am going to ask one, luxury I
guess of asking of one last question and that is 20 years
down the road, we'll' be sitting here talking about set of
tools called the game dynamics or will this be so integrated
into the fabric of every thing we do, there it will just be
part of it, it won't be a separate tool box, it will just be
part of the fundamental place we start the ladder.
There is not question in my mind. Like I said earlier is
that games
[inaudible] in for the 21 century and games are really
taking interface designs to that next, interaction designs
to the next level. The stuff that we think and learn about
as you know - UI design, all of that's going to be taken by
next level just like you know film introduced two
technologies, the frame for attention and a cut to compress
time to increase emotional engagement, well games out of
choice. And we have had 35 years of inventing this language
of games just like there is a language of cinema. We are not
done yet with the language of games, but it's going to go
right into interaction designing and you are not going to
see it as a separate discipline.
Well I'd like to thank all of you for your attention and
your questions and Molly, Nicole, Mark, Byron thanks for
your time and thoughts, it's fascinating and I hope you all
do good work in this area, great.