I stood on the stage and looked across at three floors of Taverners and thought “how the hell did this happen?” 250 people looked back at me, possibly asking the same question. How did we all come to be in a cabaret club listening to presentations about gamification and then spending the rest of our evening ‘working?’
Maybe it is because we fundamentally like work. We like tasks that challenge us, we like laboring to a goal and we like to feel we have achieved something, especially as part of a group. Last week the goal was to understand a little better what gamification is and why it might be important and then directly relate this insight to the cause and concerns of Cancer Research. I wasn’t sure how we would orchestrate over 250 people brainstorming together over three floors, fueled with a beer or two. But it worked and worked really well. Personally, I think that is because people collectively wanted it to work and want to make a difference for Cancer Research. The ‘work’ felt important.
I would like to thank everyone who took part. Cancer Research will work through all the ideas to establish if any of them are tenable and if so, how they get them done. You can be involved in that process too. Just email me at email@example.com if you’d be able to give up some time to this.
I am not going to document the event itself, partly because that’s tricky from where I was stood and mostly because that’s very adequately done by a long time Taverner, Mark Wilson (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3). Thanks Mark for these write ups, you really do a masterful job of capturing our evenings together.
However, I do want to give you the chance to see what 250 people can come up with when they put their collective minds to it. I intentionally didn’t do this on the night as I thought that would be difficult to pull off and I did get criticized for that. You wanted immediate feedback and I’m sorry I overlooked that. Nevertheless, here is a list of the ideas you had. If you feel compelled to build on any of them here, I have opened up the comments functionality in this blog. They are raw and unedited – the elaboration will happen next week – and I think there may be more but this gives you a taster.
- Jogging route on bus stops, have bar codes to collect points as you exercise
- Matrix signs for bus stops, when not in use display cancer messages (e.g. Trafalgar Square 1 min, Aldwych 3 mins, Check yourself for cancer 15mins)
- Plane safety checks, make checking yourself for cancer part of the demo
- Tesco self check out (check yourself out)
- Round up the change at Tesco checkout to donate to cancer research (e.g. total comes to £9.34, donate £0.66 to cancer and check out at £10 even)
- QR codes on bus stops and then construct your run around the city – zig zag running around the city.
- Tesco Express Checkout -> Make these ‘Check your self out’ Cancer check
- Cancer linked in -> Find people in your existing extended networks who share cancer experiences
- Compare my mole
- Nike Plus for your whole lifestyle – Pink! – Includes diet
- Allow spare or uncollected Tesco points to be collected (make a game of it!)
- Big red donation button
- button appears randomly on your mobile phone, when you press it it makes micro donations of 20-50p
- size of donation depends on size of the button, the bigger the button, the higher can the donation be
- could be time based, e.g. you need to be quick
- donation could be made relevant to a person you know or to a specific cause, e.g. not research in general, but scanning
- brands could be partners for this and match your donation
13. Map visualising donations
- show where in your area donations are just being made and what they were made for
14. Check in for Cancer
- check in app to show that you went to preventive check ups with your GP, you get badges
- possibly integrate in existing app like Foursquare
15. IHOBO game
- A virtual person that you have to keep healthy / cure of cancer, Tamagotchi style.
- This game already exists, but could be adapted: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ihobo/id364005732?mt=8
- take pictures of your/other peoples moles and have them checked
17. Anti-cancer shopping list
- shopping list app that tests if your shopping is healthy and contains food that can potentially prevent cancer
18. Similar to “Mappiness” an app could spontaneously remind you to do certain check ups to prevent cancer, e.g. did you consider having your moles checked?
19. Stop smoking: collect points for not smoking (RPG)
20. Myth buster app: Check if what people are saying gives you cancer is actually true
21. Show that you are trying to prevent cancer, e.g. buy sun protection, scan receipt and Boots will match it
22. Connect people who have donated to cancer research to people who have cancer to create a neighbourhood help connection
23. Create a news app where cancer patients can (anonymously) present their story which will make people donate
Thank you to Michelle Flynn and my army of helpers and The Brickhouse who made the night run smoothly – we will be back I promise! Given we had a night club at our disposal and plenty of beer tokens thanks to EMC Consulting and Fortune Cookie, it was great to see some (bad) dancing break (who knew the running man was back in fashion) out at the end of the evening – thank you DJs H, Webb and Edgley for dropping the tunes.
Finally, thank you to the speakers (Tom Hopkins, Richard Sedley, Alex Lee and James Wallman) who set out a context for the evening. What is very clear to me is that gamification is far more than just a trendy fad; it’s permeating many aspects of our virtual and real lifes. However, its tenets and techniques cannot simply be applied ‘over’ what we already do. Far from being a game ‘layer’, we need to rethink things fundamentally and design and hack new worlds, not paper over the old one.
There will be a link to the video of the event once we have edited it, also check out some photos on our Facebook page.