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Events, Redefined

Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) just wrapped up and proved to be ground breaking yet again. The idea of a multi-location distributed hybrid event is daunting especially when it covers 90+ global locations in over 400+ conference rooms with 24X7 broadcasting for three days straight. When the audience represents a blend of in person attendees with virtual attendees creating a stimulating and motivating event experience is a challenge.

In the past GSX has risen to the challenge and this year was no exception. This year GSX leveraged rich content driven digital engagements including GSX TV (an on-demand cable network style of short format programming),  Cloud Story (a video rich engagement highlighting the opportunity Cloud represents), A Matter of Time (a role playing game focused on Cisco’s top priorities) and an Architectures Mastery Program (a gathering of the cream of the crop eLearning courses married with live event technical breakouts) and once again demonstrated that when you align your experience with the fundamental goals of your event and listen to your audience you can truly break new ground and disrupt the notion of what the word ‘event’ means.

Of course GSX would not be possible without the depth and breadth of Cisco solutions available to execute it. GSX deploys a vast array of Cisco solutions to create the event experience for example Cisco’s Enterprise Content Delivery System, Digital Media Signage, and TelePresence. Check out the video below to learn more.

Another new element that proved very successful was the Achievements area of the GSX virtual environment. Read More »

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Play Is a Game Changer for the WorkPlace

There has been a ton of commentary on the next big trend for gamification being all about the workplace. Game techniques are being called out as a key way to improve internal performance, recruit new employees, promoting employee wellness, and rewarding employee performance.

Some quotes from recent articles that stood out for me are:

  1. Gartner named it among the top CIO trends to watch and predicted that more than half of organizations wanting to encourage innovation would ‘gamify’ their supporting processes by 2015.
  2. Games are “proven to change behavior,” says Shaun Quigley, SVP of Digital at Brunner.
  3. According to author Traci Sitzmann, “One of the advantages of games is that they are intrinsically motivating, resulting in employees choosing to repeatedly engage in game play and mastering the skills.”
  4. Salesforce.com Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami says, “Gamification at the enterprise is not a fad. It is not about providing extrinsic rewards for crap work. If work is crap, let’s fix that problem and not put any lipstick on it. It is tools that allow a significant paradigm shift from hierarchical, linear, top-down decision making work to non-linear, networked, personally selected teams, tasks, and outcomes.”

Some great examples of gamification for the workplace include:

  1. According to a recent article from FastCompany, Adam Bosworth, former Vice President of Product Management at Google, is a fan of a workplace wellness platform called Keas . Keas enables workplaces with a program where individuals or teams compete to accumulate points by completing tasks such as walking to work, eating healthier, or learning about nutrition. Winners earn badges and take home prizes, such as cash and gifts. Bosworth is quick to point out that the small rewards are not the hook, “the one thing that had a dramatic effect on engagement was being a member of a team.” The key was the teams would motivate each other, create a sense of community, and the obligation to your team peers to mutually success shouldn’t be underestimated.

  2. Marriot recently launched a Facebook game aimed at recruiting to fill their 50k open positions around the globe. MyMarriotHotel aims to entice candidates to consider the hospitality industry for their career choice. David Rodriguez, Marriott’s VP of global human resources told Springwise, “This game allows us to showcase the world of opportunities and the growth potential attainable in hospitality careers, especially in cultures where the service industry might be less established or prestigious.” See the game in action below. Read More »

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Gaming Social Awareness

As discussed in this blog gamification is being used to enable health consciousness, engage learners, and drive awareness on a variety of subjects.

Previous blog posts have provided examples of awareness building games:

  • Evoke – This project is the brain child of Jane McGonigal. The goal of this social network game is to help empower young people all over the world, and especially young people in Africa, to come up with creative solutions to our most urgent social problems.
  • Conspiracy for Good – Tim Kring, creator of Heroes, is the master mind behind this project. This is part alternate reality game (ARG), part crowd sourced content, Kring is blurring the lines between reality and fiction to create an interactive story, which encourages users to “live the adventure, read the signs, fight the Bad Guys and make the world a better place in the process.” The goal is attract, motivate and engage the viewers through the game, in order to make real world change with their involvement in the plot.

The most recent example of a game whose aim is to drive social awareness is America 2049. This ARG was created by Breakthrough, a global human rights organization that uses the power of pop culture to advance equality, dignity, and justice. An overview on the game is available via the video below…skip forward to :45 time mark to bypass the text inserts from the press release.

According to Breakthrough: Read More »

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Let’s Game Physical: Fighting Obesity with Game Mechanics

Obesity is a major public health concern. It can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep problems, cancer, and other disorders. Not to mention the emotional and psychological effects it can have. It can also, if left unchecked, become a life-long issue with overweight kids often becoming overweight adults and childhood obesity leading to increased mortality rates during adulthood.

One of the major factors leading to obesity is a lack of physical activity. Researchers have found that:
• Obese children were 35% less active on school days and 65% less active on weekends compared to non-obese children
• 25% of those adults who were considered active at ages 14 to 19 were also active adults, compared to 2% of those adults who were inactive at ages 14 to 19
• Children were 21.5% more likely to be overweight when watching 4+ hours of TV per day and 4.5% more likely to be overweight when using a computer one or more hours per day
• Currently at least 60% of the world’s population gets insufficient exercise

Disturbing facts for sure so the question is how can we motivate people to be more active? Gamification may just be a critical component in motivating and encouraging people to engage in physical activity. I touched on the Wii Fit Plus and Your Shape Fitness Evolved for Kinect in a previous blog post. However I have recently been introduced to some interesting examples that warrant further examination.

The Lappset Mobile Playground is one of my favorites because it not only drives physical activity it also encourages people to get outdoors and learn while playing. Lappset introduces games that leverage QR codes posted through-out a playground setting, for example Math&Mem. The math portion of the game consists of three different levels; easy, normal and hard. Easy or normal levels drive users to find the target sum by adding together numbers which can be found from the mobile tags attached to playground equipment. Hard level is a multiplication task where player will get the target number and then user must find two correct numbers from the play area and multiplying the sum of the two together constitute the target amount. See it in action in the below video.

Another great example of gaming physicality is Zamzee by HopeLab. Read More »

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Gamification: The Art of Turning Work Into Play

Gamification is a hot topic as of late and has seen marketing, education, and non-profit groups adopting the use of gamification concepts at a rapid rate. While some will say gamification is not true gaming and others see it as an unnecessary distraction, I think both groups may be missing the point. Before I dive into why I believe this let’s recap what gamification actually means and some real world exampled.

So what does gamification mean? According to Wikipedia it is defined as follows:

Gamification is the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications (also known as “funware“), particularly consumer-oriented web and mobile sites, in order to encourage people to adopt the applications. It also strives to encourage users to engage in desired behaviors in connection with the applications. Gamification works by making technology more engaging, and by encouraging desired behaviors, taking advantage of humans’ psychological predisposition to engage in gaming. The technique can encourage people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring, such as completing surveys, shopping, or reading web sites.

Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners is credited with coining the term gamification and he recently participated in the first ever Gamification Summit (which sold out btw) that just took place 20-21 January in San Francisco. The chair of the summit was Gabe Zichermann, a self-described “gamification thought leader.” According to Gabe the biggest mistake someone looking at gamification can make is assuming it is all about prizes and rewards. In his opinion it should be about status, access, power, and then stuff. He says, “The heart of your game should be reach a higher-class tier and as a result getting more exclusivity in options, services and places available to your top players. Of course, people do like to get stuff, but status is a much better motivator over the long term.”

Some real world examples of gamification include: Read More »

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