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GamiCon48V Pairing Leaders and Legends for 48-Hours of Online Gamified Learning

adult learning corporate training game-based learning gamification instructional design Mar 07, 2023

GamiCon48V ran for 48 CONSECUTIVE hours! Each session stood out with creativity, bursting interaction, and skillful use of playful learning to solve most any design challenge. Participants learned from amazing world-class speakers as they shared and workshopped their creative inspiration and approaches for developing and designing gamified learning solutions.

Here's a summary of what happened in the Chapter 1: The Call to an Adventure.

Amy Chase Martin, Ed.D. started us off with a hands-on escape room experience using Google Forms. Participants solved digital puzzles and researched clues to escape. The key takeaways from this session were to make sure that you don't set required questions while building your virtual escape room, develop and play to a story, and don’t do distractors first, otherwise, you may get off track and off your pathways.

Next up was Christian Gossan of KPMG International - Australia.
Christian discussed how KPMG increased revenue using gamified learning. He presented Harvard Business School's research on whether a gamified learning experience was effective in reaching performance-based objectives. The key takeaways from this session were to design to data and recruit specialists from academia as partners.

My dear friend Dr. Marigo Raftopoulos a Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Tampere University - Finland, discussed the importance of learning for both humans and machines and the challenges in AI and machine learning that we need to overcome. She explored the implications of artificial intelligence for the future of education and learning and what it means to be human. The key takeaway from this session was the two schools of thought on AI: the Machine Superiority vs. Human Augmentation Model.

Sneha Vaidya of Think Place Global, a recent add to our roster discussed how to use gamification to enable policy-based decision making for climate change. She presented a game developed using the free tool Miro that put policymakers and decision-makers in the driver’s seat to collaborate in a scenario-based game. The key takeaway from this session was the innovative use of Miro to create a dynamic and interactive experience for a highly technical audience to collaborate, network, and share their passion, interest and thoughts on agriculture and climate change.

Bhaskar Thyagarajan of BlueSky Learning in India explored the foundational elements of designing behavioral multi-player games and their value in elevating engagement and powerful reflection from learning. Participants experienced two games where they could see the true behaviors come to life. The key takeaway from this session was the interesting perspective on focusing on playing first to learn what your instincts are in order to identify gaps to help drive successful training and behavioral change.

In the overnight here in the US our GamiCon48V Event Team showed up strong for Chapter 2: Crossing of the First Threshold.

Benjamin Aw - EvolveYourGame­čÄ« - EvolveYourGame­čÄ«, Singapore showed how to create a gamified loop and analyze one's own motivational drives. Using a gamified facilitation tool, participants experienced gamification and internalized gamification concepts and mechanics. The key takeaway? Identify goals and match them with learner motivators, identify outcomes and match them with game mechanics, and create a learning loop.

Vikas Badami discussed quantifying ROI and enabling impact using data science, neuroscience, and game science. He explored the application of design thinking to games, the basics of designing data-driven games, and ways to negate data corruption and optimize game data usage. Human behavior can be quantifiable and data science, neuroscience, and game science can speak the same language.

Mohamed Ezzat, APTD, a Sententia Gamification Master Craftsman who lives in Saudi Arabia showcased his Gamification Master Craftsman (Level 3) project and how gamification worked well for Riyadh Pharma's Secure Pharma Haunted House.

Moe Ash led a session on nudging and discussed the concept of manipulating human behavior using behavioral economics principles. As instructional designers, we can use nudges to help learners make better choices and engage in the experience. The mechanics are the dynamics to nudge people the right way, and should be simple, challenging, and scalable. The session provided real-life examples of nudges that have occurred in different countries, as well as examples of nudges used to change employee behaviors.

Melinda Jacobs delivered a legend level session on ethics in gamification focused on the role of AI in interactive experiences. Emphasizing the importance of ethical implications of products, and how AI plays a role in the next wave of gamification, she discussed the positive and negative impacts gamified systems may have on players, and how to take accountability for the impact they create. Jacobs urged designers to use AI transparently and mindfully to create true behavior change.

And rounding out the first 12-hour shift was my dear friend and brilliant colleague An Coppens. Her session on the forgotten step in learning-related gamification design provided insights on why it's essential to understand learners and their goals and objectives. In employee-facing learning, time and budget, as well as subject matter experts, are the most common drivers for choices made about learning, and very rarely the learners themselves. Coppens emphasized that we need to be aware of accessibility and the ethics involved in gamification design.

Chapter 3: Meeting Your Mentor. These Mentors SHOWED. UP. today with their generosity, knowledge, and time!

During this session, Arek Siechowicz from Poland, discussed the benefits of gamified learning for busy adult learners in large organizations. He shared tips and tricks on how to keep learners engaged for weeks or even months, and explained how gamification can be applied in different contexts within organizations, including onboarding, leadership, and high-potential learning programs.

Sarah Le-Fevre's session "Boss Monsters and Monstrous Bosses" introduced the Organizational Learning Change Model (OLCM), a play-focused, systems-thinking-based framework for the facilitation of learning organizations. Focused on emergent learning, tools, and techniques that utilize play, the session emphasized that designers should prioritize the learner experience and understand the importance of constraints and affordances.

Ricardo Peña MD PhD presented on the use of #gamification in promoting #ethicalthinking among medical students. He highlighted the use of activities such as role-playing, which allow students to express their creativity and develop better ideas about the problems they will face as professionals. The #gamification approach also fostered a safe, entertaining, and fun learning environment, making it a useful tool in developing professional competencies and ethical performance in medicine.

Josh Yavelberg, PhD introduced the concept of WebQuests, which are inquiry-based lessons that encourage 21st century skills and problem-solving through game mechanics. He emphasized the importance of the "QUEST" aspect of WebQuests and explained that anyone who can create a document with hyperlinks can create a WebQuest.

Shonda Hodge and Mallori Steele presented their Sententia, Inc Gamification Master Craftsman Portfolio, titled "Journey to Sovershenstvo: Strategic Communication for Customer Success". The portfolio showcased a game-based interpersonal communication training program that aims to equip customer-facing roles in Customer Service and Support with five strategies for successfully managing customer interactions in a technical environment.

Rebecca Arnett from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana emphasized the continued importance of #PowerPoint in creating engaging training content. She demonstrated how PPT can be used as an authoring tool to build games and interactive training. The session was hands-on, allowing participants to create their own presentations or enhance existing ones.

Anirudh Cheruvu introduced his project which aims to transform career planning for high school students into an engaging role-playing game (RPG) experience. The session explored the relationship between real-life goals and RPG games, as well as the benefits of gamifying academic goals to make them more trackable and rewarding.

CHAPTER 4: Challenges and Temptation. The sessions were MIND. BLOWING.

"All Your Biases Belong To Us" by Zsolt Olah was an interactive, narrative-driven gamified session that challenged participants to identify and defeat 10 common learning and data biases. The presentation explored Bartle's four player types, the halo effect, survivalship, Dunning-Kruger effect, anchoring, echo chamber, Simpson's paradox, and more. Participants engaged in a text-based adventure game to identify learning biases, assumptions, and misconceptions.

A "Sententia, Inc #Gamification Master Craftsman Portfolio Presentation: World Literature Simulation" by Jeff Mastromonico presented a real-life project designed for Augusta University course content that covers seven "key stories" from ancient Hebrew literature. Jeff created an online interactive game based on the narrative of Augusta, the university's mascot, who is transported to an ancient land where he must earn seven "Gilts," representing key stories in ancient Hebrew literature, in order to finally get home.

"Making Failure Fun: Engaging Effortful Learning Through Failure Design" by Javier Velasquez explored how to create better experiences in gamification by integrating more from gameplay's learning loops. The presentation focused on the design of failure states, which is often overlooked in gamification courses. The session emphasized the need to understand how to create meaningful stakes, avoidance desire, and interesting consequences. Participants learn how to reward failure as a step towards learning and are encouraged to use existing games and identify the types of game mechanics.

I stepped in to lead a pop-up design session with my "Pieces of Eight" challenge. Participants have seven minutes (in 50 second sound bites) to think through eight areas of their project, such as business objectives, the beginning state and motivational profile of the learners, and the narrative or context to be used. The key takeaway While the process for gamifying an adult learning program is simple and proven, it requires effort and creativity to succeed. This challenge is an effective way to generate ideas and overcome self-editing tendencies.

"The Rise of the Mutant Learner: How Gamification can help your bored employees!" by Treion Muller examines how the digital revolution has transformed us into mutant learners, continuously and effectively adapting to how we process information, engage others, and learn in the ever-changing digital world. The presentation introduced the CARES Learning Effectiveness Framework, which harnesses the benefits of technology and innovations, draws upon what we know about human development, psychology, sociocultural, and learning sciences, keeps the mutant learner at the center of the user experience, and helps evaluate current learning experiences and offerings for efficacy.

GamiCon48V featured speakers from 30 different countries and every continent (except Antartica). Here are the key takeaways from Chapter 5: The Abyss.
The first three speakers came to us from the Down Under.
Claire Seldon shared how VR can be used to create escape-room-style experiences that encourage learners to explore and discover. Key takeaways from the session were the types of games that can be used in gamification, including digital games (casual gaming, adventure, strategy, sandboxes) and physical games (board games, card games, ball games). Claire also shared best practices on creating a VR activity, including using flexible, non-linear navigation and determining whether the VR activity should be competitive based on the persona. Finally, Claire recommended using creative commons or free images and videos to build the experience.
Vaughan O'Leary’s session focused on engaging a competitive workforce. The key takeaway was that learning should be aligned with results, and people should be rewarded in fun ways.
Cal Osborne discussed the need to understand the audience and ways to develop characters and stories to captivate, motivate, and inspire them to complete the hero's journey. Key takeaways included creating relatable characters and story, modeling best practices, simulating realistic scenarios, and helping to create associative memories.
Jimbo Clark from Taiwan discussed the concept of Phygital, which combines the best of physical and digital training and meeting practices to create awesomeness in any program, regardless of the geolocation of the participants. Key takeaways included the importance of the people, process, and place for co-creation, changing the environment to shift the conversation, and every choice should be to build connection and inclusion.
Sufiz Mohd Suffian from Malaysia focused on uncovering genuine behaviors with gamified assessments. Key takeaways included the need for balance between challenge vs. friction, optimizing user experience, onboarding the user, playtesting for friction, and simplicity where possible.
And Eko Nugroho from Indonesia led a session about facilitated game-based learning and humanizing learning through games. Key takeaways included understanding the fundamental challenges of game-based learning, the importance of creating engaging game mechanics, the role of facilitators in the learning process, and using games to create an 
emotional connection with learners.

More of our stunning speakers and their mind-blowing sessions from Chapter 6: The Transformation.

Namitha Vijayakumar from India talked about "Gamifying Diversity & Inclusion" and discussed how games can be used to spread awareness about sensitive topics such as gender bias, unconscious biases, and disabilities.
Ercan Altu─č YILMAZ from Turkey presented the "TOY Gamification Model and Decards" and discussed gamification as a business model for solving human-centric motivation problems.
Leif Sørensen from Denmark talked about "Online games and training are the perfect match" and how to design serious learning games. The key point of the session was to use data from the next learning games created to gain value from theories and models.
Natalie Denmeade from Tanzania presented "What is your play personality and how can you use it to develop killer learning experiences?" and discussed how to develop learning experiences using one's unique play personality to deepen engagement and support learning motivation in designs.
Alina Tudorache from Romania talked about "Gamifying the Expendability of Human Behavior" and covered #gamification techniques that have been successfully applied as ideation, design, and implementation in different tech matrices. The session emphasized the importance of gamification design without borders, the significance of NLP in gamification, and the most valuable assets in gamification design.
Juliette Denny from the United Kingdom presented "Gamification in Action: A Case Study for Learner Engagement" and discussed how gamification can be used to drive deeper curiosity in learning, reinforce learning, and create a compelling learning environment.
Adam Palmquist from Norway talked about "Plug and Play? The necessity of comprehending stakeholders' desirable futures to achieve gamification endorsement in the workplace learning ecosystem" and presented the STAkeholder-centered GAmification Model STAGA.
Rodrigo Borgia, MBA, COPC RC from Argentina discussed "Why Should I Play if I Came Here to Work?" and emphasized the importance of understanding the motivations of users to achieve gamification endorsement in the workplace. He gave an insightful review of how to create flow in face-to-face Lego Serious Play workshop.
To closeout we experienced the adventure of a lifetime with Sententia, Inc Gamification Master Craftsman Portfolio Presentation:
Five Years to Mars, by Sharon Goza a top instructional designer formally at NASA. This innovative game takes you on a journey to the red planet. Through interactive storytelling and stunning visuals, we learned about the soon to be released game, a sequel to a revolutionary way for NASA to communicate with the public about their work and inspire the next generation of space explorers.

Did you miss #G48V LIVE? Catch the recordings and access the tools at

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