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Blending Tradition and Technology: The Mardi Gras Mayhem Game at GamiCon

game design gamicon gamification Oct 11, 2023

Mardi Gras, with its vibrant colors, spirited festivities, and mysterious masquerades, has always been a celebration that captivates the senses. This year, at GamiCon, we added another dimension to this already exhilarating tradition by introducing the 'Mardi Gras Mayhem Game,' an innovative blend of old-school analog gameplay and cutting-edge AI. This immersive game was not just a whimsical addition; it was meticulously designed by one of Sententia's gamification certification students, Glenda DeHoff, as her pivotal Gamification Master Craftsman project. Achieving this elite level of certification requires more than just theoretical knowledge; it demands the design, deployment, and data analysis of a full-fledged gamified program, the insights from which are then collated and presented in a comprehensive portfolio of evidence.

Analog Meets Digital

GamiCon attendees were greeted with collectible character cards and items that exuded the rich essence of Mardi Gras. These tangible elements created an immediate sense of connection, allowing participants to dive into the game's universe right from the start. However, what truly set this game apart was the seamless integration of these analog components with an AI-driven gameplay mechanism.

The Essence of Krewe

In keeping with the Mardi Gras theme, participants were assigned to a "krewe." For the uninitiated, krewes are the heart and soul of Mardi Gras – organizations or groups that come together to celebrate the festival in their unique way. Within the game, each krewe had a pivotal role. Working collaboratively, krewe members embarked on a quest to unravel the game's mystery.

A Puzzle of Pieces

The central challenge for each krewe was to gather pieces for a distinct krewe puzzle. These pieces were scattered throughout the GamiCon space, some hidden in plain sight, others requiring a mix of wit, creativity, and the application of clues provided by the game's AI component. The AI not only added layers of complexity but also ensured that no two krewes had the same experience, making each journey unique and personal.

Engaging with the Maestros: Speakers at the Helm: 

A pivotal twist in the Mardi Gras Mayhem Game was the integration of our esteemed speakers into the gameplay. Each speaker was endowed with a unique character card, transforming them into key figures in the unfolding drama of the game. Not mere presenters, they became gatekeepers of information, dispersing their character cards during their sessions along with tantalizing instructions and clues. It was a conundrum that required the collective wisdom of the krewe: To unlock the heart of the mystery, they would need to amass all the cards from every session. This added a layer of strategy and interaction, as krewes exchanged cards and negotiated with rivals. Furthermore, magic items served as lifelines, granting krewes the power to seek guidance from the storyteller through yes-or-no questions. This not only enhanced the intrigue but also facilitated deeper engagement with the content and insights our speakers were imparting. The result? A symbiotic dance of learning and gameplay, where each amplified the other.

The Grand Prize

The stakes were high, and the reward? A treasure chest brimming with over $8k worth of resources. These resources, generously provided by our event's speakers and sponsors, were not mere symbolic tokens. They represented valuable tools, insights, and aids to bolster the gamification journey of the victorious krewe. But this was no mere sprint. Spread over the course of the two-day event, participants gradually collected character cards, making it improbable for any krewe to solve the mystery before the afternoon of the second day. The gradual unfolding of the game ensured sustained engagement, a true test of strategy and patience. As the end neared, the race intensified and the atmosphere was electric, with krewes vying to be the first to decode the enigma and claim the coveted treasure.


The Mardi Gras Mayhem Game epitomized what GamiCon stands for – innovation, collaboration, and meaningful engagement. By fusing traditional game elements with modern AI, it offered participants an experience that was both nostalgic and futuristic. It reminded us that in the realm of game design and gamification, boundaries are meant to be pushed, and conventions are waiting to be redefined. As we look back, we're filled with gratitude for the enthusiasm of our participants, the generosity of our sponsors, and the magic of a game that brought Mardi Gras to life in an entirely new way.

Dive into the Mardi Gras Mayhem Experience!

Ready to dive into the captivating world of the Mardi Gras Mayhem game? If you're intrigued by our recount and itching for a taste of the excitement, we've got you covered! Download the detailed game instructions here. Enhance your experience with the augmented reality component by downloading the BundlAR app here. Use the code GAMICON23 for the bundle download. To give you a sneak peek, you can access a sample of the intriguing game clues from speakers and collectible character cards here. And for those curious about the intricacies and reflections, tune into the recording of our game debrief accessing our FREE membership at the all-new Game Garage here. May the thrill of the game captivate you as it did us!

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