Nov 5, 2012

A Little Inspiration, Video Style!

I wanted to share a couple of inspirational videos I watched recently with all of you. The first is from professor Scott Nicholson, best known for his, sadly retired, Board Games With Scott web series talking about meaningful gamification on his weekly video blog and the second is a TEDx Talk by Ryan and Cassie Henson of Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure fame that, mostly, involves Ryan talking about how tech education should focus on empowering kids to become creators rather than consumers. I've linked them both after the jump.

The above video is Scott's update for November 2 2012 on the Because Play Matters blog where Scott posts, usually, weekly update videos talking about his work in, what he refers to as, meaningful gamification. I love that he's doing this given the industry buzz around what he calls BLAP gamification, which stands for Badges, Leaderboards, Awards and Points. He proposes that "to gamify something" should mean making it fun and engaging rather than tacking on rewards to something that's inherently not fun. Near the end of the video, he makes a reference to "Chocolate covered broccoli". Priceless! I totally recommend checking out the site and older entries if you're into the subjects of gaming and education and gamification.

This second video features a TEDx Talk given by game creator Ryan Henson with his daughter Cassandra in Toronto recently. For those of you who don't know, Ryan and Cassie collaborated to create a game by the name of Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure for one of those Game Jam weekend dealies. The talk isn't actually about that as much as it is about Ryan calling out schools for the lack of evolution in technology training since he last taught, fifteen years ago. My favourite bit? How, time and time again, adults will be amazed that kids take so quickly to using new fangled devices like the iPad and other tablet computers despite the fact that they are the simplest computers to use in the history of computer use.

So, a bit of an educational slant to this update. I hope these videos light a spark in all of you the way they do in me. And I hope they remind you all that what we do as game designers and, indeed, as creative types, can touch our audience in meaningful ways.

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