I’m here: Lift11 is the first conference I’ve visited in Geneva outside of the CERN campus, so this is a momentous occasion for me. Highlights of what I’ve seen so far are a touch-screen interface projected onto a wall, mind maps that were hand-drawn by two women who are actively listening to people talk about their ideas and drawing these concepts on large paper sheets, and a workshop about predicting avalanches – bizarre? Just had poisson for lunch and now I’m looking forward to the Gamification seminar which I’m sitting through right now.
The speaker, Steffen Walz, just introduced himself by singing and ‘boogying’ to: “I’m going to introduce you to Gamification” and making everyone clap. Now he’s giving us a history lesson, saying that games have been with us since early human civilization.
He says that the Lift11 conference has gaming elements such as the social aspect of people meeting and networking with each other. The conference workshops are also games because people work together to create a new outcome. He’s not talking about the fantasy games of the Sony PS3 or Nintendo Wii, but the reality of social games like Facebook that enable virtual interactions between people.
He also emphasises that playing games is good for our mental health. He ‘tries’ to add humour by making the audience enunciate the word: “Gamificationisation”. They make us feel good and are very social; gamification is about understanding your audiences. “It’s not just about ******* points” says Walz. I’ll leave you with his comments that playing is within our nature and can be applied anywhere. Now Etienne Mineur is showing the audience how to use heat-sensitive inks to create interactive books and artistic-games he has designed on the iPad – still bizarre...