Remix Play Summit 2017

remix-play-gchangers-bannerThe Remix Play Summit has finally materialised and play-personified Feb 15th, 2017 at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab! The initial idea was concocted last year – see a brief introduction to the Remixing Play concept. Since then we have carried out our Remixing Play approach with various groups at the university as well as internationally (including Germany, France, Trinidad and Tobago). And the key highlight is the main celebration of Play in HE at the Remix Play Summit 2017. A huge shout out to the GameChangers and DMLL team, who  coordinated the event, especially Helen Keegan, Oliver Wood, Cathryn Thompson-Goodwin, Lauren Heywood, Debra James, Luca Morini, Samantha Clarke… And thanks to all the speakers and everyone who participated.

The event went brilliantly with clear progressions from the context for play and games through to play in HE and practical insights into gameful and playful design, thanks to our featured speakers – The Godfather of the Game Industry (Ian Livingston CBE), The Godfather of play studies (Bernie de Koven), play for HE researcher and activist (Professor Nicola Whitton) and a well known researcher of gameful design, whose definition of ‘gamification’ is widely accepted and quoted by others (Dr. Sebastian Deterding).

The event was very interactive and there was no dull moments!

Please also have a look at Daryl Peel’s fantastic summary of the day.

The summit also included showcases of the various playful and gameful toolkits and methods which have been developed and/or implemented under the GameChangers programme (including the EscapED, What is your story, Lego). More toolkits will be provided on the GameChangers website soon (still being revamped as we speak).

The summit has also served as a good platform for the Newton CreativeCulture UK-Malaysia project. The Malaysian team was inspired by the event and provides a strong introduction to the adaptation of the GameChangers approach in Malaysia.

The Summit’s twitter hashtag #PlayRemixed was also trending on the day in the UK – charted at no 3 on the trending list! A great feat! And we have also reached a huge audience. Thanks to Debra James for the TweetReach snapshot below.

Screenshot 2017-03-07 10.43.30

Here’s to the next instalment of Remix Play Summit 2018!

#Newton #CreativeCulture Kicked off #designthinking #games #play #gamification #culture

creative-cultures-logo-blue-redDMLL has recently received funding from NEWTON UK-SEA (AHRC + MoHE) programme to expand the impact of the GameChangers initiative into South-East Asia. The project is called CreativeCulture, which stands for ‘Creative and participatory transcultural practice and problem solving through game design and computational thinking’ and we are collaborating with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) based in Borneo, Malaysia. This is one of the two new spin-offs of the GameChangers movement initiative. 

The partnership will exploit existing expertise at the DMLL and UNIMAS, crossing various disciplines including game-based learning, design and computational thinking, creative economy, social informatics, pedagogy and cultural heritage. Innovative and industry-driven pedagogical approaches developed at the lab will be key to expanding the impact of the community participatory work UNIMAS has been spearheading in Malaysia, especially responding to the need to scale up quality and creative learning across the Malaysian Borneo.

The project was recently kicked off at the DMLL (14 – 17 February) in conjunction with the Remix Play Summit (15 Feb). We have had the pleasure to host Associate Prof Fitri Mohamad, Dr. Jacey–Lynn Minoi and Mr. Terrin Lim at the lab for the whole week, where they have been involved in the programme design sprint for the CreativeCulture programme. The DMLL team will be in Malaysia to conduct a series of workshop and small scale pilot in UNIMAS in August 2017.

Get your game on with @Disrupt_Learn and @BeaconingEU #gbl #gamification #pervasive

DMLL_logo_mainReferring back to my last post on the Beaconing project; we are in our second year with a critical milestone that concerns the development and integration of a demonstrator for showcasing the Beaconing ‘anytime anywhere’ gameful learning solution.

And we are looking for a new talent to join us at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) and be part of the Beaconing’s coordinating and leadership team. DMLL is a cross-university experimental unit comprising of academics, learning technologists, educational developers and researchers. The Lab is based in the heart of the campus, uniquely designed to promote open dialogues, collaborative work and exploratory play for all interested in defining the 21st century University.

Extract from the advert we have just put out. The deadline for application is 3rd March 2017. So chop chop people.

The Research Associate will undertake and play a lead role in the research, development and evaluation of pervasive and gamified approaches for the Horizon 2020 BEACONING Project (, which will include designing and developing pervasive and gamified learning scenarios (gamified lesson path design) and applications that promote cross-subject teaching and learning, recruiting and engaging with stakeholders/users, evaluating the impact and effectiveness of new and innovative education interventions through the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, and disseminating the findings.

Currently in its second year, the project is now at the integration phase of the gamified play-lesson plans, which involves working with relevant technical partners across the consortium towards the development, testing and piloting of the Beaconing solution.

BEACONING stands for ‘Breaking Educational Barriers with Contextualised, Pervasive and Gameful Learning’. The project aims to exploit and integrate pervasive, context-aware and gamified techniques and technologies, framed within the Problem-Based Learning context towards facilitating ‘anytime anywhere’ learning.

The Research Associate will also participate in other research activities (with a particular focus on Games Science) within the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL).

To apply please visit:

#BeaconingEU is now a year old #gbl #gamification #pervasive #hybrid

1.1Yes this post is a bit late as it is actually a year, 1 month and 20 days old today! The project has since produced some early mock-ups that were demonstrated at the last GALA conference in Utrecht, and has also been shortlisted for the Best Education Project award at the last Gamification World Congress 2017 in Madrid. Beaconing has also been featured in the various keynote speeches and workshops all over the world.

pervasiveThe project has been both exciting and challenging at the same time so far. Linking learning and gaming can be a bit tricky – read my paper on the trans-disciplinary perspectives of game-based intervention development. However, we have managed (15 partners) to find a common ground on top of which we are building the Beaconing’s ‘anytime anywhere’ and playful learning platform.  Find out more about the project here.

The components are still being developed and unit tested. We are working towards the first integrated prototype by mid April 2017 and will be showcased at the Else conference (hosted by the Beaconing’s technical lead- ATS). The small scale pilot is due to start in April as well to ensure that we involve the pilot schools in the process. I will definitely share the screenshots as well as the promotional video(s) on here once we have them ready.

Follow us on Twitter: @BeaconingEU  #BeaconingEU




Placing my bet on BETT

BETT is a Mecca for those interested in EdTech. This year, it is obvious that robots for STEM/STEAM have definitely gone mainstream, from Lego Mindstorm to VEX.

And playful and creative learning is one of the key themes to this year’s exhibitions, very much aligning with what we are doing at the lab (check out GameChangers and Remix Play Summit)… and love that BETT is also using Game Changer as its tagline this year… ‘Be the next Game Changer’…. so I unashamedly plugged our GameChangers (design thinking though game making) initiative! :))

Playful hybrid spaces, such as the 360 tent were also a highlight for me as I love pop-up playful spaces that add a bit of drama and a lot of fun to “classroom” teaching.

Sir Ken Robinson’s keynote topped an already great day at BETT2017. His wit and enthusiasm, and of course his passion for creative teaching and learning.

All in all, BETT 2017 has done pretty well. See everyone next year 2018! We hope to showcase some of our work next year.

GameChangers CPD

Referring back to my post on the Remixing Play into a Game Plan workshop; there is a huge value in going back to basics and harnessing the power of creative thinking towards solving real challenges, topics or issues. From the OEB workshop, we have been asked to run a taster workshop for a large executive training organisation CEDEP France. It was included as part of their faculty workshop, where the associate trainers from the different countries came together. It was a daunting prospect to preach to those who are seasoned trainers, lecturers, academics and consultants.  Both myself and Samantha Clarke enjoyed the experience.

The reflection session was interesting, where the faculty members recognised that the use of play and games in training is all about nurturing creative mindsets that will influence practice and outcomes. The reflections also include the fact that they were amazed at how quickly they came up with a shared solution even though they were from different backgrounds and interests. And one group registered a domain name for their gameplan, and sought investments from the others. But most importantly, the session was fun and playful.

And indeed “Individuality is Important for Collective Creativity“- which is the tagline for our ‘What is your Story?’ initiative!

GameChangers is not about creating a product but it focuses on creating an experience; an experience that will foster team work, creative and innovative thinking inspired by playful and gameful mechanics. But the process most of the time produces tangible outcomes.


#GBL #gamification #play journals

Thanks Michael Sutton for sharing this with me. For those who are looking for journals that are focusing on game-based learning, games, gamification and play, please check this compilation out. 

Note- this list is not exhaustive but it is a very useful list of relevant journals. There is an increasing interest in publishing game-based work in other journals. Computers and Education and BJET for instance have published articles focusing on games and gamification for education.