Silence is Golden – where action speaks louder


Yes was pretty quiet on the blogging side for the past 3 months. Was on the fast lane… not stopping for long anytime yet but taking a quick breather to reflect on what had happened so far and where I am at the moment.

Project works have been keeping me busy, on top of the usual administrative work, PhD examination and public engagement. And yes lots of traveling. I look at it as a Zelda adventure moving from one scene to another, entering one exciting doorway after another. Not without the usual stress and pressure. But I suppose the goal is bigger than the occasional upsets. Have always been glass half full – but I like to think that it is a more informed one. Though faith plays a key role as well- may not sit well with people who are working based on KPIs, but it seems to work so far.

Highlights from the past three months include the Coventry University Brussels office launch in April, where we showcased the fantastic portfolio the University has in applied research. I was also selfie-tastic on the day- as you do!

This launch was also followed up by a visit from the lab in June to explore opportunities for partnership with EU organisations, which also includes a session with the EU Commission DG Education.

May has also been busy with long haul travels, which started with the ChangSchoolTalks2018 in Toronto, where I keynoted alongside other gamification colleagues- those that I respect in the circuit. You know who you are! Great enthusiasm from the participants and clearly more work in the domain of serious games and gamification should be followed up in Toronto exploiting existing talents. Inspiring.

Beaconing’s Location-Based Games was also demo-ed in Toronto, where the link to the game was released via Twitter.

From Toronto, I moved on to Singapore and Malaysia, where I participated in a site visit for our Newton Funded CreativeCulture project. It was such a humbling experience working with the schools and community in a the remote Long Lamai Village in Borneo Malaysia. The potential of co-creativity inspired by play and games has been realised there, where teachers were able to remix existing games and create new games for teaching and learning STEM. This school is one of the three schools in rural Borneo that we are engaging with under the project, which is a spin off initiative from Gamechangers. I will have a separate blog post on the experience and lessons learnt.

You can watch a 17-minute long video capturing some of our adventures there:

When I was still in Malaysia, we have also managed to submit another Newton funding bid that is expanding the GameChangers approach for promoting social values, innovation and enterprise in Mexico. Another Gamification colleague from the circuit is part of the bid.

June was particularly interesting as well, where I was a member of the examination panel of an industrial PhD in Gamification in Barcelona- which I think was insightful. Well done Alberto! The gamification framework based on an agile approach will prove to be useful when it comes to being disruptive in the development and implementation of real solutions. Check out the Fraggle framework. Looking forward to the journal papers and perhaps full validation of the framework by gamification experts.

Then finally, the launch of the Centre for Advanced Computational Science at Manchester Metropolitan University on 27th June. Fantastic work by the team. A pleasure to be a member of the External Advisory Group, where games is one of the strands under the Centre’s Human Computer Interfaces lab.

Midway through Beaconing


1.1The Beaconing project has just completed its first review (the first 18-month Reporting period) with success. Thanks to the reviewers and the EU Project Officer, we passed with no corrections; all deliverables excepted. We are highly inspired by the feedback from the reviewers with regards to the value of work we have completed so far, specifically the development and integration outcomes.

Beaconing aims to support anytime anywhere learning by exploiting gameful and location-based techniques and technologies. We believe that a strong narrative that encapsulates a learning journey and the flexibility to contextualise learning in real geo-locations are key elements to engaging learners with various educational activities and challenges. And most importantly, we would like to support the teaching and learning community in discovering new ways for creating a more playful lesson plan populated with gameful resources without the need to code or script.

The project has produced individual components, which are deemed to be exploitable, such as the gamified lesson path (GLP) taxonomy, context-aware activity authoring tool, the GLP authoring tool and the gameplot editor. As a platform, Beaconing will allow you to reuse and modify existing lesson paths (shared by the community of teachers) and also create new ones. Please see a brief overview of the project and achievements so far:

 

Coordinating a project as large as Beaconing is indeed a mammoth task. The commitment from the work package leaders and the whole consortium is key to our success so far. It is by no means perfect but we have come so far as a consortium since the kick off in January 2016 (read year 1 reflections). Personality, professionalism and relationships are three key elements which I found essential on top of the relevant expertise. And a huge shout out to my coordinating team at Coventry University!

What I also learnt as the coordinator of the project is that individuality is key to collective creativity. In our case, components which are created based on the individual expertise of the different partners are now being integrated into the Beaconing ecosystem with functionalities that can be exploited individually or collectively. It is time to work closely with the user segments in the different pilot sites to identify sustainability and exploitation.

As part of our activities in the second half of the project, we aim to widen our reach to the different market segments. The pilot is currently ongoing and we are excited with the prospect of testing out our solutions with the stakeholders.

We will also soon announce an EU-Wide Location-Based event. Watch this space!!! We are coming to you!

Follow us on twitter – @BeaconingEU

Check out our publications so far

Be inspired by simple gameplay


remixplay

A recently designed workshop concept on Remixing Play into a Gameplan has a key aim to make game-based design thinking more accessible to anyone with different literacies in game playing. As described in my previous post, “play is key to expanding and broadening our embodied experience with our surroundings. It is an exploratory and experiential means for incrementally, iteratively and continuously updating our understanding and interpretation of the various concepts, objects, people, emotions and the mapping between these variables“.

We need to focus on designing experiences suited for our target audience (clients, stakeholders, customers, students, employees, etc.), which will inform the types of services, products and/or technologies that can be used to facilitate those experiences. The act of play often produces intrinsic engagement and pleasure that enhance our interaction with services, products, problems, challenges, etc. It is therefore possible for us to be inspired by the mechanics of play for informing our strategy, design and construction of solutions that will be more human driven, more emotionally intelligent.

Simple example:

  • Challenge – how to increase sales of a product?
  • Inspiration – Hide and Seek with simple mechanics – Hiding and Seeking!
  • GamePlan – Hide rare items in products for customers to discover and collect. If done right, the Willy Wonka effect can be achieved when customers are encouraged to purchase more in order to stand a chance to discover those rare items.

The game plan can lead to a strategy, a service and/or a product! As the process is based on Design Thinking, it will be iterative, agile and incremental in order to refine the gameplan. The process will exploit playfulness and engagement to help encourage creativity and innovation.

The Remixing Play methodology has been implemented with different stakeholders. For example:

Embedded within a masters module (Sports Science, Coventry University)


Workshop with the Online Learning Educa community in Berlin


Experiential workshop with the industrial community in Trinidad

Slides used for the workshop in Trinidad: