Big Gamification Challenge 2018 introduces: Immersive Environments

Published: 22 November 2017 at 13:52

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We officially kicked off the Big Gamification Challenge 2018 on Wednesday 8 November at the introductory seminar at the Holiday Inn, Peterborough.

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We were pleased to welcome new participants to hear about gamification and the 2018 challenge theme. The theme for the Big Gamification Challenge 2018 is: Immersive Environments | A series of smart cities challenges.

At the event Daniel Clarke, Smart Cities Programme Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, highlighted the potential impact on the region of new houses being built and new jobs being created. He talked about the challenges posed to transportation systems, health and social care, air quality, housing and sustainable environments.

Clarke asked: “How do we use new and emerging technology and gaming principles to create more user and customer friendly experiences in cities? We need to engage people in our cities through play, create a sense of place and community, and make cities fun environments to be in. That is the Big Gamification Challenge for 2018.” Also speaking at the seminar were Maryam Imani, Senior Lecturer in Water Systems Engineering (Civil Engineering), Department of Engineering and the Built Environment (EBE), FST, Anglia Ruskin University, and Sebastien Samson, Senior Gamification Design Manager, LEGO.

Imani spoke about the resilience and interdependence of infrastructure, talking through scenarios in which one type of utility or mode of transportation might fail, and trying to test the resilience of other interlinked utilities or transportation methods. At the end of Imani’s talk Jan Storgårds, REACTOR Project Director, highlighted how developing games would help simulate and create accurate predictions of such vulnerabilities – perhaps there’s a gap in the market even for a board game related to essential services?

Samson began his talk by saying: “You always hear that gamification is about rewards. I’m here to tell you it’s actually about dopamine”. He explained that dopamine is a drug produced by the brain that, simply, makes people complete particular activities because they are seeking a particular reward, which in turn is responsible for both addictions and meeting basic needs like finding food or shelter. Samson went on to describe compulsion loops and the links between dopamine, compulsion loops, and successful ‘addictive’ games. Read Samson’s write up of the talk for a more in-depth overview, including the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and, essentially, the role of anticipation in keeping players returning to games time and again.

Interested individuals, SMEs and games industry representatives who were not able to join us at the introductory seminar are still welcome to get involved with REACTOR or the Big Gamification Challenge 2018. Applications to participate in the Big Gamification Challenge are invited until Thursday 25 January 2018: so get your application in before the 12 noon deadline!

Get the latest information on upcoming informal meet-ups and events.