CloudGuide's Blog

Gamification and the memorable experiences

BY Azucena Lozano

Today we are talking to Oscar Gª Pañella, Gamification & Serious Games Consultant, Professor & Researcher consultor at ENTI, ERAM, IEBS and  COOKIE BOX in Barcelona and a real gurú in the gamification international scene.

CloudGuide is quite obsessed with making easier the communication between cultural institutions and their audiences. We heared the word Gamification time ago, related to it's possibilities as a tool addressed to  enforce our concentration and learning skills, linked to the idea of playful learning, which joins together pedagogical approachs to creative knowledge. We found really interesting to find the way to apply this innovative concept to our grasping way to link Communication in Culture

So Oscar answered our questions in the gardens of the University of Barcelona, during a break time at the BA in Design and Developement of Videogames at the ENTI, where he teaches and coordinate the first degree in Catalonia, and gave us some clues about the use of that not so new gamification strategies, updated to splash with a fresh air differents areas of Knowledge, not just in Arts and Culture.

So Let's us talk, finally, about Gamification

Cloudguide: What is Gamification for you? 

Oscar: Gamification is a very organic concept that has to do with memorable experiences, products and services that have already been conceptualized but maybe just not work or might work better or does not get that users or employees, it depends, do what you want and above all, do so because they want to. At the end , Gamification will be the enforcement of game design in a context that does not have to be playful but is to be improved in terms of memorability to get people to do things that are connected with what you want and do so because they desire and not (because) they feel forced. 

C: Why do we hear of Serious Games and fun games?

O: I prefer to speak of Applied Games: instead of saying Serious Games, Applied Games. What happens is that in the whole world is already the determined label. It seems that Serious Games is a contradiction because if it's a game and it is memorable, it has to be fun and it seems that serious need to go against funny; probably that's the error: the opposite of funny is not serious, it's boring. A Serious Game can be hilarious but also super efficient, super rigorous  and adressed to what you want to achieve. 

C: How do we build an effective and both funny strategy in gamification? 

O:There are some phases that are segmenting and knowing your audience,  know what kind of players are, what they want to play, what are the verbs, motivators, the dynamics that have to do with what they like to do; from these verbs you have to assemble sinergies, activities which are essentially funny and it has to do with making the task they say these verbs. To mount these mechanical elements we have to select some game elements and splash them with some storytelling, a story, an epic, a universe of fiction / non-fiction, with characters, etc. Besides all that, I have to connect to a map of rewards, a pointification algorithm with a feedback so that people feel constantly informed and always beyond balancing. You have to do a lot of testing, you have to play many times. There is no other way to make a game.

C: Does it always have to be a prize as an incentive to call for participation?

O: Prizes work with people who are more purely player, with people who always likes to play, but most people are not willing to participate and only play at certain times. (In this case), you have to appeal to other motives because rewards do not work. You have to allow them to explore, share, make decisions and solve challenges and to make them feel intellectually stimulated and encouraged.

C: How do you rate gamification initiatives aimed at young people in museums?

 O: I think the content of museums is super important but is not designed for this audience. Because neither aesthetically, formally, nor in the expression, or artistic or audiovisual level, it's fitted for this audience, for this youth. It's not about saying "we made a powerpoint" or "we made a video," it is you look at what they consume and somehow, tune in.

And he just let us thinking about the last time we had a memorable experience while visiting an art exhibition in a museum or cultural center...



New Year, new proposals for CloudGuide's blog

BY Azucena Lozano

There is a new proposal this year for our CloudGuide blog we want to share with you. We are drafting a new publication's schedule with a whole range of topics related to the values and points of interest of CloudGuide, which will be published as interviews, conversations, talks between professionals...

We have started on January by working on Education as a tool for comunication, knowledge spreading and the human developement of the communities. On February we will focus on Gammification, March is the month devoted to Communication in Culture, Abril is for New Technologies and we are just heating the oven!

We think on twelve big sections of topics to invite you to participate with comments, opinions and suggestions and of course, new topics that you would like to see in our blog.

We hope you like it as much as we are thrilling doing it.

TBA21 joins CloudGuide launching their new app today

BY Azucena Lozano

Cloudguide is proud to announce that Viennese TBA21 has just launched their new app with us this week. This innovative, contemporary gallery is now showing a solo exhibition by Carsten Höller, LIEBEN, which is a highly recommended experience that has been prolongued until January, 4th due to the success of visitors.

Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary is collaborating with Belvedere, Vienna, to bring a selected bunch of pieces from the Höller universe to offer unexpected moments, a diferent kind of logic, as curator Daniela Zyman refers. We are allowed, and invited, to sleep in an elevated bed available for overnight booking, to float for a while in the Psycho Tank, or to take a walk in the Augarten gardens sourrounded by giant hybrid mushrooms... A must to be underlined on the Vienna Art Week visitors agenda, who will find in TBA21 a chance to fight conventionnal knowledge and utilitarian rationality at the same time. It is fair to say that, in just a decade, the consistent focus on exciting, cutting edge art discourse has transformed Vienna Art Week from a high-profile network of art experts into an internationally recognized arts festival.

Along with this joyful radical change, technological tools have come to make closer and more accesible the understanding of arts, and some institutions have accepted the challenge to help their audiences to be engaged and play an active role.

TBA21 is one of this fully aware example that commitment and passion to arts fits both visitors and professionals, just like we think in Cloudguide.

Will ibeacons change the user experience in museums?

BY Azucena Lozano

Cloudguide is deploying ibeacons technologies to museums with very good results. We think the audience will find in them the possibility to interact in the rooms in a highly ludic and attractive way, but what are we talking about when we refer Ibeacons?

This technology involves an indoor geolocalization system that send out proximity signals to our smartphone by Bluetooth, so we may receive specific content without needing QR codes or additional downloads. The applications in sectors such as retail, turism and creative industries (videogames, cultural institutions) are rising fast thanks to the welcome audience is showing to this ibeacons development, as far as they may get notifications, promotions, different payment options when shopping, or additional information as the availability of a product, a wi-fi connection in the shop or even linking the official app. As an example, if we are members of a customer loyalty program, the shopper assistant may know what we use to buy them and offer an special discount based on our likes in past adquisitions. It’s a real world of possibilities.

When we implement this technology to museum sector, this possibilities we were talking are no fewer nor smaller. Besides finding us indoors and identifying exactly our position in the tour (that’s an interesting point when we visit huge museum buildings), it is important to remark that we may focus and enjoy artpieces without following any guide, audioguide or app: information about the pieces will come to us, no searching. There have been diferent experiences with clue games, so funny for kids and not-so-kids people, which have been developed by museums as Rubens House in Antwerp, or the New Museum in New York, that includes educative apps as extra contents. The access to the Activities Agenda, a link to join the Friends of the Museum Association or the gifgt shop, are also availables.

Cloudguide is developing this possibilities already in Barcelona, in collaboration with The Modern Museum of European Art MEAM, as a pioneer in this experience.

We will be soon posting more information about this pilot program that is being so joyful to us. Please keep on reading our blog!

Apps for kids. How to manage leisure, technology and education

BY Azucena Lozano

The new school year comes as usual with old doubts about how to  integrate the use of mobile technology in everyday’s kids routine. Those questions related to access limitation, or how to define the máximum time available per day or  the most convenient contents for kids are common in parents concerned to the fact that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) may become great allies in their kids education. But they feel, by the other hand, that these newcomers should not invade leisure times with family, in the playground or substitute tradicional reading media.

Mobile learning, which is the learning base on mobile devices, is considered done of the emerging technologies that will impact education in the following years, as The Horizon ib 2012 states.

One of the advantages that Mobile learning has is that it makes possible outdoor learning, anywhere, anytime. The student becomes proactive as he or she may create, publish and share their own knowledge as he or she takes benefit form the knowledge generate by others, as a contribution to a ciclic process that enriches enormously the experience in learning.

The apps developed for museums, libraries  and cultural organizations to suplement the educational base program are in this sense, eficient tools to be taken into account. The experience children have when discovering masterpieces in the museum galleries may be deployed in a play-oriented and simuoltaneously pedagogic way, by using the app to deepen and reinforce the non-formal learning as children natural curiosity for the new is rewarded toguether with the exploration of new contents and the adquisition of pedagogical skills.  That’s why the apps that enables users to create, share and edit are extremely useful.

There are specialized websites and blogs to guide those parents who, concerned by the need to choose quality within the increasing supply, are looking for some orientation. In any case, as usual, common sense and the knowledge of your kid educational requirements are the best guidance.

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