Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 of type Dual about Games for Social Impact

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Gamechanging: Turn Your App Into A Cooperative Game

    by Buster Benson and Thor Muller

    Game mechanics aren't just for games anymore. Designers of all social apps increasingly depend on gameplay to motivate users, and direct them towards goals. Organizations, too, use games to engage employees and customers to encourage full participation. Many familiar game mechanics are deeply rooted in competition, pitting people against each other using familiar elements like leaderboards and zero-sum rewards. But there's an alternative: cooperative games provide a wholly different palette to product designers that want to put their users on the same side of a goal.

    Cooperative games are one way to build a smarter social web, one which organizes people to work together to accomplish really big things.

    In this highly interactive session we'll actually play a cooperative game to demonstrate how they work. We'll trace these dynamics as they appear in board games (Pandemic, Lord of the Rings), knowledge games used in organizations for brainstorming and planning ("Gamestorming"), and social Web apps (KickStarter, Get Satisfaction).

    The session will explore the specific mechanics that make this such an effective method for inspiring group performance.
    - Victory conditions
    - External conflicts
    - Roles & special powers
    - Required sharing
    - Coordination & planning
    - And occasionally...Traitors!

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 11th March

    In Room 12AB, Austin Convention Center

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