Archive for the ‘gamification’ Category

2nd Place at Hack the Museum at The Henry Ford

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

We won 2nd place in Hack The Museum last month. On Saturday July 27th Cody Greene, Jeff Molsen, Paul Kaiser and I competed in a Hackathon, Hack the Museum at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan. Below are some screen shots of the “telephone” game we made in ONE DAY! Yes, it worked, and yes we were tired.




hfm5 hfm6

 The Opportunity

You know when you are looking at a big display case in a museum and you know they have more stuff in some back room but you can’t see it. Well our hack solves that and gives digital access to those objects. In addition we wanted to make it a fun experience, making it into a game. This game could be played pre-visit before someone comes to the museum or perhaps by kids on a kiosk while their parents are waiting in line to buy tickets.

The concept

We blended the physical and the digital. We allow the visitor to reach back into the collections from an exhibit that they are looking at and interested in. Answering “What else might be in the basement or back room?” We also allowed the different sorting/arrangement of a collection be it by date which is different than how it’s ordered in the display. It is easier to resort, rearrange digital items quickly. Lastly, we made a game that flipped or pivoted how people approach the objects. Instead of the telephone first like you see in the display, we first played a sound, and then the person had to guess which telephone made that sound.

 Overall application design

We had access to many of the museum’s API, with the web API we  used java JAXB to parse and unmarshall the results from xml to java which we used in our JSPs to display the results. We  used java xjc to generate java classes that are analogs to the xml schema and when we unmarshall the results from calling the web service those java classes are what get populated. We used APACHE HTTP client API communicating with the web service.


Official Hack the Museum Site at Maker Faire Detroit

Blog Article about the Hacking The Henry Ford (The Henry Ford Official Blog)

Deadline Detroit article highlighting the 1st place winner

Cody Greene

Jeff Molsen

Paul Kaiser




Gamification with fruitbuddi

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Last week I had the pleasure of skyping with Taylor Reynolds and Brandon Rivera-Melo of fruitbuddi about gamification. fruitbuddi is a product to “enable children to make healthy decisions in the grocery store.”

To direct the conversation we used the conceptual framework for gamification. It  helped  structure a critique of the fruitbuddi and exposed some gamification experience opportunities. The most interesting ones came out of considering the different levels of players and the social learning aspects of how different aged children and families might use the fruitbuddi and learn how to use it better as individual players moved from novice, to problem solvers, to masters.

We talked also about the behavioral onramps that exist in the kitchen or dinning areas that might reference and prime the anticipated use or recollections of using the fruitbuddi in the store. Taylor and Brandon asked about internal/external motivation. That isn’t in the framework. I purposely left it out. In the framework there are “positive emotion” loops that come from players trying to move to the next player level through the challenges. The loops are explicit, but the resulting positive emotion concepts are not. That is a weakness of the current framework that I need to fix and clarify. The discussion about how to embed more positive emotions into any (even minor) action/activity the players take did yield some more possible enhancements.

Overall the conceptual framework was useful for looking at a experience and having a structured dialog about how it could be gamified.



Thank you to Sami Nerenberg, Director of Operations at Design for American for putting fruitbuddi in touch with me.

Future of Learning Thoughts

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Good diner with the Future of Learning club last night at Aroy Thai.

Some interesting discussion topics

1.Two big challenge for future training is how to wade through large systems level data and designing leadership learning experiences.
2.Customer service can not be taught directly, only as part of some task.
3. Instead of education for individuals – education/schools/learning systems/environments for human machine teams. Augmented humans — how do we redesign “education” and training for the future of augmented humans?
4. Gamification and the importance of Open Badges and Mozilla. Badging systems like this are even more so effective to signal status and to encourage social promotion. Though a wider badge ecosystem will drive designers crazy.