Latest Blog

Why a GAME for good? A response to Keogh’s critique

In his critique of McGonigal’s “Play, don’t Replay!” campaign, Brendan Keogh said: “To the games evangelists, games become hammers and all the world starts to look like a nail.” While his central theme did not build on this point, it served as a starting point for this thought. Choosing a medium for an intervention is

Read More

ToyWorld: immersive toy concept

OK, here is a random ambitious idea for immersive toy. I call it ToyWorld. It is a way to make ANY real-world toy come alive onscreen. It requires a hardware accessory for a game console or PC. Imagine a plastic breadbox that is a 3D scanner (a motorized turntable, a button, and two USB webcams

Read More

“Dumb Ways to Die” – lessons intervention designers can learn from this smashingly successful campaign

Do you aim to deliver do-good messages in an entertaining medium (e.g. video games, Youtube videos)?   If so, I’m arguing that your campaign’s entertainment value is more important than your actual message.  Not equally important. More important. I feel it is surprisingly hard, expensive, and risky to engage an audience, and surprisingly easy, quick, and

Read More

Three FAQs for Juicy Game Design

What is juicy design?  The general idea is expressed poetically here: “the satisfying feeling we get when potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. That point where we release energy from a design in a way that creates surprise, delight,…” Most hit casual games are loaded with examples, but Popcap’s games are most commonly cited,

Read More

Wanted: Better Labeling for Health Apps in App Stores

Health apps (including games for health) are being used today by consumers and medical professional to treat diagnosable health problems.  They are currently unregulated, though the FDA this month announced the first round of regulation. The FDA has specifically said they are not aiming at app stores (link).  However, there is clear need for improvement

Read More

Useful Theory for Learning Game Designers: Core Mechanic

You’re a learning game designer, looking for ways to explain the basic ideas behind your ideas to stakeholders. You need “greatest hits” theory that’s simple enough to explain to anyone. Here’s Wolfram‘s great diagram and explanation of the components of a game: It obviously doesn’t describe ALL designs, but it’s a great starting points. http://www.funstormgames.com/blog/2012/06/designing-around-a-core-mechanic/

Read More