Applied Gaming & Gameful


We believe in the deliciousness of guacamole.

We also believe in the power of games to do good for the world. We collaborated in the creation of EVOKE, Coral Cross, Survival Horizon and the Foresight Engine with the hopes of affecting actual, tangible change. And that’s why we believe in Gameful — which saw its closed alpha launch this week — as a profound source for world-changing games and the scrappy upstarts that design them.

Selfishly perhaps, we want to get from Gameful what (probably) every member does: invigorating conversation, creative collaboration, critical discussion, and, yes, the opportunity to turn good ideas into great games that people want to play and clients are willing to fund.

What we plan to give is everything we’ve picked up along the way. We will offer insights and admit to our mistakes. We will identify patterns in discussion and connect unlikely collaborators. We will mediate arguments and highlight agreement. All of which, we feel, is simply part of being a good and gameful person.

There are lots of places to discuss serious games, and even more touting the Gamification fad (admittedly, we have little confidence in the longevity of Gamification, for as much as we think it is important to explore and understand). But in the spirit of Gameful we think there is something wholly unique.

In addition to technical and aesthetic contributions, Natron Baxter is minding the early incarnations of Gameful’s Applied Gaming experience — because, well, we believe that Applied Gaming is the evolution of meaningful engagement. It’s our interest to differentiate from the principles of Gamification, and illustrate how thoughtfully applied game mechanics offer unmatched usability cues, nudge and ritualize behaviors, and warm the very cockles of our hearts. Moreover, we hope to collaborate on the winding narrative of Gameful, and latch onto the very human need to not only play games, but to tell and be told stories.

Frankly, it feels like all these things are possible, and thanks in no small part to our co-conspirators Jane McGonigal and Kiyash Monsef, as well as our Chief Architect, Keith Turner. We’re honored to hover in the same hot air balloon as those chums. And we’re pleased as punch to have you along for the ride.

More soon …

The Baxters

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