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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds DR.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds LISA HARRIS: Hello. I’m here today with Ashok and Vanissa, who are both from the Winchester School of Art. And they’re going to be talking to us about their work on gamification. So perhaps I could start off by asking you both, do you think that advergaming is really ethical?

Skip to 0 minutes and 28 seconds DR.

Skip to 0 minutes and 28 seconds ASHOK RANCHHOD : Useful question to ask. I mean, I think that begs the question whether advertising itself is ethical. So it’s a bigger question, and I would say that question has been around for a long time. And advergaming just fits into that category. But I think compared to normal advertising, I think advergaming has a lot more potential to do good as well, because you could have advergaming as responsible marketing, helping people to improve their health, or for propaganda purposes for a government if they want to nudge and shift people’s behaviour.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds VANISSA WANICK VIEIRA: The consumer now is in the position that is more in the collaborative way. So it’s not only– of course, the games you’re not passive. You’re doing things. But even through the game, maybe there are ways that the player can do things more, how do I say, freely. DR.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds ASHOK RANCHHOD : Player could do freely, but could also engage in a positive way and leave comments, positive comments, to say maybe we could do this or maybe we could improve things, et cetera. So I think it’s opening up a slightly different avenue in terms of advertising. DR.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 seconds LISA HARRIS: OK. Thank you both very much.

Is gamification ethical?

In this video Ashok and Vanissa, a PhD student at the University of Southampton, discuss their work on gamification and the ethical issues that it raises.

Gamification is now moving from a purely entertainment perspective to a learning and business perspective.

The market is also expanding in the area of massive multi-player online games such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Age of Wushu, Lara Croft and others.

At the same time it is clear that many of the lessons in gaming are being utilised in other areas such as health, education, defence, and even city planning in San Jose with the use of games such as Governance.

Serious Games have been used in military training for many years and are an integral part of the defence world.

Games in health are becoming very important and the development of Wii Fit has been a case in point. Outcomes are standardised and feedback is good.

Serious Games in commerce are growing and companies are becoming aware of the areas where distributed training with effective outcomes is necessary.

Simulations and games are coming closer together to provide vocational training and there has been a growth in apps such as Sketchpad for mathematics teaching in schools. In many instances games are produced by computer specialists or by individuals who have undertaken degrees in either computing or in gaming, where games are often developed with specific modules such as Unity.

For the bigger players there are teams at work that look at sound, art, characters, stories and graphic design.

There has also been a growth in digital advertising using “Advergames”.

Many companies are now enticing their audiences into the market by getting them to play games based on their brands, earn credits or points, experience the brand and then hopefully engage with the brand physically or virtually by buying it.

The Advergame by Magnum (the ice cream maker) first launched in 2011, was a very ambitious effort. It globalised the brand and also offered other brands product placement opportunities in the game. The idea of the game is to take participants to wonderful global locations, through fun games and also entice them to find hidden offers and rewards. For more information about how they did this, you may be interested in this video on Magnum’s YouTube channel.

The growth in areas such as neuromarketing are contributing greatly to the development of the games as will the coming interface designs using haptic technology where particpants will be able to feel vibrations and textures.

The growth in gaming and location technology go hand in hand to understand the needs and wants of the customer within a digital environment.

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