Interview with Gamification Europe Speaker Michiel van Eunen

1) When and how did you first hear about gamification?

In 2011 I saw Jane McGonigal’s TED talk ‘Gaming can make a better world’ for the first time. As a games researcher and game designer she made a great case showing how ‘reality is broken’, pointing out the big (and rapidly growing) gap between engagement & motivation we experience in games versus motivation and engagement in real life (work, education): We can improve ‘life’ by applying ‘ingredients from games’ to it.

2) Why and when did you decide that you want to use gamification?

The first project where I applied game elements to trigger desired behaviour, boost engagement and results was ‘The Hunt’, an ARG that I played with a retail chain of 1000 employees. That was back in 2003. I saw that what we were using so far – regular skill-based training for the retail staff – did not have a big impact. Instead I proposed to play a stealthy game with the whole company for 5 weeks. Fortunately, one of our best clients dared to take the risk of letting me carry out this crazy idea, and it became a great success.
In 2003 I hadn’t heard of the term ‘gamification’. When I first did in 2011, I realised that it was what I had been doing since 2003. I actually made it my business.

3) What is the main takeaway someone will take after attending your session at Gamification Europe?

Well, that’s not up to me 😊. I surely hope they will have had a nice experience (in the ‘Escape Room’), understand why I design Escape Rooms for companies & what the effects are and inspire them to play more in their own organisation.

4) What other session of Gamification Europe are you excited about and want to attend?

I hope I will be able to attend all sessions, but I’m really looking forward to talks that reflect on how gamification was applied, where and how it failed, and what we can learn from that.

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