Gamification Europe 2018 Awards: Act 3

By Sofia Usman / September 19, 2018

Gamification Europe 2018 Awards

The Outstanding Gamification Awards: Part 3—The Grand Finale

Over the past couple of weeks, we have kick-started the open submission for these Outstanding Gamification Awards. We’ve talked about how you can play, and how to win. However, regardless of whether you win or not, we want to make sure that everyone gets something worthwhile simply by participating. Whether it is more visibility about you and your awesome gamification work, or learnings and inspirations throughout this process, if you participate, you are already a winner.

So my extremely talented panel of judges have all pitched in ideas on how to make this simple award more engaging. Remember, the golden tickets and the magic boosters? Today you will get to meet the creative minds behind them.

Even though today’s post is the grand finale of this series of post that introduces the Outstanding Gamification Award, it’s just the beginning of this journey. As mentioned earlier, the open submission for the initial round will run until Oct 18, so you will have over two weeks to prepare your gamification story and record the video for submission.

But remember, the later you submit, the less time there is for you to gain popular votes on your video. Don’t wait till the last minute.

Alright, time to meet the judges… virtually!

The Judges:

So who’s going to be my panel of judges this year? If you remembered, last year’s Gamification Europe Awards Champions were:

I am very pleased to announce that all 4 winners of last year’s award have graciously agreed to serve as judges this year, kicking off this great tradition of paying it forward. Together with me, we have a total of 5 judges already.

Although all the judges are highly qualified, we all have different experiences, expectations, and our own biases (for good or bad). Since we have 7 categories, it would be better to have 7 judges with 1 lead judge for each category. This will ensure the rest of the judging panel understand the nuance of that category and provide more consistent scoring. Besides, I know how busy these judges are. When it comes to allocating time for this important task, we need all the help we can get.

Most of you probably don’t’ know that a huge part of what made this award possible is sponsorships from the business community. Consequently, we want to make sure that our sponsors are involved, but not with so much influence on the outcome that it breaks the “meritocratic” nature of the scoring process. We felt that this could be accomplished by allowing some of our sponsors to nominate a judge, so we will have a total of 7. This is not perfect, but nothing is ever perfect. We will just have to try it, learn, and improve next year.

Thus, we have 2 more nominated judges from our sponsors.

The Honor System: Full Disclosure

Notice that we are very transparent about who nominated the additional judges. One characteristic of the Gamification industry is that it’s very niched. Everyone seems to know everyone else. This is a good thing, and it’s why I like this community. But it also has its nuance. For example, some participants in the award might have pre-existing relationships with some of the judges, some of these might even be current and ongoing working relationships. This would certainly create a conflict of interest that would violate the spirit of this award. Therefore, I like to establish an honor system of disclosure.

The participants should self-disclose any previous and ongoing relationship with the judges. The judges will simply not vote for those entries. But we all know that a bi-directional enforcement is generally much more effective. So the same goes for the judges. If any judge feels that s/he may have any relationship with the participants that could potentially create a conflict of interest, they should just relinquish his/her vote. This is essentially a self-governing bi-directional control structure.

Since it’s self-governed, it will work best when there is a light-weight (very light) incentive structure that nudges people towards full disclosure. and because disclosure creates more transparency, which builds trust, we will play a trust game here. If the participants’ disclosures are consistent with those of the judges’, then they will be trusted (i.e. given the benefit of the doubt) when ambiguity arises. For example, if there was a tie for the third places in the initial round. In this scenario, we are going to give the benefit of the doubt to participants whose disclosures are consistent with the judges and automatically qualify them for the finalist round. In contrary, if the disclosures were inconsistent (i.e. they did not disclose any relationship with the judges, but the judges did), then they will be automatically disqualified for the finalist round. So, there are definitely benefits for full disclosure.

Here, the judges are basically providing an independent check for the participants’ disclosure. If you read Dan Brown, you may ask, “who checks the judges?” The answer is the rest of the judges. If one judge’s disclosure is consistent with the rest of the judges’ perception, we will trust that judge more when ambiguity arises. And we will distrust judges whose disclosure is inconsistent with the perception of the rest of the judges. Given the quality and reputation of our panel of judges, this rule should never take effect. But is a collusion among the judges possible? Sure! Again, this is not perfect, but there is really no perfect solution to human problems.

As Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

The Technology Platform:

For those who know me, you know that I wear many hats; both literally and figuratively. As a result, I am always busy. So when I took on this role from the organizer of Gamification Europe, I wanted to make sure that I do everything possible to keep the time commitment to a minimum, for all the judges (me included). Being a scientist and an academic at heart, I also want to do everything I can to make the scoring and judging process as fair and transparent as possible. In addition, being a technologist and an innovator, I am always keen to leverage new technologies to make our work and life simpler. Everything from artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and even quantum computing (if I can get my hands on it), are fun toys for me.

This year, at Gamification Europe, you will learn about AI and IoT, and their implication on gamification. You will also see Blockchain, and maybe even 3D printing in action. Why is this relevant here? Because we want to make the voting process distributed (decentralized), robust (has no single point of failure), secure, transparent, yet incorruptible. But these are precisely the properties of an incredible technology called the blockchain. It’s so incredible that some said it’s going to be the nextgen Internet. So we have decided to use a blockchain technology to help us track all the scores, votes, and collect all the YouTube Likes for this award. And we are so lucky that ChainCubed, a blockchain consultancy and development firm, has graciously offer their platform and resources to help us do this. How cool is that!

What about AI and IoT? You will have to find out by coming to the Gamification Europe this November 26—28.

The Conclusion:

Alright, we are finally coming to the end of this short chapter on the Outstanding Gamification Awards. As you can see, we put a lot of thoughts into this. I certainly have. As Alexander Graham Bell says, “When one door closes, another opens,” when one chapter ends, another begins. And this new chapter begins with you, telling us the story about your gamification journey.

We (Pete and Vasilis from Gamification Europe, and all the judges) really want to help you. We want to let the world know about your outstanding gamification work. But you have to tell the story first. So take out your smartphone, switch on the video camera app, and start talking. Remember, simply by participating, you are already a winner.

I wish you Good luck, and I look forward to seeing you all in Amsterdam this November for Gamification Europe.


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