MVP of the week 2015: The incredibly lovely and adorable… Rainbow Ninja!

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In a society where certificates are most important, and time is a monster breathing down your neck, Shi Teng has done the unthinkable: she’s taken a gap year.

Shi Teng hopped aboard the Gametize train a few months after graduating from polytechnic, a whole skill set tucked under her arm.

While some consider a gap year to be a pause, or a break, in your progress, Shi Teng sees it as part of her journey. Her gap year with Gametize is another story she will be able to tell people, another stepping stone to finding out what she really wants.

Here at Gametize, Shi Teng handles several projects, following up with clients and creating demo samples. Whatever you ask her to do, she’ll do it, and she’ll do it well. Hence her moniker, “Rainbow Ninja”. Just like how a rainbow has many different colours, Shi Teng has many different skills that range from content management to illustration to web design. Also like a rainbow, she brightens up the place wherever she goes, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.

Her time here with Gametize is shaping her and giving her a new-found confidence that will enable her to make the right call for herself when her gap year is over.

MVP of the Week 2015: Introducing the oh-so-delicious… Strawberry Ninja!

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Hailing from NUS with his strawberry-shaped head and insane tech skills is Oswell! You can find him typing away in his hacker-language at his desk. If not, he’ll be reading books and manga, or playing table tennis and basketball.

Oswell is with Gametize on a 6-months internship, though we wish we could keep him for a bit longer. Here, Oswell works magic with laptops and codes, working on and learning more about UX, UIs, and how gamification can drive real-life behavior.

Some may call tech-savvy people geeks, or find them boring, but Oswell can certainly spin a tale that will have you laughing till tears come to your eyes (evident by his Dixit stories!). He’s a valuable team member, and not just because of his tech skills.

Oh, and. He has another prestigious job title as the CBGO – Chief Board Game Officer. It sounds a little vulgar for some Singaporeans, but it is an important role to teach us new games to inspire our creativity. We will be sad to see him go, but we wish him all the best in his future endeavors!

MVP Of The Week 2015: The sharp and deadly… Ninja Philosopher!

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From a land where numbers and words collide, Wena is stuck in the middle: She’s mastered both.

Wena was born in The English Language tribe. Words were her true love. Nouns, verbs, and adjectives were her siblings whom she tossed around and played with growing up. Together, they constructed beautifully complete sentences that would make Shakespeare weep.

However, Wena is a free spirit, hungry for more knowledge.

So, in her tertiary years, Wena danced with banking and finances instead, learning all she could about the inner workings of mathematics and formulae. This act, however, was considered treason by her tribe, and she was banished from her home.

Never one to be deterred, Wena never lost hope, and she trudged on in her solitary journey, until she found a new tribe: Gametize.

Here, she is allowed to love both numbers and words. Here, she is allowed to utilise both.

With her numeric and linguistic skills, in conjunction with her inherent wit and charm, you can bet (if you’re a gambling man), that Wena will be hitting home-runs for Gametize’s leads and clients.


New teammates?

New 2015 “MVP Of The Week” series!

Stay tuned to meet more ninjas!

 

What has Gamification got to do with Politics?

Gamification – the concept of incorporating game-design elements into distribution channels or activities to drive engagement – has been adopted in recruitment, marketing, learning and development, and even HR practices. Politics is also no stranger to the concept, as gamification has been predominant for driving advocacy and engagement…but let us first begin with the basics.

What are game-design elements again?
gamification-1Trying to top a leaderboard or accumulating sufficient points to redeem a reward? If you identify with either of these symptoms, then you’re already familiar with game-design elements! Achievements, rewards or a sense of belonging and camaraderie are a prevalent aspect in the traditional sense of gaming. Unlocking a new level in Angry Birds, redeeming a shopping voucher or joining a guild in World of Warcraft; participating in activities that offer intrinsic or extrinsic rewards and accomplishments may very well be the reason users stay engaged.

Characteristics of competition, rewards and redemption, or even a sense of belonging can increase engagement of your audience, depending on their motivations. Game-design elements resonate with our fundamental instincts to participate in activities with such characteristics.

Ok, back to the title of this article…
Now that we recognize game-design elements, let us examine it in politics. There is inherent competition in campaigning and rallying. There is belonging in throngs of like-minded supporters. Despite the change in context, the fundamentals remain the same. Politicians compete, they mobilize supporters, and they offer perks ranging from free tortillas to free wristbands.

GOT Parody

Image source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/may/26/julia-gillard-game-of-thrones

From 2001 to 2012, Joe Simitian’s annual “There Oughta Be a Law” contest engaged citizens by encouraging them to propose new ideas that may be passed into law. Since then, there have been 18 proposed bills that were successfully passed into law. Gamifying the process by introducing the notion of competition into a contest, driving growth and involvement by putting up attractive rewards allowed for this concept to run well past a decade.

Growth of Gamification in Politics and its possibilities
So how has gamification evolved in politics, and how can it continue growing from here? The 2012 presidential elections in the U.S. saw the conventional form of online games: “iCivics” and “Election Special”. According to Hamari et al., 2014 in their research paper: “Does Gamification Work? – A Literature Review of Empirical Studies on Gamification”, the effects of gamification are subject to caveats that may impact desired outcomes, but the general observation is that gamification can bring about positive results. Coupled with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to understand what motivates an audience, many processes in politics could be gamified to achieve larger objectives:

  • Awareness and education of political issues: Imagine a repository of resources and information that voters can access to learn about a politician’s proposed policies and understand his vision. Now imagine that vast amount of information being developed into an interactive game in the form of bite-sized quests or trivia. Encouraging well-informed decisions through gamification of information dissemination could possibly become a motivation.
  • Engagement of users and advocacy: For the audience that is motivated by extrinsic incentives, gamification could appear in the form of perks and rewards for completing challenges related to political understanding or support. Alternatively, free snacks at campaigns may quite possibly translate into higher attendances and in turn, better odds in a numbers game.

Perhaps even ideas that are slightly more out there such as looking to recruit and groom your “top players” into potential politicians could be accomplished through gamification. The possibilities are endless and the continued growth of gamification can only bring us more surprises for the future of politics.

We have witnessed a gamut of strategies in the Singapore General Elections (GE) 2015, and we think that gamification could have taken it further. The Gametize team decided to design a quick gamified demo to simulate how politicians can use gamification for their campaigns. Check it out at http://www.gametize.com/game/ge or search for “ge” on the Gametize appOr, you can just see the screenshots below:

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 6.48.08 pm
Several challenges available!

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Selfie your support!

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How about attending a rally?

1.4 Mobile version!

Also, in the name of fun, give our GE2015 Prediction Game a spin! Find it at http://www.gametize.com/game/gepredictions or on the Gametize app by searching “gepredictions”. May the luck be with you!

//Edited by Keith Ng.

This post was contributed by Wena Goh, Project Management @Gametize
Wena Goh has just joined Gametize; she seeks to entertain us with her dark (and sometimes ironic) humour. She’s got canine companions she loves dearly and when she’s off duty, you’ll find her either buried in books or enthusiastically farming her BKB (she’s not very good though).

How Wii Games can improve your child

Video games and child development may not go hand-in-hand to the untrained eye but it’s been suggested that video games, in this case the Wii device, may be beneficial in certain instances. Wii games are great interactive games that will not only entertain children but also enable them to boost learning and improve hand- and eye-coordination among other things amid a range of other benefits:

Physically Active
The Wii combines physical activity with video games, meaning that children won’t be sitting down all day whilst playing. From physical movements, using one’s mind and learning a different set of skills, children can maintain exceptional physical health alongside their mind and this introduces them to real-life sports as well. Expending energy is a useful alternative to spending hours inside talking via social media and using the internet as opposed to getting out and about.

Problem-Solving
Wii games promote a sense of interaction that doesn’t usually come with other video games. Controlling a player with a more physical aspect brings in a new element of creativity and problem-solving, crossing movement with something similar to self-expression. Games like Wii Tennis and Golf require anticipation and technique, requiring children to gauge the appropriate response, whether it be how hard to hit a ball, how far and with a degree of accuracy.

Social Skills
A common argument that today’s younger generation face is that they don’t get out and meet with friends in the outside world as much anymore. Playing games online or using the Wii with friends keeps a social element at the core of a youngster’s life. Not only is it something that most kids have in common, it’s something fun and something that frequents conversation amongst young children, providing a stimulus and a source of entertainment.

Computer games are at the core of a number of studies, many of which pinpoint numerous advantages of children playing video games within reason. From embracing competition and allowing time to play with parents, it’s not just physical benefits, but also promoting interaction with others from an early age.

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This is a guest post by one of our contributors, and is not written nor endorsed by Gametize.

Gamification is everywhere

Ever wondered, “Where can I apply gamification?” Let us show you in this infograph. We believe that gamification can be applied to a wide range of industries and that play is an essential part of life!

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This post was contributed by Max Ang, Business Development Mentee @ Gametize
Max is the summer Business Ninja at Gametize in 2014. He loves reading, especially on themes that deal with the modern society. A sporty person who enjoys runs in the morning and rock climbing on the weekends.

4 entrepreneurial traits of the Gametize Ninja

Culture is the unique atmosphere, environment and surrounding of an organisation. It is the shared understanding that everyone in the organisation share. At Gametize, we see ourselves as ninjas, stealth and quick warriors of the night sky. Every ninja who has been part of the Gametize clan adopted these 4 codes at work,

1) Zen state of mind

ninja1We adopt the entrepreneurial spirit of agility and precision. We are fearless in thought and methodology. We are driven by self-motivation. We only have ourselves to prove at the end of the day. Hierarchies is a no go, respect is.

2) Killer instinct

ninja3We believe that every execution of idea should be flawless. Therefore, we do whatever it takes to reach our goals. We are unorthodox and creative with the creation of solutions. We believe that the best ideas are always outrageous and absurd at first, but with time, they can be real gem. We are only comfortable because it is common. Silence the ‘common’ word!

3) Commando spirit

ninja4We are only as strong as the weakest link. Teamwork and trust are critical in a small tight group. We play to our strengths, optimizing the time for work. We have faith in our team mates and their abilities. This is what value-adding is all about.

4) Tough as nails

ninja2Every path is imperfect. There would be obstacles setting us back. We have to remain undaunted, strong and determined in the face of adversity. When at wit’s end, we have calm down and fulfil the intended task to our best ability. Ninja and nails do not flinch at a wrong path.

Feeling like a Gametize Ninja? Sneak up on us, we would love to meet you!

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This post was contributed by Max Ang, Business Development Mentee @ Gametize
Max is the summer Business Ninja at Gametize in 2014. He loves reading, especially on themes that deal with the modern society. A sporty person who enjoys runs in the morning and rock climbing on the weekends.

Gamifying the internship application process

Let’s face it – whether you’re applying for internships or recruiting interns for your company, the process can be tedious, boring or downright inefficient.

Presenting Gametize’s very own Internship Challenge!

Like any internship application, interns-to-be are given the opportunity to market their skills and knowledge, seeking a right match with Gametize. With Gametize’s Internship Challenge created on our native game platform, you’re given much more freedom to express yourself and have a chance to showcase your personality!.

In fact, let’s have a simple walk through and you can experience it for yourself here:

Step 1: Choose Your Mission

Do you want to be a Dev Ninja, supporting the Gametize web and mobile platforms behind the scenes? Or do you want to be a Growth Hacker, constantly finding ways to engage players and increase Gametize’s brand and product outreach?

The Internship Challenge includes each of these roles as separate quests for clarity’s sake, but you can apply to both if you’re game for it! If you’re not sure exactly what these roles entail and whether or not you meet the requirements, all you have to do is take a look at the Mission Brief at the start of each quest.

The Internship Challenge was created using Gametize's intuitive native platform. Getting to know you is just as important as you getting to know us!
The Internship Challenge was created using Gametize’s intuitive native platform. Getting to know you is just as important as you getting to know us!

Step 2: Why Gametize?

We would love for you to join us as a Gametize Ninja, but first we need to ask: Why do you want to intern at Gametize and what do you hope to learn from this internship?

We take our internships very seriously and will not hesitate to give these limited places to those who want it most. And of course, we expect you to familiarise yourself with what we do at Gametize too (don’t worry, we’ve provided handy links you can refer to). Do your research!

Notice the blue buttons? Answers can also be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, click the heart icon to vote on someone else's answer!
Notice the blue buttons? Answers can also be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, click the heart icon to vote on someone else’s answer!

Step 3: Who Are You?

What are your areas of expertise? What are 3 words your friends use to describe you? Which 3 items would you want to have if you were trapped on a deserted island?

It may sound simple enough, but we’re dying to know who you are! Knowledge and skills are important, but we want to make sure you’re a good fit for our company culture too. Also, feel free to demonstrate your creativity – prove that you’re people-oriented by attaching a photo of you and your circle of friends, or show us your design skills by linking to your online portfolio.

Feel free to attach images to your answers - After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Feel free to attach images to your answers – After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

With all 11 challenges completed, we might just contact you to arrange for a quick interview at our headquarters to get to know you even better face-to-face. And if it all works out…

Welcome to the family!

The Gametize Internship Challenge can be done anytime, anywhere, on both web and via our mobile app, gamecode: internchallenge (iOS, Android). Give it your best shot – YOU could be our next intern! #ChallengeAccepted #Gameon

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This post was contributed by Sarah Ong, Business Development Mentee @ Gametize
Sarah was offered a mentorship summer 2014 at Gametize under the IDA ELITe Programme. While her special talent is her fluency in the Japanese language, she also dabbles in a bit of design and of course, video games. Recent projects she has contributed to include the Amazing Food Race and Selfiely.

PRESS RELEASE: Gamification and Gametize-powered app increase engagement by 60% in SMU’s pilot group

First SMU module gamified to increase engagement and interactions among students in a pilot implementation shows encouraging results. 94% of students want to see more modules gamified. The Gametize-powered app is designed by four students, facilitated by their professor, Dr Rani Tan. 

SINGAPORE, 6 Aug 2014 – In early 2014, Singapore Management University (SMU) and Gametize Pte Ltd co-produced a pilot Gamification app for Leadership and Team-building (LTB), a core module for freshman students. Gametize CEO Keith Ng, a head teaching assistant in LTB five years back, tapped on this opportunity to improve engagements between students. It was first proposed in early 2013 to his mentor, Dr Rani Tan.  After a year of planning, the GameLead app was made available on both web and mobile platforms. Lessons became more interactive and inclusive with the introduction of the app. GameLead became a success with SMU’s LTB teaching staff and students alike, with 94% of students recommending the use of GameLead for future classes of LTB.

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Gamification is the application of game mechanics and psychology to non-game context, in this case, learning. A gamified experience will ignite interest and build motivation during class, with the goal of instilling lessons as lifelong habits.

GameLead is an app for students by students. The game structure and content were wholly designed by four Teaching Assistants (TA), senior SMU students who had taken the LTB module. With the aid of head lecturer Professor Rani Tan, the TAs were able to design a gamified experience with the course content. LTB students were given a large degree of freedom as there were no deadlines to quests’ completion. Additionally, students can influence their peers by voting on others’ answers, through viewing an activity feed of submitted responses by other classmates. The app facilitated active class participation, as well as enabling SMU and Gametize to collect feedback about the module.

To provide an immersive gamified experience, GameLead consist of challenges for the students to act upon. A series of simple challenges, such as photos, quizzes, and videos prompted students to reflect on and apply what they have learnt in class. Group activities involving discussions and photo challenges were also introduced to bolster social interaction. With every successive lesson of LTB, an additional quest (group of new challenges) was made available for the students to attempt. Supplementary content, such as videos, were provided in weekly ‘bonus quests’ to help students learn better. The students commented that content introduced through videos was interactive, interesting, and relevant to the theories learnt in class.

A core goal of Gamification is to instil strong intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. Rewards such as points and progression acted as extrinsic drivers for challenge completion. The option to choose prime presentation slots is an example of extrinsic drivers.

gamelead

To experiment with the expectations of extrinsic drivers, students of one of the classes (G1) were explicitly informed that using GameLead (or not using it) will not deliver bonus marks/penalty to their grades (other than logging participation in class discussions, which was a crucial assessment at SMU). The TA left the information dubious deliberately at another class (G3). In the end, G3 had the highest challenge completions, compared to G1’s lower activity, showing the importance of extrinsic rewards to get users on-board or not.However, the provision of a point-based leader board did resulted in some students engaging in unwanted behaviour of not completing the game, seeing that they were nowhere near the top.

“GameLead is an evolution of traditional classroom learning. Through the use of digital technology, lessons can be made more interesting and interactive. The challenge is to find a balance between motivation and rewards” says Keith Ng, CEO of Gametize. “Thanks to the innovative team at SMU, we are able to conceptualize a unique learning pedagogy. From the successful pilot and enthusiastic response of students, we are encouraged to bring this app further.”

GameLead was designed to solve the problem of motivating and engaging students beyond the classroom, by providing a seamless and engaging experience through Gamification. Survey results revealed that over 60% of students felt more engaged through GameLead, demonstrating the pilot’s success. Gamification in education is a fairly new concept. With the success of GameLead, SMU and Gametize are set to develop a second edition with an enhanced storyline and reward system.

The press release can be viewed here.

 

 

About Singapore Management University
A premier university in Asia, the Singapore Management University (SMU) is internationally recognised for its world class research and distinguished teaching. Established in 2000, SMU’s mission is to generate leading edge research with global impact and produce broad-based, creative and entrepreneurial leaders for the knowledge-based economy. It is known for its
interactive and technologically-enabled pedagogy of seminar-style teaching in small class sizes.

 

The pilot Gamification app for Leadership and Team-building is helmed by the following Professor and Teaching Assistants:

Professor Dr Rani Tan has been teaching undergraduates at SMU, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, for almost a decade. She is also actively engaged in conducting a HRM module at the Master’s level for the School of Information System and does executive education at SMU. Besides her passion for teaching and coaching, she is also a trained counsellor and is very much involved in voluntary work in the wider community, especially in the area of mediation for the Community Mediation Centre, Ministry of Law in Singapore.

Leon Lim Jun Yang is a second year undergraduate at SMU School of Information Systems Management. He is very passionate in the area of leadership studies and strongly believes that learning can be made fun.

Joel Koh Yong Kiat majors in Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship in SMU. He believes in holistic learning and is the founder of skillministry.com. The platform offers people the easiest way to learn and discover new experiences.

Patricia Anne Carthigasu is a second year undergraduate at SMU School of Social Sciences, majoring in Political Sciences. She believes in developing and harnessing the leadership potential in students to inspire social change in our society. She strongly believes in providing students a holistic, value-based education; and that learning should never be confined to the classroom.

Tay Weng Yew is a second year undergraduate at SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business and a regular serviceman of the Singapore Armed Forces. His passion lies in leading teams to serve the community and believes that the world is everyone’s classroom.

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This post was contributed by Max Ang, Business Development Mentee @ Gametize
Max is the summer Business Ninja at Gametize in 2014. He loves reading, especially on themes that deal with the modern society. A sporty person who enjoys runs in the morning and rock climbing on the weekends.

MVP of the Week: Last but not least… The Mind-Bending Ninja

Jonathan

As a final-year Psychology student at the University College London, Jonathan developed a passion for UX design after taking the elective module Computing for Psychologists.

This interest led him to fly across the globe, back to Singapore, to pursue a mentorship in Gametize.

Jonathan’s spectrum of talents led him to be thrown immediately into action, working on projects within his first week at Gametize.

Drawing from his psychology expertise, IT knowledge and design skills, Jonathan has produced great work ranging from an awesome infographic on Gamification to a blog post on Milgram’s experiment!

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MVP of the Week” is a series of articles highlighting our awesome teammates. Stay tuned!

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This post was contributed by Quek Keng Yong, Business Development Mentee @ Gametize
Keng Yong has been placed at Gametize to do a 6-month internship through the iLEAD programme of NUS Entreprise in 2014. He studied Business at National University of Singapore. In his spare time, he likes to ride a bike or play computer games.