Wednesday, June 11, 2014

GSummit 2014 @ San Francisco - Day 1


So, Day 1 of GSummit promised to be an exciting one with Gabe Zichermann's Advanced Gamification Workshop on my schedule. After taking the online Udemy courses for levels 1 and 2, I was really curious to see what would the presence-is-required level 3 entail.

I must admit that anticipation was probably the main enemy of this experience. It was unfair of me to expect Gabe to provide a clearly defined framework and a set of techniques to create gamified solutions. It just wasn't going to happen.
Instead, what he did was talk about the process itself, stress the importance of it being an agile process and take us through a series of exercises that would help us along the several development stages.

As was to be expected (and should always be!), content was really focused on human-centric design, i.e. understanding the players and their journey, considering points earned and progression to mastery.

Really good content, event better delivery, but could maybe benefit from dissecting the template for a Gamification Architecture, instead of just stating it exists and should be analyzed.

Based on past experience, I could clearly recognize the Design Thinking methodology, something that is also present in other Gamification Design approaches. This is a good thing, because in companies where Design Thinking is already a common practice, evangelizing an approach that takes much from it is easier.

After this workshop I got a chance to talk to Gabe about my project and was pleased with his suggestions. All in all, this experience made me a better gamification designer, so results will exist.

Overall, there was a lot of added value on the networking side of the conference  looks like everyone I meet is terribly interesting. And it was interesting to discover the faces behind the #pregame @livecube app players, all cool people.

Afterwards, I was really eager for the Scavenger Hunt, but jet lag got to me and I decided to rest up, gather my thoughts, email my online business card to people I met during breaks and on my team at the workshop and look at my schedule for tomorrow.

Other impressions, mainly on San Francisco itself:

  • gotta love the fact that there's a lot of bikes around, it's a really positive mindset;
  • so many friggin' homeless people everywhere you look... don't know if it has to do with the neighborhood, but there are really a lot of homeless people around;
  • I still can't wrap my head around the fact that most of the people I've met so far in San Francisco aren't even americans, which is good, but weird;
  • oh and the best oven baked vegan sauced chips ever are at 3Potato4!

I guess that's it about Day 1, cya tomorrow!


  1. Manuel, GSummit was held east of the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. West from Market Street, there is a much different street life to San Francisco.

    1. Yeah, I got to see that side of SF on friday and saturday and I loved the city :)
      I'd actually never considered accepting a job offer abroad until walking around in SF ;)