Effective change of habits requires a process. A process that has been researched by positive psychology and top motivational speakers. Part of this process is found naturally in some video games and is demonstrated using Super Mario. Magic Mind wants to bring the world of video games and behavior change together by making empowerment games for children. For more information visit MagicMind.org

joshbyard:

The Gamification of Synthetic Biology Continues: Creators of FoldIt Follow up With RNA Transformation Game

Meet eteRNA, your new internet addiction. Not only is it a super-fun way to procrastinate on that thing you should be doing, it also helps to advance biology’s understanding of RNA and its synthesis- in a big way.

Scientists from Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University have developed eteRNA as a successor to Foldit, a popular internet-based game that proved the pattern-matching skills of amateurs could outperform some of the best protein-folding algorithms designed by scientists.

They’re hedging their bets that eteRNA will work similarly - and are even funding the real-life synthesis of the weekly winner’s RNA molecule to see if it really does fold the same way the game predicts it should. 

The scientists hope to tap the internet’s ability to harness what is described as “collective intelligence,” the collaborative potential of hundreds or thousands of human minds linked together.

Using games to harvest participation from amateurs exploits a resource which the social scientist Clay Shirky recently described as the “cognitive surplus” - the idea that together, as a collection of amateurs, we internet people make a very good algorithm because we react to information presented in a game, get better at it as we go along, and make informed decisions based on what has or hasn’t worked for us in the past. 

“We’re the leading edge in asking nonexperts to do really complicated things online,” says Dr. Treuille, an assistant professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon and one of the original masterminds behind the game. “RNA are beautiful molecules. They are very simple and they self-assemble into complex shapes. From the scientific side, there is an RNA revolution going on. The complexity of life may be due to RNA signaling.”

“This [project] is like putting a molecular chess game in people’s hands at a massive level,” he continues. “I think of this as opening up science. I think we are democratizing science.”

And, so far, the democratisation is working. Although the creators warn that game players may start to see legal and ethical issues in gameplay down the road, for now, the collective intelligence is trumping professionally designed algorithms. Significantly, not only do humans outperform their computer adversaries, but the human strategies developed during the course of the game are significantly more flexible and adaptable than those of the algorithms they’re pitted against.

fuckyeahmolecularbiology:

FavorTree - New App Uses Gamification For Social Good - Forbes
A new mobile app called FavorTree is harnessing the competitive energy that makes online games like FarmVille successful and using it to fortify real-life communities.
FavorTree, which opened for pre-registration today, rewards users for sharing goods and services with their neighbors. Each time users do favors for their neighbors — like lending textbooks, giving rides to the airport, or helping with chores — their virtual “trees” gain fruit.

FavorTree - New App Uses Gamification For Social Good - Forbes

A new mobile app called FavorTree is harnessing the competitive energy that makes online games like FarmVille successful and using it to fortify real-life communities.

FavorTree, which opened for pre-registration today, rewards users for sharing goods and services with their neighbors. Each time users do favors for their neighbors — like lending textbooks, giving rides to the airport, or helping with chores — their virtual “trees” gain fruit.

7 Examples: Put Gamification To Work - The BrainYard
Social Business: Game On
Gamification is the art, and sometimes science, of applying game theory and mechanics in non-game contexts. Businesses have used game mechanics for years—often in training and human resources settings—to provide users with incentives to perform particular (and, quite often, tedious) tasks. Now, with the rise of social networking in the workplace, the game, as they say, is really on.
Gamification has been used in business settings in the past, but users were often playing in a vacuum—or their success at “the game” was only visible to a manager. Think of a human resources application, where a user could earn points for every training document he or she read. The person’s score might make a difference in his or her next performance evaluation, but the gaming model did not leverage what really makes people engage in games—the human desire to compete, against others and against themselves.
That’s where social networking comes into play (pun intended). Organizations are using social networking platforms externally—for marketing, customer service, and product development—and internally—for workflow management and collaboration. In environments where people are already sharing and linking to each other, gamification is a natural fit. Now, users are competing against each other for points, or badges or to be known as a leader. Status is clearly visible, so even when users are not competing against each other, there is still incentive to achieve.
The gamification model integrated into social business applications often includes badges showing different levels of achievement, progress bars and meters, points and other rewards that can be earned, loyalty awards, and leader boards.
The market for gamification is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. Research from Gartner indicates that by 2015, 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, and that by 2014 more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

7 Examples: Put Gamification To Work - The BrainYard

Social Business: Game On

Gamification is the art, and sometimes science, of applying game theory and mechanics in non-game contexts. Businesses have used game mechanics for years—often in training and human resources settings—to provide users with incentives to perform particular (and, quite often, tedious) tasks. Now, with the rise of social networking in the workplace, the game, as they say, is really on.

Gamification has been used in business settings in the past, but users were often playing in a vacuum—or their success at “the game” was only visible to a manager. Think of a human resources application, where a user could earn points for every training document he or she read. The person’s score might make a difference in his or her next performance evaluation, but the gaming model did not leverage what really makes people engage in games—the human desire to compete, against others and against themselves.

That’s where social networking comes into play (pun intended). Organizations are using social networking platforms externally—for marketing, customer service, and product development—and internally—for workflow management and collaboration. In environments where people are already sharing and linking to each other, gamification is a natural fit. Now, users are competing against each other for points, or badges or to be known as a leader. Status is clearly visible, so even when users are not competing against each other, there is still incentive to achieve.

The gamification model integrated into social business applications often includes badges showing different levels of achievement, progress bars and meters, points and other rewards that can be earned, loyalty awards, and leader boards.

The market for gamification is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. Research from Gartner indicates that by 2015, 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, and that by 2014 more than 70% of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

Can Gaming Salvage The Education System? - PSFK
PSFK spoke to Nt Etuk, the Founder of DimensionU about his series of educational video games, in which students can play and compete against each other globally while learning key concepts in math, science, social studies and literacy. With its larger goal of turning learning into a lifestyle for children, the educational platform rewards children with virtual currency for in-game achievements and allows family and friends to volunteer support for individual accomplishments in the form of rewards.
Tell us about DimensionU and its mission.

DimensionU is an online platform that features educational video games for children. What makes us unique is that we tie the games to motivational tools that are powered by virtual currency and rewards.
Students play fun, free, multi-player educational video games with their friends and as a reward for getting answers right, they earn virtual currency that allows for the purchase of in-game items. Parents are able to participate in the experience by funding the rewards that serve to motivate their children.
Due to the pervasiveness of modern technology, children are faced with an endless number of distractions that take time away from their education. We feel that for education to compete with these myriad distractions, we have to make learning feel like a game and include a powerful reward mechanism to get children to adhere to the curriculum.

via PSFK:

Can Gaming Salvage The Education System? - PSFK

PSFK spoke to Nt Etuk, the Founder of DimensionU about his series of educational video games, in which students can play and compete against each other globally while learning key concepts in math, science, social studies and literacy. With its larger goal of turning learning into a lifestyle for children, the educational platform rewards children with virtual currency for in-game achievements and allows family and friends to volunteer support for individual accomplishments in the form of rewards.

Tell us about DimensionU and its mission.

DimensionU is an online platform that features educational video games for children. What makes us unique is that we tie the games to motivational tools that are powered by virtual currency and rewards.

Students play fun, free, multi-player educational video games with their friends and as a reward for getting answers right, they earn virtual currency that allows for the purchase of in-game items. Parents are able to participate in the experience by funding the rewards that serve to motivate their children.

Due to the pervasiveness of modern technology, children are faced with an endless number of distractions that take time away from their education. We feel that for education to compete with these myriad distractions, we have to make learning feel like a game and include a powerful reward mechanism to get children to adhere to the curriculum.

How Three Businesses Scored Big with Gamification | Entrepreneur.com
Ready or not, gamificationReady or not, gamification is taking the business world by storm.
For anyone unfamiliar with gamification, it’s the application of game-like elements such as challenges, points, badges and levels to business and other nongame websites. An estimated 70 percent of the top 2,000 public companies in the world will have at least one gamified application by 2014, Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner Inc. predicts.
Patrick Salyer, CEO of gamification platform Gigya, believes there are two keys to success with gamification. “One is making sure that all gamified elements are inherently social,” he says. “That is, don’t restrict engagement to the internal site community. Award points for activities that reach users’ social [networks] to bring in referral traffic.”
The other is to focus on rewarding activities that create value for your businesses. “For example, award points and badges for behaviors like subscribing to your company’s newsletter, checking into your store or sending coupons to friends,” Salyer says. “Gamification is not about haphazardly throwing badges across your site.”

How Three Businesses Scored Big with Gamification | Entrepreneur.com

Ready or not, gamificationReady or not, gamification is taking the business world by storm.

For anyone unfamiliar with gamification, it’s the application of game-like elements such as challenges, points, badges and levels to business and other nongame websites. An estimated 70 percent of the top 2,000 public companies in the world will have at least one gamified application by 2014, Stamford, Conn.-based research firm Gartner Inc. predicts.

Patrick Salyer, CEO of gamification platform Gigya, believes there are two keys to success with gamification. “One is making sure that all gamified elements are inherently social,” he says. “That is, don’t restrict engagement to the internal site community. Award points for activities that reach users’ social [networks] to bring in referral traffic.”

The other is to focus on rewarding activities that create value for your businesses. “For example, award points and badges for behaviors like subscribing to your company’s newsletter, checking into your store or sending coupons to friends,” Salyer says. “Gamification is not about haphazardly throwing badges across your site.”

IBM Research: Q&A with Yaniv Corem, gamification expert at IBM Research
Yaniv Corem joined IBM Research – Haifa in June 2010 after completing his  undergraduate work at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and  earning his master’s degree in architecture and computer science from  MIT. Aside from his enthusiasm for rock climbing and bouldering, Yaniv  is passionate about projects that use the “wisdom of the crowd” to solve  difficult problems, complete tasks, gather data, and more.What is gamification?YC:  Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics  in non-game applications to increase engagement. Game thinking can be  used to make almost anything fun and encourage people to get involved.Does competition really help people learn?YC: Human beings are competitive by nature. Games bring out that  sense of competition within a safe and fun environment, where learning  takes place naturally. It’s not just competition that does the trick,  but an entire set of attributes that make games such powerful tools for  learning. Gamification creates a safe environment in which to experiment  without suffering the consequences. It also brings in the aspects of  new experiences, cooperation with other players, and just having fun. Competition can be an extrinsic motivator, for example, for a student  competing with other students for the best grade on a test. But  competition can also be intrinsic, when people push themselves to  achieve a certain goal. For example, a toddler learning to stack objects  will try the same thing over and over again, while grappling with  complex concepts like gravity and balance.How is IBM using gamification to help people learn and share information? YC: One great example is in the area of product adoption. New  users of Lotus Connections, for example, can find such a feature-rich  environment daunting. Bunchball, a leader in gamification, developed a solution for IBM called Level Up to help users adopt Connections. It takes complex learning processes  and breaks them up into smaller chunks called levels. At each level, a  user/player is asked to perform specific tasks that help teach how to  use the product. In return, the users are awarded points, badges, or  titles. Gamification could also be used to keep communities active by rewarding  members for their contributions. An interesting byproduct of gamifying a  community is the social analytics, such as finding the major  contributors; the most helpful contributions; the interaction among  community members, and more.

IBM Research: Q&A with Yaniv Corem, gamification expert at IBM Research

Yaniv Corem joined IBM Research – Haifa in June 2010 after completing his undergraduate work at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and earning his master’s degree in architecture and computer science from MIT. Aside from his enthusiasm for rock climbing and bouldering, Yaniv is passionate about projects that use the “wisdom of the crowd” to solve difficult problems, complete tasks, gather data, and more.

What is gamification?

YC: Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics in non-game applications to increase engagement. Game thinking can be used to make almost anything fun and encourage people to get involved.

Does competition really help people learn?

YC: Human beings are competitive by nature. Games bring out that sense of competition within a safe and fun environment, where learning takes place naturally. It’s not just competition that does the trick, but an entire set of attributes that make games such powerful tools for learning. Gamification creates a safe environment in which to experiment without suffering the consequences. It also brings in the aspects of new experiences, cooperation with other players, and just having fun.

Competition can be an extrinsic motivator, for example, for a student competing with other students for the best grade on a test. But competition can also be intrinsic, when people push themselves to achieve a certain goal. For example, a toddler learning to stack objects will try the same thing over and over again, while grappling with complex concepts like gravity and balance.

How is IBM using gamification to help people learn and share information?
 

YC: One great example is in the area of product adoption. New users of Lotus Connections, for example, can find such a feature-rich environment daunting. Bunchball, a leader in gamification, developed a solution for IBM called Level Up to help users adopt Connections. It takes complex learning processes and breaks them up into smaller chunks called levels. At each level, a user/player is asked to perform specific tasks that help teach how to use the product. In return, the users are awarded points, badges, or titles.

Gamification could also be used to keep communities active by rewarding members for their contributions. An interesting byproduct of gamifying a community is the social analytics, such as finding the major contributors; the most helpful contributions; the interaction among community members, and more.

Be a Gamer, Save the World - WSJ.com
We often think of immersive computer and videogames—like “FarmVille,” “Guitar Hero” and “World of Warcraft”—as “escapist,” a kind of passive retreat from reality. Many critics consider such games a mind-numbing waste of time, if not a corrupting influence. But the truth about games is very nearly the opposite. In today’s society, they consistently fulfill genuine human needs that the real world fails to satisfy. More than that, they may prove to be a key resource for solving some of our most pressing real-world problems.

Hundreds of millions of people around the globe are already devoting larger and larger chunks of time to this alternate reality. Collectively, we spend three billion hours a week gaming. In the United States, where there are 183 million active gamers, videogames took in about $15.5 billion last year. And though a typical gamer plays for just an hour or two a day, there are now more than five million “extreme” gamers in the U.S. who play an average of 45 hours a week. To put this in perspective, the number of hours that gamers world-wide have spent playing “World of Warcraft” alone adds up to 5.93 million years.


Ideas Market
Ms. McGonigal will discuss her new book this week on Review’s Ideas Market blog.


These gamers aren’t rejecting reality entirely, of course. They have careers, goals, schoolwork, families and real lives that they care about. But as they devote more of their free time to game worlds, they often feel that the real world is missing something.

Gamers want to know: Where in the real world is the gamer’s sense of being fully alive, focused and engaged in every moment? The real world just doesn’t offer up the same sort of carefully designed pleasures, thrilling challenges and powerful social bonding that the gamer finds in virtual environments. Reality doesn’t motivate us as effectively. Reality isn’t engineered to maximize our potential or to make us happy.
Those who continue to dismiss games as merely escapist entertainment will find themselves at a major disadvantage in the years ahead, as more gamers start to harness this power for real good. My research over the past decade at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute for the Future has shown that games consistently provide us with the four ingredients that make for a happy and meaningful life: satisfying work, real hope for success, strong social connections and the chance to become a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Be a Gamer, Save the World - WSJ.com

We often think of immersive computer and videogames—like “FarmVille,” “Guitar Hero” and “World of Warcraft”—as “escapist,” a kind of passive retreat from reality. Many critics consider such games a mind-numbing waste of time, if not a corrupting influence. But the truth about games is very nearly the opposite. In today’s society, they consistently fulfill genuine human needs that the real world fails to satisfy. More than that, they may prove to be a key resource for solving some of our most pressing real-world problems.

Hundreds of millions of people around the globe are already devoting larger and larger chunks of time to this alternate reality. Collectively, we spend three billion hours a week gaming. In the United States, where there are 183 million active gamers, videogames took in about $15.5 billion last year. And though a typical gamer plays for just an hour or two a day, there are now more than five million “extreme” gamers in the U.S. who play an average of 45 hours a week. To put this in perspective, the number of hours that gamers world-wide have spent playing “World of Warcraft” alone adds up to 5.93 million years.

Ideas Market

Ms. McGonigal will discuss her new book this week on Review’s Ideas Market blog.

These gamers aren’t rejecting reality entirely, of course. They have careers, goals, schoolwork, families and real lives that they care about. But as they devote more of their free time to game worlds, they often feel that the real world is missing something.

Gamers want to know: Where in the real world is the gamer’s sense of being fully alive, focused and engaged in every moment? The real world just doesn’t offer up the same sort of carefully designed pleasures, thrilling challenges and powerful social bonding that the gamer finds in virtual environments. Reality doesn’t motivate us as effectively. Reality isn’t engineered to maximize our potential or to make us happy.

Those who continue to dismiss games as merely escapist entertainment will find themselves at a major disadvantage in the years ahead, as more gamers start to harness this power for real good. My research over the past decade at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Institute for the Future has shown that games consistently provide us with the four ingredients that make for a happy and meaningful life: satisfying work, real hope for success, strong social connections and the chance to become a part of something bigger than ourselves.

NASA launching multi-player game on Facebook | Physorg.com
NASA is seeking friends for a new game the US space agency launched on  Facebook. The online game, Space Race Blastoff, tests a player’s  knowledge of the space program with multiple-choice questions. Players  can compete against others or play solo.
The online game, Space Race Blastoff, tests a player’s knowledge of  the space program with multiple-choice questions. Players can compete  against others or play solo.
It features questions such as “Who was the first American to walk in space?” and “Who launched the first liquid-fueled rocket?”
Players who answer questions correctly earn virtual badges depicting NASA astronauts, spacecraft and celestial objects.

NASA launching multi-player game on Facebook | Physorg.com

NASA is seeking friends for a new game the US space agency launched on Facebook. The online game, Space Race Blastoff, tests a player’s knowledge of the space program with multiple-choice questions. Players can compete against others or play solo.

The online game, Space Race Blastoff, tests a player’s knowledge of the space program with multiple-choice questions. Players can compete against others or play solo.

It features questions such as “Who was the first American to walk in space?” and “Who launched the first liquid-fueled rocket?”

Players who answer questions correctly earn virtual badges depicting NASA astronauts, spacecraft and .

Facebook game enables real-world social good

A few months ago we featured Striiv — a portable device that gamifies exercise and converts points earned through physical exertion into money for charity. In a similar charitable vein, WeTopia is a new social game that enables players to directly fund initiatives that improve the lives of children. READ MORE…

via springwise:

Facebook game enables real-world social good

A few months ago we featured Striiv — a portable device that gamifies exercise and converts points earned through physical exertion into money for charity. In a similar charitable vein, WeTopia is a new social game that enables players to directly fund initiatives that improve the lives of children. READ MORE…

via springwise:

Project Noah Gamifies all that Nature has to Offer | Gamification Blog
Ever wondered what plant rooted itself in your garden, or what strange  bug somehow survived the bitter cold outside to call your house its  home? Or maybe on vacation to warmer reaches, you came across a disturbingly large insect? Some might run the other way, but if you are like me, you’re asking “what the hell is that?” Project Noah brings together a community that can help. It’s been out for over a  year, and Project Noah has already engaged thousands of users in the  age-old game that has attracted the likes of Darwin and Teddy Roosevelt:  discovering and identifying nature’s treasures.
The web app is accessible and well designed, and the experience is also  available on iOS and Android for finding critters in the field.  Gamification features engage users towards contributing regularly. There  is not a leaderboard, but top photos of the day are featured and reward  users for contributing (check out yesterdays winning photo of a whale  shark from user JessyZich). The overall design of the website is excellent, drawing on many of the design philosophies of gamification and engagement.

Project Noah Gamifies all that Nature has to Offer | Gamification Blog

Ever wondered what plant rooted itself in your garden, or what strange bug somehow survived the bitter cold outside to call your house its home? Or maybe on vacation to warmer reaches, you came across a disturbingly large insect? Some might run the other way, but if you are like me, you’re asking “what the hell is that?” Project Noah brings together a community that can help. It’s been out for over a year, and Project Noah has already engaged thousands of users in the age-old game that has attracted the likes of Darwin and Teddy Roosevelt: discovering and identifying nature’s treasures.

The web app is accessible and well designed, and the experience is also available on iOS and Android for finding critters in the field. Gamification features engage users towards contributing regularly. There is not a leaderboard, but top photos of the day are featured and reward users for contributing (check out yesterdays winning photo of a whale shark from user JessyZich). The overall design of the website is excellent, drawing on many of the design philosophies of gamification and engagement.

Can video games teach us how to behave? | MedicalXpress.com
For the first time, the positive effects of computer games on  thoughts, emotions and behaviour will be the subject of closer scrutiny  by social psychologists. A total of three studies will explore how, to  which extent and for how long cooperative gaming behaviour influences  the personality of gamers positively. The project, funded by the  Austrian Science Fund (FWF), will complete the current state of research  on personality effects from computer games, which has previously been  dominated by studies of negative consequences. The studies have the  potential to offer significant ideas for analysing and reinforcing  social skills in all age groups.

Can video games teach us how to behave? | MedicalXpress.com

For the first time, the positive effects of computer games on thoughts, emotions and behaviour will be the subject of closer scrutiny by social psychologists. A total of three studies will explore how, to which extent and for how long cooperative gaming behaviour influences the personality of gamers positively. The project, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), will complete the current state of research on personality effects from computer games, which has previously been dominated by studies of negative consequences. The studies have the potential to offer significant ideas for analysing and reinforcing social skills in all age groups.