Skip to content

Conference/Talk: Games for marketing & influencing attitudes

I will be speaking at this interesting conference in early March – if you are in Stockholm area check it out.

Data- och mobilspel är mycket kraftfulla verktyg för marknadsföring, information och attitydpåverkan. Allt fler företag, organisationer och enheter i den offentliga sektorn satsar med stor framgång på spel för att nå ut med sina budskap. Vi organiserar nu Sveriges första konferens om ”advergames” och ”serious games” – en heldag med massor av inspiration och kunskap!”

Posted in News, Talks.

Poverty game – not working

Interesting article on why it is not so simple to make serious games, and that underlines the importance of thinking hard about what message your game mechanics delivers.. remember games are about verbs not nouns. Played the game and I would like to dig a bit further into why it didn’t work. It did seem to have some of right ideas.

The article:

The game

Posted in Examples, News, Research.

New Book: Games-To-Teach or Games-To-Learn

New book out

“The book presents a critical evaluation of current approaches related to the use of digital games in education. The author identifies two competing paradigms: that of games-to-teach and games-to-learn. Arguing in favor of the latter, the author advances the case for approaching game-based learning through the theoretical lens of performance, rooted in play and dialog, to unlock the power of digital games for 21st century learning. Drawing upon the author’s research, three concrete exemplars of game-based learning curricula are described and discussed. The challenge of advancing game-based learning in education is addressed in the context of school reform. Finally, future prospects of and educational opportunities for game-based learning are articulated.

Readers of the book will find the explication of performance theory applied to game-based learning especially interesting. This work constitutes the author’s original theorization. Readers will derive four main benefits: (1) an explication of the difference between game-based-teaching and game-based learning, and why this difference is of critical importance, (2) an exposition of the theory of game-based learning as performance, (3) concrete exemplars and research outcomes relating to three game-based learning curricula that have been empirically evaluated in schools, and (4) an understanding of complex issues related to the human side of school change that must be effectively addressed to achieve take-up of game-based learning in schools.”

See More here

Posted in News, Research.

Game Impact Reports

Just go to show how busy one can be – interesting report on the Games-for-Change space

“For this project, we ambitiously seek to get at the “big picture” for social impact games. Our deep goal is to improve the coherence and collaboration in how stakeholders work together, aligning creative design with evidence and research across disciplines.”

Read more here:


Posted in Discussion GBL, News, Research.

President for a day: Corruption live on Steam

Another Serious Games to conquer Steam – President for a day: Corruption is now live with a 15% launch discount:

Posted in News.

Playing History: Vikings now available on Steam

We just launched our first game on Steam: Playing History: Vikings. The game has a 20% discount for launch – so hurry :-)

Will be interesting to see what the channel can do for this different type of game experience. They say an average game sells 32.000 copies on Steam.. I think that is an optimistic number but I hope you and everyone else will prove me wrong..



Posted in News.

Call for paper

In this issue of eLearningPapers we want to explore different approaches and models that spark creative potential of people and bring together interdisciplinary teams to collaborate and produce applied games and gamified apps. In collaboration with the European Conference on Games-Based Learning (ECGBL), this issue will include the best papers from the mini track.

Read more.

Posted in News, Research.

Shallow and deep gamification

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading Andreas Lieberoth’s paper on gamification (who he recently defended as part of his PhD – congrats!)… Be sure to give it a look. It provides a nice piece towards the sorely missing research on gamification. In short the study demonstrates quite convincingly that shallow gamification (no game mechanics) provides (at least short-term) almost the same engagement as deep gamification (game mechanics).

Slightly depressing – on the other hand we can hope that studies will show that in the longer run people will get a bit immune to just dressing things up with game-like artefacts… or maybe we shouldn’t be depressed.. just dressing it up from a game developer perspective is a lot easier than integrating real game mechanics :-)

“This article experimentally dissociates the psychological impact of framing versus game mechanics, when presenting a serious activity as a game. Studies of game elements in nongame contexts tend to describe full packages, with no way of assessing their individual psychological and functional impact. To isolate the effects of framing, students (N = 90) were assigned to either discuss study environment issues through a list of questions, via a competitive discussion board game, or though the same game artifacts but with no game mechanics. Task engagement and self-reported intrinsic motivation were compared between groups. Results demonstrate that the effects of simply framing the activity as a game though vernacular and artifacts holds almost as much psychological power as the full game mechanics. In both game conditions, interest and enjoyment were significantly superior to controls, but other intrinsic motivation variables remained unchanged. Implications for game design in nongame contexts are discussed, and a framework for differentiating “deep and shallow gamification” in terms of mechanics and framing is developed.”

See the study here:

Posted in News, Research.


So this is not exactly games but still pretty cool – would love to see more kindergartens and schools using something like this for creative expression. The idea is simply that you can build big blocks :-)

Posted in News.

I don’t want to play – leave me alone with my iPad

A new study from the Children’s Council was released over Easter – it basically sent a survey to children in 100 Danish kindergartens and asked of their preference towards iPads (along with follow-up qualitative interviews). The study is in Danish but you should be able to pick up the essence of the stats with a bit of google translate) if the summary below isn’t sufficient. The study is important because it tells us something that most of us already know but to some extent refuse to acknowledge. Namely that the iPads is immensely popular and will curb play

Selected Key findings where:
N=844 (primarily 5 year old, both girls and boy) – response rate: 72%

1). Would you rather play on iPad than play with some kids you know?

66% – yes
22% – no
12% – don’t know

2). Would you rather play on a fun play ground than play iPad

63% – yes
29% – No
8% – don’t know

3). Do you like to use the Ipad all by yourself

75% – yes
20% no
5% – Don’t know
4). How is it at your home: Do you mostly sit alone and use the iPad?

60% – yes
32 – no
8% – Don’t know


At the same time when our game MiniMo Town climbed to the top of the charts in Denmark (Top3 most downloaded at some point). It makes you wonder even more about whether games, and more broadly speaking iPads are beneficial for children. The idea that the use of iPad would let children to not play with each other is a bit frightening, and I think most parents know that the digital world can be quite engrossing. This does mean that it becomes even more important what type of content you put on that iPad, and I think that we have actually with MiniMo Town helped in that regard.

Posted in Discussion GBL, News, Research.