I first saw Jane McGonigal present at SXSW back in 2011. ‘Gamification’ was one of the buzzwords of the year and contrary to the meaningless accumulation of points that the word came to be associated with (no) thanks to the marketing industry, it was good to see someone knowledgeable explain what games and the application of gaming behaviour to real-world events could achieve. Jane’s personal story is worth a listen – she got me hooked on to SuperBetter for quite a while, a game she released a few months later.
Last year, her ‘Reality is Broken’ was one of the better books I read. Mark Holden, PHD’s Worldwide Strategy & Planning Director thought so too – it heavily influenced the creation of PHD’s new planning system Source, which was introduced to the agency at the beginning of the year.
The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity celebrates some of the best work in the media and marketing industry every year. This year, PHD are bringing Jane McGonigal to Cannes to speak about the subject she loves so much, how it’s changed over the last couple of years and to introduce to a new audience the logic of games and the benefits game design can bring to the world. Here’s the event blurb:
According to Gartner, by 2015, 50% of organisations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, and that by 2014 more than 70% of global 2000 organisations will have at least one gamified application.
In this provocative session, visionary game designer Jane McGonigal reveals how we can harness the power of games to solve real-world problems and boost global happiness. Having created games for the World Bank, the Olympic Games, the American Heart Association, the New York Public Library, and many more, Jane explores the application of game-design principles to real-life challenges.
Introduced by PHD’s Mark Holden, Global Strategy and Planning Director – who was inspired by Jane’s book to add a game layer to the media agency’s very own global operating system, Source, meaning the 2,500 people in the network are also part of a massively multiplayer game – the seminar shows what motivates one billion gamers worldwide to spend seven billion hours a week connecting and playing.
Learn how to tap into the same positive emotions and deep human cravings for blissful productivity, urgent optimism, social capital, and epic meaning. See the science behind how these gamers are developing real-life superpowers and rewiring their brains to be more resilient – and explore how we can work together to harness gamers’ extreme-scale collaboration skills for socially positive ends.
By the end of this inspiring talk, you’ll know exactly why the future will belong to those who can understand, design, and play games.
In addition to Jane’s talk (and even more exciting), PHD are also the sponsor of the official Cannes Lions app for the third year. This year, in keeping with the game design theme, we are also running the Win Cannes campaign. It can be accessed through the PHD section of the app, and gives participants the chance to collect what we call ‘pings’ (pings are also awarded to PHD’s employees for contributing to and participating in Source, so that’s the background) by doing various activities at Cannes, from attending seminars and scanning beer mats in bars to visiting exhibitions on location and favouriting interesting content within the app. Every day will also see ‘mystery power-ups’ (fun!). The prize? A free 2014 VIP pass to the festival, apart from daily prizes for high scores including phones, tablets and tickets to parties. Quite decent I think, but I’m biased!
I’ve attended quite a few conferences over the last few years and as much as I go for the content, I’ve always thought there could be something else to make the events more fun. This is what we’re trying to do with Win Cannes.
If you’re going to Cannes, make sure you download the Cannes Lions app and click on the purple PHD button at the top right to explore and start playing. You’ll need to be registered with Cannes Connect on the Cannes Lions website. Also, come and say hello while you’re there.
Last but not least, I’ve created a Twitter list of people going to Cannes this year. If you’re going, hopefully you’re on the list already. If not, do let me know.