Apple gamifies their upcoming event invitation

Apple gamifies their upcoming event invitation

I’m sure you’ve all heard of the company Apple.

But for all you gamification geeks out there what you may not have realised is that Apple have been playing with a range of different gamification techniques for a while. 

Game-like experiences can be found in their apps (Apple Watch gamification), at their events (the collectible pins of WWDC) and just last week Apple has continued this trend with their event invites.

Apple has a number of events each year where they unveil new hardware and software. For each event they'll usually send an invite out to the media that has an image, tagline and event details. 

However, for their upcoming Oct 2018 event they did something a little different…

Easter Eggs and April Fool's Jokes in 2018

I love easter eggs in games. A hidden message, image, or joke from the developer that can only be found by undertaking a particular set of actions.

Their origins can be traced back to the late 1970s. It's said that because Atari didn't give video game programmers credit in their games, many developers took to hiding their initials somewhere in the game instead.

What's interesting is now we're seeing more and more Easter Eggs in other forms of media too and they're becoming a great way to engage and surprise users.

One of my all time favourites can be found on the Vogue UK website. It's been there for many years but unless you know the famous Konami Code you'd never know it's there.

Enter the Konami Code and BAM! A velociraptor appears from nowhere. 

To see it yourself, simply head to Vogue UK and enter the following to see a sneaky raptor appear: "↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → b a".

What about this year?

Well when Easter lands on April Fool's day like it did this year we know we're in for a treat.

Let's have a look at some of my favourite Easter Egg's/April Fool's from this year that are game and/or gamification related. 

Where's Waldo?

First up, Google!

Google always really embraces the April Fool's spirit. Sometimes in ways which can eerily predict the future (*cough* Pokémon Go *cough*). 

This year was no different. We saw an extensive Where's Waldo (we call him Wally here in Australia) game added to Google Maps

 View the  official Google blog post  on it.

For this game Waldo was hiding in different locations around the world and you had to find him and his friends in some classic Where's Waldo drawings.

All the childhood memories. Thanks Google!

Pokémon Go 8 bit

Speaking of childhood memories, Pokémon Go also wanted to visit the past with their April Fool's joke.

Bringing back 8-bit graphics!

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Sadly the switch only lasted a week and then it was back to the regular 3D characters.

Fitbit Solemate

Fitbit has been using gamification for a while to encourage us to walk.

However, apparently they wanted to step up their game a little to help those of us looking for love to find a "solemate"

 
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Although a joke, April Fool's day does give companies a platform to test out ideas in a safe environment to see how users respond. 

Who knows, if we like the idea of finding a solemate would Fitbit actually consider adding it in the future?

Duolingo's Brewolingo

Finally, from the company that brought you the excellent gamified language learning app Duolingo, comes Brewolingo!

It seems like everyone is brewing their own beer these days and Duolingo want us to think they're getting in on the action. 

Any why not? Apparently they found appropriate research to support their cause. 

Although research does need replication to help support the findings... so if anyone from Duolingo is reading and wants to run their own study then consider this my application to help out for science! 🍻

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So there are a few of my favourites from this year.

For a pretty complete list of other April Fool's jokes from 2018 check out this page from The Washington Post

Bonus! Add your own Easter Egg

Do you want a quick way add a Konami Code Easter egg to your website?

 You too can have velociraptors appear when the Konami code is entered!

You too can have velociraptors appear when the Konami code is entered!

If you know a little bit of code or how to add JavaScript then you can use one of the two following solutions:

View this old article with some Konami code information for inspiration.

Any I missed?

Where there any other great game/gamification April Fool's jokes I missed? Post them in the comments below.

The Top Five Things You Want In An Online Gamification Course

Two weeks ago I shared a survey link via my newsletter asking for those of you interested in an online gamification course to give me some feedback.

So far the response has been good!

Thank you to the 55 people who shared with me what they would like to see in a gamification course (psst... it's not too late to provide some feedback).

I thought I'd share the results with you all as they provide an interesting insight to anyone thinking of teaching gamification.

So let's see what you said...

3 Gamified Apps To Help You Get Fit This Year (And One Event!)

If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to get fit1 then you might need a little motivation to get you started.

I've done some of the leg work for you and found 3 gamified apps that offer different things depending on what you like when it comes to games.

We don't all like or play the same games, so if you're creating a gamified app it's always important to consider who your target player is and what they like when it comes to games.

Okay, ready to get your game on? 


1. Zombies Run

Zombies, Run! got me back into running a few years ago. It basically adds a zombie apocalypse story to your run where you become a "runner" who goes out to find supplies for your base.

The narrative is top quality with excellent voice acting. It plays out in-between a playlist of your own songs.

Also if you're feeling up for the challenge you can switch on zombie chases, where sometime during your run you'll start to hear the sounds of zombies chasing you...

You'll have to pick up your pace and outrun them as the app knows how fast you're running. 

If you get caught, you lose any items you picked up during your run.

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Try Zombies, Run! if you like games with a good story.

2. Fit For Battle

If you're over the whole zombie apocalypse narrative then how about a fantasy running app that transforms your work out into an epic fitness RPG?

Yes please. 

Fit for Battle provides a similar experience to Zombies, Run but also has more RPG (Role-Playing Game) style elements. 

Think battles, random story events, levelling and loot. 

Try Fit For Battle if you like games with RPG elements (in particular fans of fantasy, levels, loot & battles).

3. Strava

If a fantasy world or zombie narrative is not really your thing, then try Strava.

It's is a great app that doesn't look like a game, but still has some really motivating gamification elements. 

Use Strava to record your exercise. If you run or cycle then you'll be able to compare yourself to your previous attempts, or anyone else who has also recorded the same path or 'segments' as you. You can see where you place on a leaderboard, and receive trophies depending on your best times. 

If you want to delve more into Strava and why it can be so engaging then check out this article by one user: Strava Made Me Do It

Try Strava if you like competitive games and achievements.

One more thing... Park Run

Although Zombies, Run! got me back into running, what kept me running each week was something completely different - and it wasn't an app (although it is 'gamified' in a sense). 

It's called Park Run. It's a free, weekly, timed run organised by volunteers for absolutely anyone. 

Print a paper barcode to participate and you'll have your time recorded. You can track your times on the website and see how you did against others in your age group.

 Image by  Faddah  (CC BY SA 3.0)

Image by Faddah (CC BY SA 3.0)

The community aspect of the run is great and is what keeps me coming back with my friends and family. We have about 400 runners each week at my local Park Run!

It's a great way to start the weekend and it also encourages you to not stay out too late on a Friday night. 😉

Check to see if there's a Park Run in your country.


Anything else?

So those are three apps and one weekly event that I've found that might be able to help you keep fit this year. There's something there for everyone, from Zombie chases and to global leaderboards.

Is there a different app, event or technique you use? If so, share it in the comments below or on our Facebook page


1 Although if you read my post on Nailing Your New Year's Resolutions then you'll know that "get fit" isn't a clear enough goal 😉

Nail Your New Year's Resolutions With Clear Goals, Short-term Milestones and Daily Habits

Hello 2018! Boy it felt like 2017 whooshed by, didn't it? Creating New Year's Resolutions are a traditional cycle that many of us go through, but they can be tough to keep. This can happen for a number of reasons - our resolutions may be too vague, may not be achievable, or we don't set up a new routine to achieve them.

So let's fix that. This year let's do something a little different.

3 easy ways to gamify your classroom in 2018

If you're looking for a way to increase engagement and participation in the classroom then look no further than gamification. When done well, it can be a great way to increase student motivation and reinforce learning content.

But knowing where to begin can be a little overwhelming.

So to help you get started out I've found and tried 3 easy and free ways to get started that won't take too much setup or preparation time. And just so you know, I'm not affiliated with any of these - I just think they're awesome.

If you have any ways you gamify your classroom then make sure to share it in the comments below!

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1. Create engaging quizzes with Kahoot

I love Kahoot. It's a super fun way to reinforce learning through engaging quiz and works for all ages. 

Kahoot lets you create multiple choice quizzes and then present them in a fun way to the class. 

 
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Your students will need access to a computer or mobile device (or they can share devices), and you'll need a screen and computer to run the quiz.

There are a lot of pre-made quizzes available too that you can use or rework for your class.

*Note Kahoot do have a paid account called Kahoot Plus for organisations and businesses with more features, but for schools Kahoot is free.

 

2. Create engaging quizzes with... a slideshow!

Kahoot works great if all your students have phones or computers, but this isn't always the case. So if you want a more lo-fi version of a fun quiz you can use a slideshow instead to create a similar experience.

The game I like to play is heads or tails. It's super easy to run and gets students up from their seats. The idea is that you create 10 true or false questions for students to answer related to the current content you're teaching. Everyone stands up and then proceeds to try and answer the questions by either putting their hands on their heads (true) or tails (false). If they get it incorrect, they sit down. You may have a few left standing fo the last question so a fun way to end the quiz and keep everyone involved is to get the last few to stand in front of the class and then the quickest person to answer the last question correctly is the winner. 

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I've created a powerpoint and keynote template for you to download to make it easy to create your own version of the game. I've used the Chalkduster font which you can download here if you don't have it. You can also make it more epic by adding some royalty free background music.

 

3. Playful class support with Class Dojo

Finally, there's ClassDojo which is a little different to the games above. It's more of an organisation tool for the classroom. It connects teachers, parents, and students who use it and allows them to share photos, videos, and messages through the school day. You can use ClassDojo to encourage students to work together as a team and share their in class experience. It's a neat, free tool for classrooms and is well worth checking out if you're a teacher.

 
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What next?

  1. Share how you gamify your classroom in the comments below.
  2. Sign up below to be the first to hear about new articles, updates and loot!
  3. Get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Zelda is awesome, but loading screens are a drag.

Zelda is awesome, but loading screens are a drag.

Today I've got a real treat for you. We're going to look at the latest Zelda game from Nintendo! 

*Pause for dramatic effect*

Okay, let's be honest, you might have read the title and thought to yourself - Okay Zac... is talking about the loading screen in Zelda really going to help me with gamification?

Fair question.

Apart from being a great excuse to talk about one the best games I've recently played, what I want to look at today are ways to get you thinking about how to engage people when they have to wait. Why?