Spring Happenings: Serious Games, Panels and Launches

06/03/2010
Courtesy of Flickr's kenjonbro

Courtesy of Flickr’s kenjonbro

To our loyal Ayogo blog readers, thanks for all your recent comments and re-tweets. It’s good to know what you’ve been up to — we really appreciate it! In terms of what we’ve been up to, we’re getting ready for a huge summer.

To start, Pet Pupz, a community-based virtual pet  app (originally a Facebook game launched on Facebook awhile back) is now available in the Apple AppStore – and therefore your smartphone and the iPad! You can download it here.

As for coming attractions…

We have an exciting announcement to share with you on June 14th and then one more later on in the month. The first announcement involves a topic on serious games and health, and coincidentally, it was also the topic of a panel Michael was recently a part of. Terry Lavender from the Vancouver Observer covered the panel at last week’s Vancouver Digital Week. I also attended the event and I was excited to see the enthusiasm for “serious games.”

On the panel, Michael spoke about game design for casual social games, and in particular about game design in games that aren’t just played for fun, but also may encourage and incentivize certain “serious” behaviors or engage people in achieving specific goals. Here is an excerpt from Terry Lavender’s post,

Why do kids willingly do chores in FarmVille (a Facebook-based game) and World of Warcraft, but not in real life, asked Michael Fergusson, CEO of local casual game company Ayogo. The answer, he said, is the appeal of competition and challenge. Ayogo is working with a large health research institute to see whether a health-based videogame can actually motivate people to develop a healthy lifestyle. But in order to work, the game has to be fun first, with the health benefits strictly secondary, according to Fergusson.

As for some cool statistics that I picked up from the conference, did you know that….

* 1 billion people see a Google page every day
* 55% of people online are women
* Social media users are more positive about brands than non-users
* There are 5 billion mobile phones in the world, compared to 1 billion personal computers and 1.1 billion televisions
* 75% of Canadians have mobile phones
* Canadians send 100 million text messages every day

Oh, catch us at Launch Party 9 on June 17th in Vancouver. Techcrunch’s Michael Arrington is just one of the celebrity judges at the event. In the meantime, please show us some love and VOTE for our video!

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