Summer Happenings: SXSW, Conferences and Gamasutra

Michael-Fergusson2As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have many exciting news to tell you about. The first bit of news had to do with us going (hopefully) to SXSW. Our panel topic was selected for the community voting process and the voting opens tomorrow! Make sure to visit the SXSW Panelpicker to sign up so you can vote.

 In other news…

Michael just returned from San Antonio, Texas, where he was a guest speaker to a large number of mostly medical professionals at the annual conference for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. He spoke to a large audience about how social games can be used to help people habituate new healthy behaviours through gameplay. In particular, he spoke about Healthseeker, a game designed for people living with diabetes, and some of its key design features, such as how the game creates compulsion loops around reciprocal social obligation, gifting, collection, and achievement to motivate action. The idea that a game could shift a player’s concerns from big commitments over long periods of time for greatly deferred rewards to small actions in short periods of time for instant rewards was very appealing to those in the healthcare industry. We certainly think it’s a feature of social game design that could be much better understood.
Lastly, you can now find Michael’s social game design posts re-published on Gamasutra, our industry’s “go-to” site about the art of designing games. We are also beginning work on a feature article exclusively for the site that should be published later this month. As always, you can always email me at victoria [at] ayogo dot com if you have any questions or just leave a comment.