Dharma Monk

The Dharma Monk blog is dedicated to sharing ideas & opinions about learning technologies, self development, people and anything in between.

Archive for the category “Game”

An Analysis of LinkedIn’s Gamification Design Elements

The professional network LinkedIn uses a number of gamification design elements. In this article we take a look at them and describe how they work and what their purpose is.


To make the professional network valuable for all members, information about each member is needed. The more a user enters, the more valuable for the overall network. When new members sign up, they tend to fill out the most basic information only, hesitating how much information shall be shared. The profile completeness bar (Figure 1) gently nudges users to reach 100% by appealing to achieve a sense of completion. Note that while it is easy to quickly increase the percentage at the beginning, reaching one hundred percent completeion requires succeedingly more effort, appealing to the fun motivator of mastering a skill.

LinkedIn Profile Completeness BarFigure 1: LinkedIn Profile Completeness Bar

When interviewing LinkedIn-members, most of them will tell that because of the progress bar they had filled out more information, without knowing that they “are being gamified.”

LinkedIn has introduced a new form of such a display, called profile strength. Depending on how much the circle is filled – like a cup with water – levels are assigned to it, in the example in Figure 2 it’s the level All-Star.

LinkedIn Profile StrengthFigure 2: LinkedIn Profile Strength

The reason for this visualization has to do with a disadvantage that the original form of a progress bar for the profile completeness brings. Once the bar reaches 100%, there is no need to add more information to the profile, which would make updates such as job changes, new titles, or certifications less relevant.

Even with those two gamification design elements users could still miss out other relevant information. The profile completeness and profile strength contain self-reported qualities, which need to be verified through other channels.Endorsements try to fill this gap by allowing other members – who are connected to the member in question – to report additional skills.

LinkedIn EndorsementsFigure 3: LinkedIn Endorsements

While not all endorsements may make sense, the overall result from the aggregated endorsements creates a relatively accurate picture of the skills and expertise of a member (Figure 4).

LinkedIn Skills & ExpertiseFigure 4: LinkedIn Skills & Expertise

 Profile Views

A profile would be worthless, if others were not seeing it. The statistics on Who’s viewed your profile give feedback on the number of views and how often a users profile has shown up in search results over the past day (Figure 5) and the past 3 days (Figure 6).

LinkedIn Who's viewed your profile - Past dayFigure 5: LinkedIn Who’s viewed your profile – Past day

LinkedIn Who's viewed your profile - Past 3 daysFigure 6: LinkedIn Who’s viewed your profile – Past 3 days

The same numbers are plotted in a diagram over the past 90 days (Figure 7). to show the trend.

LinkedIn How often people viewed youFigure 7: LinkedIn How often people viewed you

Who’s viewed your profile-dashboard also displays the last five members who have viewed the profile (Figure 8). This list is not only fulfilling the fun motivator of being the center of attention, but also encourages users to click on these other users and potentially contact or connect with them.

LinkedIn Who's viewed your profile - OverallFigure 8: LinkedIn Who’s viewed your profile – Overall


LinkedIn-members are not only sharing their personal and professional information, they are also encourage to share updates, such as articles, events, jobs and other information related to their professional lifes.

LinkedIn ArticleFigure 9: LinkedIn Article

The updates contain feedback design elements such as likes and comments (Figure 9).

LinkedIn Who's viewed your updatesFigure 10: LinkedIn Who’s viewed your updates

A separate visualization breaks down how many other members have viewed the update. The breakdown is done by members according to the degree of connection, displayed in Figure 10 as an example with first, second, and third degree tallying up to 202 views and 3 likes.


LinkedIn-members that a user is connected to form a user’s personal professional network. Figure 11 shows the the LinkedIn Network that a user has, including the number of (direct) connections and new members in the network from the past 3 days, based on the second and third degree connections of a user’s new (first degree) connections.

LinkedIn Your LinkedIn NetworkFigure 11: LinkedIn Your LinkedIn Network

The more connections a member has, the larger the potential influence over people.


Being member of a group and posting updates and responses there can increase the potential influence over people and status as expert in a community. The number of (group) members (Figure 12) is also an indicator for the group moderator, how successful the task was that derived from the motivation of organizing groups of people.

LinkedIn GroupsFigure 12: LinkedIn Groups

The group contribution level (Figure 12 and Figure 13) indicates how relevant a member’s contributions to the group are and on what level the user is. Such an indicator is not catering towards competition with other members, but generally against oneself to reach a higher level (such as “Making an impact” or “Top Contributor“).

LinkedIn Your group contribution levelFigure 13: LinkedIn Your group contribution level

Annual Update

At the beginning fo 2013, LinkedIn sent out emails to its members congratulating them to being one of the top viewed profiles in the year 2012 (Figure 14). This came as a surprise for many members and was heavily discussed and distributed over social networks, which again attracted existing members to improve their own profiles, and create more updates. This also created awareness with non-members to join the professional network.

Such an email fulfills the fun motivators of being the center of attention and influencing other people.

LinkedIn Most Viewed ProfilesFigure 14: LinkedIn Most Viewed Profiles

Source: 12 December 2013 07:44 | Written by Mario Herger | http://enterprise-gamification.com/


The 2014 Gamification Forecast

The 2014 Gamification ForecastWe are close to leveling up to 2014, which means it’s time to take a peek forward at the state of gamification and what we can expect in the new year. Based on the experiences in 2013 and the gamification trends that we have seen through our work at Enterprise Gamification Consulting, here is what we will see in the next 12 months.


#1 Gamification is here to stay

Whenever you see an article asking “Is Gamification a buzz/hype/fad?” (feel free to replace gamification with any other concept and technology and you get the same picture), you know that it’s not a fad anymore and the author needs to hurry in order not to miss the train.

We are in the fourth year of gamification, with close to two dozen gamification conferences having taken place on a global scale in 2013. Over 100 studiesmasters and doctoral thesis published on the topic demonstrate a viable and scientific interest in gamification.

And not only gamification is here to stay, so is the name itself. Even if you don’t like the term (and those discussion seem to have more shelf life than they should), the battle is lost. Gamification is here to stay. Move on, don’t make this awkward.

#2 HR will Drive Gamification

Corporations worldwide have been doing a phenominally catastrophic job of managing their most important resources: people.Gallup’s long-running studies on employee engagement reveil that on a global scale only 13% of employees are engaged. In other words: 87% or not engaged or actively disengaged – read: going so far as to even sabotage the company.

Part of the reason has been that although companies are spending billions of dollars every year on employee evaluations and management, nearly none of the approaches are creating the necessary data to evaluate the true performance and capabilities of an employee. Nor do they create an environment for engagement, with management often actively (and unconsciously) discouraging the same.

This interactive chart published by the Harvard Business Review gives a sad state of engagement.

Map: Global Employee Engagement (Gallup) Map: Global Employee Engagement (Gallup)

The result is the dismal state of engagement. This translates into a workforce that’s effectively underperforming. But because everyone is doing a bad job, your own bad job doesn’t stick out. We occasionally realize the true potential of engaged employees, when some superstar companies suddenly raise like meteorites.

Gamification solves two problems at once for HR: the core idea is that it’s design revolves around engaging the employees, and to achieve that it creates a large data trail of the activities. As gamification will eventually touch all aspects in an organization, HR needs to own gamification and oversee it’s implementation and operation.

Several of our customers have understood that already. All gamification initiatives are coordinated by their HR departments and put into a larger strategy. And that is another reason, why gamification is not a fad but here to stay: how can something that engages employees and creates such an invaluable amount of skill data be considered a short-lived fad?

#3 Gamification will Drive Big Data & Cloud

The gamification activity data collected will be the largest dataset inside an organization. And we talk about billions of records and terrabytes of data. Rajat Paharia, founder of gamification platform company Bunchball has been preaching that mantra for some time and made the case in his bestseller Loyalty 3.0. Simple calculations show you that gamification data will dwarf any other data that an organization creates. Assume that every employee generates through his or her daily work 100 activity-related records, from publishing a knowledgebase-article, sharing information with co-workers on the intranet, responding to emails, creating new key accounts, correcting a document, expensing travel costs in time, etc., and multiply that by the number of your employees. With just 10,000 employees organizations quickly create 1 million records per day. That is far more data than most transactional systems create.

This data can find use in a variety of ways:

  • for the employee in real-time to show them how they are doing and show them how they can improve and learn,
  • by the system to reward employees and give them feedback in a timely manner,
  • by HR and management to analyze activities, skills and their progression over time,
  • finding experts for different areas to match the rightly skilled employees for new projects,
  • replace periodical performance reviews with real-time feedback and learning.

As most gamification technologies are offered as software as a service, the combination of big data and Saas will drive cloud technologies as well. Even with some pushbacks thanks to NSA-spying and general skeptic in Europe, cloud-based solutions are currently the only viable way to go.

#4 From Denial to Acceptance

The success of gamification in changing behaviors and habits and making the life of people more entertaining and fun has been proven by many examples. From the anecdotal, to hard numbers in corporations, education, or healthcare, to an overwhelming evidence from scientific studies, applying gamification shows positive results.

This body of evidence helped to a lot of corporate people that we had interacted with in the past year to lay the grounds in their own organizations for gamification. When they first came to us to attend a workshop or listen to our presentation, they were the “lone nutcases” in their organization. Armed with some advice, facts & figures, and supporting materials from us, as well as connecting them with “lone nutcases” from other companies, gamification has become a new toolset for many organizations.

And a recent analysis on which companies have the most employees that have gamification in their LinkedIn profiledemonstrates in an impressive way that gamification is considered a gamechanger. With SAP, Accenture, Microsoft, IBM, Cognizant, and Oracle leading the pack, this topic is too important to keep staying in denial.

#5 Gamification will Grow Up and Lose Its Innocence

While even with the most basic gamification approaches using only pointsbadges, and leaderboards (aka PBL) the improvements in tracked metrics are astonishing, more sophisticated approaches are appearing in the first examples. After all, there are many more gamification design elements than those three that secure a longer-lasting and intrinsically motivatedengagement. Gamification designers also experience that competition (as the opposite of collaboration) is not necessarily the way to go, especially in a corporate environment.

But of course this is a learning process for gamification designers and represents a natural evolution of how we design gameful applications. While incentive systems and perks have been around for quite a while (representing Gamification 1.0), gamification based on a larger choice of extrinsic motivators such as PBL are just an intermediate step as Gamification 2.0, leading to a more sophisticated design that we can call Gamification 3.0.

We must not be surprised seeing in 2014 that beside growing up, we may see gamification losing more of its innocence. Many of us went into the gamification business with the real believe to make life and work better for people. If the year 2013 and before were an indication with a military (see the article on the IDF) or terroristic use of gamification (The world of Holy Warcraft), there is a high probability that we see more cringeworthy applications of gamification. Does this make gamification a bad thing? No, every technology and every concept can be used for good or evil. It just tells you that gamification has grown up.

#6 Convergence of Game & Gamification Technologies

As gamification practitioners consider serious gamessimulations, and gamification as categories under the umbrella-term ofEnterprise Gamification, the current gap between gamification and game technologies will force game studios and gamification technology companies to converge and integrate their technologies. While there is still a lot of space for new gamification technology entrants, either they have to bring in a new approach of integrated technologies, or the incumbents need to think of working together closer or even merging their organizations.


Summarizing from the forecast above, it’s never been a better moment to get into gamification than now.

Oyunlaştırma (Gamification)

Oyunlaştırma (gamification) , tüm dünyada popülerliği ve bu sayede de buna yönelik ürünlerin giderek çoğaldığı bir kavram veya metod.

Temel olarak, ilgi çekilmek istenen bir konunun, oyun mekaniklerini kullanarak, kullanıcılar tarafından daha fazla ilgi ve etkileşim almasının sağlanmasına oyunlaştırma (gamification) deniyor.

Özellikle son yıllarda, e-öğrenme uygulamalarında, ve tabi ki Facebook gibi sosyal paylaşım platformlarının sayesinde pek çok pazarlama kampanyasında kullanılıyor. Tüm dünyada en bilinenlerden biri “Foursquare” uygulamasıdır. Kullanıcılarına ziyaret ettikleri mekanlarda, “check-in” (giriş) olma şansı veren bu uygulamada, yapılan “check-in” aktivitesi ile kullanıcılara puanlar kazandırıyor. Kullanıcılar, sıklıkla ziyaret ettikleri veya zaman geçirdikleri mekânlarda “mayor” (belediye başkanı) statüsüne ulaşarak, o mekandan hediyeler kazanabiliyorlar.

Oyunlaştırma Gamification Bilgi Kurdu

E-Öğrenme konusunda tüm dünyada söz sahibi olan Elearnirng Guild araştırmacılarından Brenda Endersoyunlaştırma dünyasının duayeni sayılan Karl Kapp‘ın da katkılarıyla çok güzel bir araştırmaya imza atmış;

GAMIFICATION, GAMES, AND LEARNING: What Managers and Practitioners Need to Know – OYUNLAŞTIRMA, OYUNLAR VE ÖĞRENME: Yöneticilerin ve Kullanıcıların Bilmesi Gerekenler başlıklı bu makaleyi aşağıdaki linkten indirebilirsiniz.

Gamification Guild Research

PopCap Games Mobil Oyun Sektörü Araştırmasından İlginç Sonuçlar

2013 başında PopCap Games tarafından mobil oyun sektörüne yönelik yapılan araştırmanın bazı sonuçları çok ilginç.

Benim en dikkatimi çekenlerden birini aşağıda paylaşıyorum. Özellikle arkadaş faktörüne dikkat:

Mobil oyunlara artan ilginin nedenleri şöyle:

%70 daha fazla bedava oyunun piyasaya çıkması
%47 daha iyi oyun oynanan akıllı telefonların piyasaya çıkması
%28 daha fazla arkadaşının mobil oyun oynuyor olması
%25 bir tablet satın almış olması

Popcap gamesPopcap gamesPopcap gamesPopcap gamesPopcap games

33 ways to make your app a hit: VentureBeat’s Discovery Directory

33 ways to make your app a hit: VentureBeat's Discovery Directory

As app stores multiply and the number of publicly released apps — just the ones we can see and count — approaches 1 million, content developers are having a hard time standing out from the crowd.

That process is known in the app world as discovery, and it’s getting harder with every new app, as developers fight for the attention of consumers and app-store managers.

“This is one of the key problems of our time,” said Savinay Berry, a vice president at Granite Ventures.

That’s why we’re tackling the subject of discovery at our second annual conference, DiscoveryBeat 2010, on October 18 in San Francisco. This year, the problem is only getting worse. The Apple App Store has more than 250,000 apps. There are new app stores coming or already in place from many other platform owners, from cell phone carriers to independent app catalogs.

Today, VentureBeat is showing off a bunch of the solutions aimed at solving the discovery dilemma. We call it the Discovery Directory.

It’s not unlike the growth of the Web. Early on, when there were tens of thousands of websites, people wondered if there were too many. How would they ever find what they wanted? Along came Yahoo with its directory and then Google with the first truly effective search engine. They solved the problem and created the giant search industry.

But what will be the equivalent of search in the age of apps? If someone solves this problem, they will find a pot of gold, Berry said.

Some blockbuster apps are managing to rise to the top of the app stores without much seeming effort. For sure, good discovery starts with great content. Angry Birds, the cute iPhone app from Helsinki’s Rovio, sold nearly 7 million paid downloads on the App Store, spreading from Finland, then across Europe, to the U.S. It has held the No. 1 spot in the App Store longer than any other title — mostly because of word of mouth.

Rovio designed memorable characters that it can use across platforms and media — spreading to plush toys and possibly a cartoon movie. The product was designed to go across many platforms — Nokia trumpeted its availability in its Ovi app store — and can be easily updated with new levels to keep users coming back to the content.

But not all growth happens organically. Social-game firm Zynga reportedly uses a lot of its profits from virtual-goods sales to advertise its new games. Other developers aren’t rich enough to do that, so they have to figure out ways to give their apps a little push to get them across the tipping point so momentum can build.

The clever tricks and tips that we’ve heard about so far in our coverage of the app and game industries are myriad. They show that a little creativity goes a long way toward getting an audience for an app. Here are some of the tips and tricks that we’ve come across over time. I’ve put them in alphabetical order by the name of their provider.

Apple Game Center This new feature of the latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS, is like Xbox Live on the iPhone. It lets you socialize with other gamers, sharing games with them, competing in multiplayer play or posting your achievements and leaderboards for all to see. It helps you discover new games through friend referrals.

Applifier This app was born via a rebel alliance that felt big social game companies such as Zynga were becoming too dominant on Facebook. Zynga promotes its own games using a cross-promotion bar at the top of its games. Applifier duplicates this kind of cross-promotion bar, but across a bunch of third-party app developers who have joined Applifier. It has driven tens of millions of downloads.

AppLaunchPR How can you get noticed? Do some PR for your app, spreading it to review sites and pitching a story to big media. A good story is like free advertising.

Appolicious For both the iPhone and Android, Appolicious is a social networking service that makes recommendations based on apps that you own, finds and shares the best apps with your friends, and lets you become a top member by doing the best app reviews and lists of cool apps.

Appsfire This company has a full discovery platform composed of a site, an iPhone and iPad app, and a distributed infrastructure enabling users to search, share, monitor and find apps in a personal way. It generated over 4 million clicks on the App Store since launch and got to No. 2 ranking in the U.S. App Store.

AppStoreHQ This social network for app users lets you immediately see the most talked-about iPhone or Android apps on leading iPhone blogs. You can see app reviews, browse through all apps, and keep track of the latest via email.

Aurora Feint With its OpenFeint social game platform, Aurora Feint socialized the iPhone, building a community of gamers who can share games with friends. Developers who adopt OpenFeint can easily deploy leaderboards, cross promotions, achievements, friend invitations, and multiplayer games. Now it works for Android too.

BackFlip Studios This Boulder, Colo.-based developer got started in April, 2009, making iPhone games. The company’s first title, Ragdoll Blaster, was a hit. But their second app, the free Paper Toss game, was downloaded millions of times and hit No. 1 on the App Store. Using AdMob, the company put ads for its paid games into the popular free app. That generated more downloads of BackFlip’s paid games. Those ads also generated more revenue from other developers, who bought ads that paid only when their apps were installed. Ad revenue became half of BackFlip’s revenue and it now has seen more than 45 million downloads of its iPhone games.

Bolt Creative The two-man company that brought us Pocket God has seen more than 3 million paid downloads of its game, which debuted in January, 2009. The game was a viral hit, with users telling their friends to download it, partly because of its sick humor where you could feed native islanders to sharks. Bolt Creative kept it going by updating the game as often as it could; with each upgrade, Bolt changed the icon on the iPhone for the game, indicating to the user that there was an upgrade to download. The company’s fans have uploaded their favorite scenes to YouTube, and Bolt has encouraged fans to create a community around the game.

Chomp Go to Chomp’s website and type in what you’re looking for. If you type “war strategy games,” Chomp will search through the App Store and come back with a couple of apps that fit the bill. It’s a search engine on top of the App Store and it works fast.

DisneyTapulous Stick a known brand on it. Tapulous created its Tap Tap Revenge music rhythm game and sold tens of millions of units. It created specific versions for artists such as Dave Matthews or Lady Gaga. Fans of those specific celebrities paid to download the app and play rhythm games that were essentially like Guitar Hero on the iPhone. That’s why Disney bought Tapulous.

Facebook It may have killed off free viral marketing in social apps by stopping developers from spamming users with frivolous messages. But it is slowly opening new channels, such as its Game Dashboard, to highlight undiscovered apps.

Flurry Perfecting discovery starts with understanding users through analytics. Flurry’s analytics software is used by thousands of developers whose apps are being used by tens of millions of users. So Flurry knows what’s on the users’ phones. It has added AppCircle  as a recommendation engine, analyzing the user’s taste in apps and then recommending apps that it thinks the user will like.

GameStop This chain is an old-fashioned retailer with more than 6,000 stores. But it showed it understood how to drive traffic after it bought Kongregate, a site with indie games. Now GameStop is rolling out kiosks with access to online rewards accounts and free online games. It uses the foot traffic of 500 million people a year coming through its stores to drive the discovery of new content online.

GetJar Running the second-largest app store behind Apple has its benefits. The company makes money as game publishers pay extra to have their games highlighted on its site. So GetJar recently started an experiment where it will give away millions of copies of high-end mobile games from Glu Mobile. The promotion will last a couple of weeks and it is aimed at hooking more users on mobile games, leading to future purchases.

Google Search works great for websites. But will the giant come up with a way to search through apps on a variety of closed platforms? Perhaps that is what Google’s own social network will be for.

Heyzap If discovery is a huge problem, Heyzap can knock down some of the barriers by allowing web sites to embed games in their own sites through Heyzap’s widgets. They can also promote games with Heyzap’s social bar and other sharing features.

Hi5 This social network has just 50 million users. But it has figured out a way to challenge Facebook with its SocioPath social game platform. With it, Hi5 allows developers to adapt Facebook games to any platform. Then it allows gamers to share any game with their friends. Through a “contact importer,” Hi5 will let the gamer share that game with any friend, regardless of the platform they are using. Alex St. John, president of Hi5, says the aim is to liberate developers from Facebook.

iSwifter This initiative at the YouWeb incubator run by serial entrepreneur Peter Relan allows Flash games to run on the iPhone through its app. iSwifter will put a limited number of Flash games that are suitable for touch gaming into its app.

Magic Solver This company has created a Daily Magic Cube app that shows you its favorite app of the day. You unwrap the mystery app as if you were untying a present. You can also use the cube to find new music or the best YouTube video of the day. It simplifies the process of discovery by creating an app that does the filtering for you.

Microsoft Xbox Live has been a great service for letting gamers discovery online games and other content on the Xbox 360. Now Microsoft is taking that to the cell phone with an Xbox Live hub on upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices. Those phones have hubs where Xbox Live users can access their account data. And while there are lots of web games accessible via browser, Microsoft can draw attention to the 60 or so launch games that are only on Xbox Live. Essentially, the Xbox Live hub on the Windows Phone 7 is a kind of curation service to weed out what gamers don’t want.

Newtoy This McKinney, Texas-based company hit it big with Words With Friends, a Scrabble-like game on the iPhone. The game has sold millions of copies. To juice sales, the company created a free version for “Talk Like a Pirate Day” on September 19. The Words With Pirates game took off and captured a lot of press. That drove a lot of sales of the paid game.

Oberon Media The Blaze platform from Oberon allows game publishers to spread their social games outside of social networks, and leverage social to spread mobile and download games.

Oneforty This company makes a platform that sits on top of Twitter and makes it more useful. The site lists and categorizes apps that use Twitter, from business apps to location apps. Users can review the apps and vote them up or down. You can see who is using a Twitter app, see screen shots of it, and read the reviews.

PapayaMobile To get users to pay attention to Android games, PapayaMobile has launched Android App of the Day. The app is available for free or 99 cents for just a day. That should drive a search in interest for the app. Once it spreads, friends will want to pick it up and play. But by that time, they may have to pay full price.

Playmesh Charles Ju’s team of game developers has made more than 50 games on the iPhone. Titles such as iFarm have been big hits. But launching every new game can still be dicey. So Ju’s team pays $2,000 or so to have the game featured on FreeAppADay. Getting featured on that site leads to thousands of downloads in one day. That’s enough to get onto the App Store’s list of fastest-growing new apps. From there, the natural fun of the app is enough to keep it gaining momentum.

Qualcomm — With Vive, Qualcomm launched a free friends-based social recommendation service. You can use it to share apps with friends, regardless of what mobile device any given person is using. The effort headed by Kabir Kasargod lets you describe your mobile device. Then you can browse through friends’ apps. If you find an app you like, a link appears asking if you want to get it. The link will take you to the correct app store that has the app available for your phone.

RockYou With Deal of the Day, RockYou has found a way to monetize Facebook games beyond the normal amount. Lots of users pay free-to-play games on Facebook, but once they are asked to pay for something, most of them drop off. Deal of the Day is a special offer that lets a user accept an offer in lieu of paying for a virtual good in a game. Sometimes the user has to watch a video ad. Then they get the virtual good and can continue playing. RockYou has now expanded the deal to allow third-party developers to use it.

Scoreloop The Android Market for apps isn’t working so well. So Scoreloop is helping out phone companies by offering a white-label service that allows the carriers to build their own social hub on a phone, sort of like having a secondary market for apps that actually works. App developers create Scoreloop-based apps that can be cross-promoted on the hub. Taiwan’s Chungwha mobile carrier has signed up to use Scoreloop to create a social hub on its phones.

Siri Artificial intelligence can play a role in discovery. Research think tank SRI developed AI technology that could serve as a virtual assistant for humans. It spun the division off as Siri, which launched a free iPhone app in February. The voice-recognition app allows you to ask for something, such as a restaurant reservation, and Siri finds the place for you and makes the reservation. Much like a good location-based service, Siri can help you discover things you didn’t know were there.

Smule Chief Technology Officer Ge Wang (pictured right) said his company starts with a device, the iPhone, and figures out how to design something unique for it. The team designed Ocarina, where you blow into the iPhone’s microphone and tap on its touch screen to make the sounds of the ancient flute-like wind instrument. It was a unique app when it debuted and Smule marketed it by creating YouTube videos of people playing it. Those videos spread by the millions, allowing users to discover magical apps.

StumbleUpon This social network is aimed at discovery and it has launched a mobile app that will let users randomly find and rate new sites while they’re on the go. Users can use the app to discover fun stuff and then vote it up or down.

Tapjoy Started as an ad-network aggregator, Tapjoy lets you spread your mobile app across a number of platforms that reach more than 100 million users. It combines monetization, virtual goods platforms, ads, and offers to let developers make money and get broad distribution.

Ubisoft The French video game giant entered the Facebook game market last year with Tick Tock. The game got lost among thousands of apps and failed. Now it is trying a new tactic. It is launching companion games on both Facebook and the iPhone  that riff on the company’s most famous brands. In the Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood game on the console, you can earn points that you can use in the Assassin’s Creed Project Legacy game on Facebook. You can unlock items in one game and spend them on virtual goods in the second game and visa versa.

WildTangent Through its BrandBoost ad platform, the company lets players opt to view an ad instead of paying for a game with a credit card. It thus broadens the audience that could discover a game.

This list is just a start. I’d like to add more examples, so please point them out in comments.

Source & Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/07/discovery-directory-app-discovery-tricks/#DTUWS0SLYYpytgcK.99

6 Basic Benefits Of Game-Based Learning

Source: TeachThought


There seems to be a perception that online gaming has a detrimental impact on children’s development. Nothing could be further from the truth, and there are countless–and complex–reasons for this, but it also makes sense at the basic benefits of game-based learning.

Of course children should not spend every single second of the day staring at a computer screen. Nevertheless, education and online gaming certainly aren’t enemies either. In fact, playing online games may be something which can enhance a child’s learning and development. How?

1. Increases A Child’s Memory Capacity

Games often revolve around the utilization of memorization  This not only relates to games whereby children have to remember aspects in order to solve the game, memorize critical sequences, or track narrative elements.

2. Computer & Simulation Fluency

This is something which is very important because we live in a world which is dominated by technology. Playing on games via the internet allows children the license to get used to how a computer works and thus it becomes second nature to them. There are websites, such as Cartoon Network games, which provide young children with fun and exciting games which also teach them to utilize the mouse and keyboard properly, not to mention browsing, username and passwords, and general internet navigation.

3. Helps With Fast Strategic Thinking & Problem-Solving

Most games require children to think quickly. Moreover, they have to utilize their logic in order to think three steps ahead in order to solve problems and complete levels. This is great because it is something which helps children in later life as they develop their logic, their accuracy and their ability to think on their feet and outside of the box.

4. Develops Hand-Eye Coordination

As mentioned earlier, Cartoon Network games and similar fare require children to use a gamepad or a keyboard and the mouse to operate the games. Not only does this get them more tuned to how a computer works, but it also helps to develop hand-eye coordination because children have to look at the action on the screen whilst using their hands to control what is happening at the same time.


5. Beneficial Specifically For Children With Attention Disorders

Research has revealed that online games can actually help children who experience attention disorders. This was concluded by a professor at Nottingham University (CNN covered it here), and is a notion which has been repeated by many in related studies.

6. Helps Children With Particular Skills (e.g. map reading)

A lot of games contain certain aspects which help children with specific skills. For example, a lot of mystery and adventure games contain maps which children will have to read. This obviously helps their map reading skills and practical thinking. Moreover, there are games, such as football management games, which introduce children to managing finances and general project management.

As you can see, there are a whole host of reasons as to why online games can be beneficial for children. Thus, education and gaming certainly aren’t enemies; in fact many would say that they are more like best friends.

This is a contributed post from Celina Jones, a freelance blogger associated with Cartoon Network; 6 Basic Benefits Of Game-Based Learning

Boom on the Bosphorus: Turkey’s Internet Industry

Lots of young people, eager to shop and play online: no wonder Turkey’s internet industry is crowded

MUSLIM farmers do not keep pigs. This is as true of those who play at virtual agriculture as of those who fill physical food-troughs. So there are no pigs in the Arabic version of “Happy Farm”, published by Peak Games, a young firm based in Istanbul. For the same reason “Happy Farm” has no vineyards, and female farmhands wear the hijab. Local tastes matter.

Peak Games has found rich soil. It already employs 200 people and has developers in Jordan and Saudi Arabia as well as Istanbul and Ankara. More than 35m people play its games at least once a month, many of them on Facebook. Half of the players are in Turkey; the rest are in the Middle East and north Africa. Rina Onur, one of its founders, says that she and her colleagues saw a gap in the online-games market that companies catering to Western tastes could not fill. So Peak Games offers people in Turkey and nearby countries games with a regional twist, like “Happy Farm”, as well as online versions of traditional amusements. Okey, a Turkish game played with tiles, is most popular.


Turkey is bursting with internet companies, many of them selling things to the young. It is not hard to see why. The country is big, youthful and embracing the internet eagerly. Half of its 75m people are under 30. Around 44% of Turks use the internet, up from just 14% in 2006 and 3% in 2000. They comprise Facebook’s seventh-largest national audience. Turks are also happy to use credit cards, which are handy for buying things online: the country has three of them for every five people, says GP Bullhound, an investment bank, more than the European average. And the market still has a lot of room to grow. Penetration rates are well below those in western Europe (see chart).

Several companies have attracted foreign money. Peak Games has raised $20m. In September General Atlantic, an American investment firm, and others put $44m into Yemeksepeti, through which Turks order meals for delivery from local restaurants. In 2011 Naspers, a South African media company, paid $86m for 68% of Markafoni, an online fashion club; eBay raised its stake in GittiGidiyor, an auction site, to 93%, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Tiger Global Management, both based in America, invested $26m in Trendyol, another fashion site.

Typically, Turkish internet companies have borrowed business models from abroad and given them Turkish tweaks. Mustafa Say, whose iLab Ventures owns the other 7% of GittiGidiyor, says that buyers pay into an escrow account, from which money is sent to sellers only when goods turn up. That, he says, has helped to build trust. Yemeksepeti’s customers pay nothing extra for delivery and can pay in cash on the doorstep. This still accounts for 37% of sales, says Nevzat Aydin, a founder and its chief executive. Not only money and ideas have come from abroad. So have people: returning Turks, most of them equipped (like Mr Say and Mr Aydin) with American education and experience.

The size of the Turkish market is a “double-edged sword”, says Numan Numan, a former Goldman Sachs banker now at 212, a venture-capital firm which takes its name from the telephone code for the European side of Istanbul. Scale at home is a boon, but start-ups in smaller countries, such as Israel or Estonia, have more incentive to look beyond their borders from the outset. Of the six Turkish firms in which 212 has invested, Mr Numan expects “a minimum of four to go regional at least”.

Turkish internet firms think they have a good base from which to expand, especially into the Middle East and north Africa. Peak Games is perhaps the best example, but others also have ambitions. Because Turkish television and culture are popular in the region, endorsements by Turkish celebrities can help to sell clothes and shoes. General Atlantic’s money will partly finance Yemeksepeti’s move abroad.

Lots of others are hoping to follow the successes. In November, in a hall at Bilgi University in Istanbul, 20 young Turkish companies coached by Bootcamp Ventures, the event’s organiser, presented their plans to prospective investors.

Events like this, Bootcamp’s fifth in Turkey, have become common. “When we started here six years ago,” says Didem Altop of Endeavor, a non-profit organisation which seeks to encourage entrepreneurs in countries from Brazil to Jordan, “there used to be three events a year. Now there are three a day.”

Turkey has so far been short of “angel” investors who will sprinkle money on a seedling company without demanding most of its equity. That is changing, as the first generation of founders become investors and mentors for the next. In Galata Business Angels, Istanbul has a network of such people including Mr Numan and Sina Afra, co-founder of Markafoni. Incubators are being set up: at Enkuba, in Istanbul, Piraye Antika, a former local head of HSBC, a big bank, and her colleagues have taken on Bu Kac Para Eder, which values antiques online, and torpilli, which helps students preparing for university-entrance exams.

The government’s policies have been a bit disjointed, says Ms Altop, but are becoming more concerted. Young companies can already get grants for research and marketing; those in “technoparks” are excused some taxes. More encouraging is the prospect of tax breaks to accredited angels, which are due to come into effect soon. Most start-ups will fail, as they do everywhere: fashion and daily deals, in particular, look horribly crowded. But more of them may get the chance to emulate those already on the road to success.

Taken from the Economist

Follow me @Elearningguru

Opportunities and Challenges in Mobile Gaming

Opportunities & Challenges in Mobile Gaming This article summarizes discussions and conclusions of the Mobile Game Arch Workshop held during the Game Connection Europe 2011 conference in Paris on 06.12.2011 from 09:00 until 17:30. The workshop was moderated by Dr. Malte Behrmann (EGDF).

New opportunities for a mobile game industry:

• The new forms of monetization

Free-to-play: Digital distribution and a free-to-play business model are the future of mobile games publishing. Mobile game developers can learn a lot from the online game developers who developed the free-to-play model.
The long tail: The ‘long tail’ of mobile games is emerging; mobile games have a longer life cycle now.
IP: Brands such as Angry Birds and Doodle Jump are building more and more value. The current market situation is very good for launching them.

• The new types of games:

Cross-platform games: Real cross-platform gaming – not just between smart phones, but also smartphone to TV or Smart TV, to PC or to Tablet; games for a smart TV for example – are emerging. However, there is no business model for these markets yet.
Location based games, Cloud, AR: Location based games, cloud based games and augmented-reality offer new opportunities for mobile games. Especially locationbased games are exclusively for mobile platforms, as you cannot play these games on other gaming platforms.

• The new game development methods

A viral innovation: A viral innovation model, based on pushing games to markets as early as possible and continuously developing them based on the feedback from the people who play them, provides a cost-effective way to develop games that work well in dynamic markets.
Faster development: HTML5 is making the development of casual games much faster and easier.
Faster access to markets: Developers have much better control than before over where, when and at what price their games are sold.
Bigger markets: As Europeans are used to operating in a multilingual and multicultural market area, they have a competitive advantage over developers in the USA, Canada, China and Japan..

• Technological challenges:

The extremely fast rate of technological development
Fast changing hardware and operating systems: The rate of change in mobile hardware and operating systems is increasing. Furthermore, the co-operation between handset manufacturers and mobile game developers is limited, but it could get better in the near future as handset manufacturers depend more and more on the products of game developers, and become aware of this. Middleware tools or HTML5 offer only a very limited solution for them, as these are always behind the cutting-edge of the industry.
Challenging environment for standardization:The fast rate of technological development and the global nature of mobile industry make it difficult to find new standards for the mobile game ecosystem. However, there is a specific need for standardization in the area of games operating at the same time on TVs, mobile phones and tablets.

The lack of interest in standardisation: Game developers do not pay enough attention to standardization activities, as standardization processes are long, demand a lot of time, cause high travel costs and are hard to track by individual developers. Game developer associations, namely EGDF, could fulfil a role as a representative of game developers in standardisation activities, and in improving the dialogue between developers and platform owners such as Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Latency: Latency caused by insufficient investments in the network infrastructure will be a major obstacle to streaming data from a cloud to a mobile device.
Fragmentation: Fragmentation is still a problem (especially within the Android Platform, but more and more also in iOS). The fragmentation is not just technological,
but also “administrative”, when comparing different application stores. It is also, for example, very complicated to port games from Windows Mobile to other platforms
due to a different code base. On the other hand, a game that works in Apple’s Appstore does not necessarily work on Android Market the iTunes Appstore is based
more on paying for downloads and Android on following a free-to-play or ad-based model, both increasingly featuring in-game purchases.
The introduction of HTML5: There is a lot of potential in HTML5, but it does not yet work well in mobile OS’s.
Technological support for end users: The need for technological support for endusers is much higher for a game on the Android platform than on iOS.

• Economical challenges:

A wide skill set: A developer has to find the right road to a market, the right road to visibility, the right road to finance and a right road to reach consumers. This requires a very wide skill set of game developers.
Access to markets:
Rising development costs: After the iPhone was introduced, publishing new mobile games became much easier by significantly lowering the barriers to access a mobile
market. Development costs dropped with iOS, but they are now rising again because of the fierce competition in application stores.
Choosing the right business-model: Free-to-play, pay-per-download, in-app purchase, advertising, subscription etc. and adjusting gameplay to fit this is extremely
Lack of billing mechanisms: In many countries, people do not have access to credit cards. Consequently, the new role of mobile operators in the value chain could be
connected with billing and offering new monetization solutions such as premium SMS.

• Access to funding:

Insufficient funding for SME’s: A substantial part of all innovation happens in small companies, such as independent game developers (instead of big entities), but they
need early stage public and private financial support.
Access to public funding: The public funding for game developers is not sufficient in Europe and policies regulating the mobile ecosystem do not take into account the
particular needs of the mobile game developers.
Access to private funding: The access to private investment is challenging in Europe, because investing in games requires a specific expertise, which is hard to find within

 • Access to users:

No access to users and to data on them: The viral innovation model is based on engaging with users. However, many platform holders, like Apple, do not allow
developers to access to user data which makes user engagement possible.
Access to visibility
Features from retail markets: Application stores are introducing many features of retail markets to the application stores like categories, shelf placement, bundles,
seasonal sales, etc.

You can read a detailed summary of minutes of Mobile Game Arch Workshop here.

The Most Popular Android Phones by Country in Asia

Animoca’s games are played by tens of millions of Android gamers. So the company has a good feel for which phones are the most popular in different areas around the world.

Check out the infographic to see what’s popular in various places in Asia. The data are based on usage in July.

The graphic is based on usage data on the Animoca Android network (which is described here)

It shows that Samsung (especially Galaxy SII) dominates every key smartphone market in the region except for Japan, where Sony holds the top spot. India is the only nation where low-end phones are popular.

The largest battlefield is China, where the race is extremely close between the Samsung Galaxy SII and the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Source: Venturebeat & Animoca

Difference in market share between number 1 and 5 phones

South Korea 25.87%
Hong Kong 20.9%
Singapore 18.7%
Taiwan 13.4%
Japan 11.4%
India 10.1%
China 4.2%

Animoca Android Phone Market Share Infographic – Click to enlarge


Post Navigation