Recruitment through games?

This Danish company  was looking for good front-end developers. Of course these guys like to play games as well, so they started an in-game promotion with posters in the free online game Team Fortress 2. Check the video to know how it worked and how many applications they got!

Of course the american army has been doing so since 2005 and it has proven to be their most effective tool to find new recruits! You can read more about that on my blog here:


Gran Turismo Academy Cup Winner is Belgian

Six PlayStation® gamers race Nissan 370Zs as part of WEC at Silverstone

Winner now embarks on intensive Driver Development Program before racing at Dubai 24H

Monday, 27 August, 2012: Belgian competitor Wolfgang Reip emerged victorious from over 830,000 European Gran Turismo® gamers when he was crowned Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy champion today at Silverstone.

The 25-year-old student from Lachutel will return to the UK shortly to embark on an intensive Driver Development Programme preparing him to race in the demanding Dubai 24 Hours in January in a Nissan 370Z GT4 car. The denouement of the gamer-to-racer competition was held as part of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) round at Silverstone – fittingly where former GT Academy champions Lucas Ordoñez and Jordan Tresson are racing in Nissan-powered LMP2 cars. The six final competitors raced on the world famous Grand Prix circuit in identical Nissan 370Zs. Starting from pole position, Wolfgang held off a challenge from second placed Andrea Cosaro and pulled out an unassailable lead to take the chequered flag.

After a long judges’ deliberation, when all of the data from the intensive week of driver training and each drivers’ future potential were considered, Reip was eventually announced as GT Academy 2012 European champion and took the top step of the podium at Silverstone.

“This is the most amazing day of my life,” said an emotional Wolfgang.” It is incredible, just incredible. I cried on the podium because there was so much emotion. It has been such a long week. There were so many different challenges and so much to learn and experience. To come out at the end of it as the winner, out of so many people who took part on Gran Turismo is just unbelievable.

“I was confident in the race. I really wanted to win it. It was quite amazing. It was a very difficult track because of the rainy conditions. There were constant changes, corner after corner the track got wetter in some parts and drier in others. I had the race under control. Andrea tried to pass me going into copse, but I knew I could re-pass him on the exit of the corner so it wasn’t a threat.”

Race Camp started when the 36 fastest PlayStation gamers from Europe arrived at Silverstone on Friday, 17 August. Split into six territory groups of six competitors, they were put through their paces in a variety of Nissan 370Zs, GT-Rs and other cars in many different challenges. The field was gradually reduced during the week as the impressive and experienced team of territory mentors decided which of their drivers had what it takes to make it through to the final stages of Race Camp.

“Race Camp has been really good. I am extremely impressed by the organisation and all that the competitors have done.” commented Benelux mentor Bas Leinders. “In the end, this was a very tough decision. In the race there were two guys who did a great job. The Italian, Andrea, started from the back of the grid but got a good start and was quickly up to second and challenging. For ‘Wolf’, it was hard to start from pole in the wet, but he was able to pull away until the last lap. Both have real potential and everyone felt they both deserve the chance to be racing.

“However, we had to make a decision, and the logical choice was the guy who had qualified on pole and won the race. I feel really strongly about this guy. He is top notch and can really do it. In the deliberation I put my reputation on the line arguing his case.”

Virtual Reality for Real: Oculus by Rift

I remember seeing the last VR helmet in 2002 at the ECTS (the European Games Convention – similar to E3 and Gamescom but much smaller)… The guys at Rift are optimizing this technology I guess! After Eyetoy, Kinect, Layar, Wii-U and Google Glasses… why not?

If Cliff Bleszinski and John Carmack believe in it, who would I be not to believe in it!?

FRIDAY FUN: A Dutch – Real life Gamification concept by Achtung

Who-ever thought that peeing in a pot could become a competitive game? I saw peeball in London once, some 5 years ago, but this Dutch concept by Achtung is very nice as well! Check out the video – and no, that’s not a transsexual you see after 40 seconds, but a woman using a ‘plastuit’ (a pee-aimer for women – another great Dutch invention)…

Newzoo outlook on the Gaming market 2012

My good friend Peter Warman from Newzoo held this presentation during the Game Developers Congress in 2012

Nissan Gran Turismo 2012 Dutch Finalists

These are the Top 3 players that will go to Silverstone to compete with other European finalists to become part of the Nissan GT racing team 2012. There was an online competition in the past months where Nissan started their search for new racing talent.

They have been doing this for the past 5 years and it shows that Nissan really believes that virtual skills can lead to real-life excellence as they reward winners year after year with a racing license, hoping to source new talent for their racing teams.

Way to go PlayStation and Nissan!

Netherlands in Top 5 Happiest Countries

American research shows that Dutch employees are in the Top 5 of happiest people in the world next to Denmark , Sweden, Norway and Germany. Surprise, surprise! Can you imagine how happy we would be if we could make our work more playful? Instead of feeling stress, we will feel invigorated  and excited to achieve the goals we set together and try to achieve with our co-worlers. I strongly believe that this will be my future business model: gamifying enterprises, like we did with ABN Amro two years ago together with IJsfontein. And like I am doing now at Ziggo on a project I can’t tell you too much about yet… ;-()

Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week Infographic

40 Social Gaming Mechanics

Sims 3 Branches out with Diesel!

Another example how Diesel stays cool where other brands are watching and wondering how they should… In the past 15 years in the digital era as a marketing and advertising professional I have been part of both Atari and Diesel and witnessed loads of tie ins with games and brands. After featuring Katey Perry in Sims 3 it’s now time for my ex-employer Diesel (the Italian clothing brand) to get their hands dirty in Sims, or should I say: ‘build their brand further in the digital era’…?

The latest Diesel collection has been made available in Sims 3 after partnering with Atari back in 2001 with Driver 2 (my Atari-days before I was asked to come to work for Diesel), later Devil May Cry 2 (as a special feature if you played through the game) and a virtual shop in PlayStation Home to spice up the looks of your avatar. It’s now Electronic Arts that wants to spice up the life of the Sims.

A really cool and relevant way to build the Diesel brand amongst millions of women worldwide and it enables them to show the brand spin offs like Diesel furniture and wallpaper as well! Way to go Renzo Rosso and his team!

For more information, check the Diesel website: 


Alcatraz Prison – An Epic Experience!

Talking about an epic experience! I went a few days early to San Francisco to spend some time on my own before the business tour through Silicon Valley with a Dutch delegation started. Check out the pictures below and the video of my visit to notorious prison Alcatraz where Al Capone was at home for four years (from 1934 – 1938)!

Americans really know how to build up an experience. From waiting in line for 30 minutes before the boattrip starts, you can read some more about the prison through a brochure and interactive installations and have your picture taken before a backdrop image of the island.

Interactive installations throughout the waiting area made waiting less annoying. In Dutch I call this a ‘wacht-verzachter’ in English you could call it a ‘Wait-watcher’.

During the boat trip the brochure sounds through the speakers.

On the island itself you can watch a 17 minute film about the island (comparable content of the brochure) and do an interactive audio tour of about 40 minutes explaining you all the different areas and stories that took place, even explaining how 5 inmates escaped from the island in June 1962. This event was immortalized later in a film called ‘Escape from Alcatraz (duh) with Clint Eastwood).

This is one of the cells where one of the 5 inmates that escaped slept. You can see how they dug a hole around the ventilation shaft. Eventually they all got out by climbing throughout the hole they dug, climbed up the heating pipes and … gone…  No one knows if they survived the mile swimming to the main land, since they were never found again.

A picture of the ‘arrival’ at Alcatraz Island. Originally build as a military prison during America’s Civil War.