Thank you reader! -> 50.000 pageviews for my blog

>Just a moment of a big THANK YOU to all my readers in the past 3 years.

I grew from 3.000 unique visitors in 2010 to 5.000 unique visitors in 2011 and hope it will continue to grow in 2012 to … I don’t know… 8.000?

Apart from the unique visitors we served 45.000 pageviews in 2011 compared to 18.661 in 2010.

Please spread the word and link your website or blog to mine so we can increase traffic for both of our websites!

Your own private shopper in your bedroom: thanks to Kinect

> Another way to use Kinect technology… for shopping. Although it surprises me that they don’t use the camera to show you how the outfit actually fits to your body!? That would be the ultimate ‘fitting-experience’… but there is always room for improvement I guess… 😉

An Animation about Motivation

>Nice work….

Coca Cola Content 2020 Part One

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What the world will look like ‘sharing happiness’ in 2020…
To be honest I still find it strange that Fanta didn’t claim ‘Fanta-Size’ or ‘Fantastic’ yet… and during Christmas ‘Fanta-Clause’ … but maybe they will after reading this… I really hope that some day they call me, I really have some great digital ‘global-game’ ideas for the Fanta brand… or does anyone know the Global brand director at the Coca-Cola Company? Let me know! Meanwhile – enjoy this visionary video….

FBI exploits the potential of gaming

>By Morton Geertsen.

Last week, GameSpot posted this article called How Video Games Are Improving the FBI. It’s a well-written pierce of information, providing readers with an entertaining and insightful example of how serious games can play a central role in passing on skills and “close to real life” experiences to the staff of the organization. In this case it is The Federal Bureau of Investment – or shorter: FBI – whose game trainer Randy Pargman reveals how though in-game training agents come to understand tactical arrest planning and crime scene investigation. Maybe this example looks more like a simulation than an actual game, but still it’s very cool that the FBI sees the potential of using serious games and game-mechanics on Xbox to educate their trainees! 



Like out of a Matrix film, the digital world makes it possible to instantly and dynamically change the physical environments, taking the recruits from one city to another. Also the game makes it able to present to the recruits a far more interesting tactical environment, as digital worlds are more easily and cheaply builds than real worlds. For that reason, FBI often hears people tell them that the environments we presented them were more interesting and challenging than anything we could ever physically build.

“I have a sneaking suspicion some of the new recruits bring their consoles with them when they enroll in the academy,” Pargman says in the article. “Surprisingly, quite a few of them have never touched a video game controller before, and I have to spend quite a bit of time in class teaching them how to use the thumb sticks. What we’ve started doing is giving them the chance to play around with the games after hours, and it’s no surprise that they love it.”
Pargman briefly expresses his opinion about the future challenges of serious game development: As the gaming audience has grown significantly in the past five years, so has the users’ expectations: With more knowledge and experience, users now know what to expect and are not as easily impressed, as they were in the beginning, when learning games first saw the daylight. In other word, the “astonishment” factor has been diluted a bit, making it a bigger challenge to make a product that is both educational and entertaining.
This puts far more pressure on the creativity and “outside of the box” thinking of developers – as well as on the ambitions of companies wanting to use serious games to train the crew. “These games need to be interesting, engaging, and relevant, so that people who use them will get into it, and then it’s up to the design of the game to make sure that they’re actually learning what they’re supposed to be learning,” Pargman says.
At this point, the reader will not be surprised to hear, that FBI finds the in-game training valuable. FBI is right now experiencing the real benefit to putting into practice the concepts and values taught through visual demonstrations. In fact a large number of new recruits have already expressed the wish to be introduced to the video game training part of the program at a much earlier stage in their training.

Trends of the future in Digital Media

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This article is derived from research by the Dutch governement that was lead by: 

Immovator: Freek van ‘t Ooster / Mir Wemuth
TNO: Nathalie van Schie / Erik Huizer 

To my tech-savvy audience, most things might be somewhat predictable, but maybe to others they are eye-openers… 

The article has been written by ‘my’ 1st time blogger Dionne van der Woord a.k.a. Miss Captain Morgan 😉 


We’ve started another year and -like it or not- we’re another year older as well. Lucky for us, wisdom comes with years and so does digital media knowledge. So it’s time to evaluate last year’s trends and view the upcoming ones to prepare ourselves for a successful 2012. Make sure you’re in a comfortable chair cause it’ll be an overload of information.

Users
Let’s start off with some user related information. Digitalization has a huge impact on our private- and work environment; it gives us more and more functions like connecting with friends on social media. Last year, there was a massive uptake of smart phones and tablets. Besides games, especially social media became immensely popular. The increasing usage of social media gives people a voice, which creates leaders and can make consumers so-called ‘prosumers’ (co-producing consumers).
The counter side of increased digital ‘social’ media usage is the fact that people become more individualistic. We are merely broadcasting ‘how wonderful our lives are’ than having a ‘dialogue’. Bart calls this ‘multi-monologues in his book. An example of the increased individuality is being on a family birthday where everyone sits on the couch and is using Whatsapp, Facebook or any other app on his or her mobile phone instead of talking with the people in the same room…  


Technology
Media digitalize extremely and new words such as ‘appification’ are introduced. A lot of communication is audio visualized nowadays and tablets, smartphones, second screens and other devices start to integrate with existing media and other areas. Think of education, public relations, advertising, mass communication and personal communication.
Another remarkable trend is the fact that cloud computing is changing media distribution and consumption. E.g. people have become more open towards streaming videos on demand instead of watching their favorite programs/films on TV/(owned) DVD on specific times.
Relatively new is the usage of sensor technology, but it already has an impact on everyday life and behavior. Sensors can be found everywhere. Think of the game industry (the Wii), the remote control of your TV, a thermometer, an automatic supermarket door, and so on. The search for better quality and improved user experience will continue (think of 3D etc). Therefore, researchers predict new information filters and advanced search & open source techniques. 



Business
As said before, media merge is eminent and they’re used in a mixed setting. Audiovisual and written media meet on each other’s domains to target the same devices for their services. This makes it necessary to develop new business models for the digital world and face the difference in thinking towards classic models such as authenticity, copyrights and originality.
Accountability has – and will get – a more important function. Companies now follow a human centered approach to service development. This can be seen in co-creation, mobilizing crowds, crowd sourcing, and direct influence of individuals on design of products, environment and services mostly through social media like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Last, but not least, there’s a fundamental change in the role of producer and consumer of information; the former passive consumer is now an active producer. The result is that professionals are now looking for a new useful role in the information and influence chain (sales funnel). 

Data
The massive usage of data (storage) causes a desperate need for metadata and smart search & retrieval. The trend is to share information with our circle of friends, so existing data (text, pictures, video’s) multiplies a few times due to sharing with connections. We saw this a few years ago for the first time on the Wikileaks case, and researchers are still busy developing the possibilities.
Unlucky for a lot of new media applications, there’s the question of digital preservation. Are those applications here to stay, and are they built for long-term usage? E.g. Facebook is replacing My Space, and Google+ could become a huge competitor of Facebook (although I doubt that for now). But what do you think will be the next big digital hype…?

Let us know! 

Steve Jobs on Failure

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My dad used to say: you already have ‘no’ and you might get a ‘yes’ if you just ask… This is so true. The funny thing about our behavior in games is that in games we are actually open to fail where as in real-life we are afraid to make mistakes and fail, because of fear of being laughed at, yelled at or even getting fired. I see this a lot in change-management projects where we use games as a tool to train staff and get them used to the ‘desired situation’. When we ask people on their jobs to do things differently, in 90% of all cases you will have people saying: “But I am used to doing it like this, or we tried it but it didn’t work or I use the new method, but the old one really worked better.” We always use the same ways to get to our goal where as in games people find out the best way to achieve their goal through trial and error. And also, once we ‘master’ the game we invent ‘challenges’ for ourselves to push the boundary, like fighting with one arm, or running through a level without killing anyone or… well…

I hope to find the time this year to write my new book ‘A Playful Life’ (working title) which will be about life topics and how games can help to look at things in new ways…
Have a playful weekend!

The Future of Gaming according to ING Bank

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I can see my parents doing this in 10 years time… long live bingo, social media and games!

IBM Next 5 in 5: 2011 The Future

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5 minutes of free inspiration to develop a sound vision!

Trash-Can Run by BrandNewGame.mov

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This video presentation explains the Trash-can run. A concept I developed to reduce litter in forests and parks. Check it out and let me know what you think!

I am still looking for (Dutch) sponsors and interesting contacts in the fast moving and sports industry for the launch in april 2012!