Game Frame: Bringing Game Mechanics to Work
By Maria Popova
Last weekend, we had the pleasure of Undercurrent’s Aaron Dignan speak at this year’s PSFK Conference where he offered, with wit and rigor, a delicious taste of his new book: Game Frame: Using Games as a Strategy for Success — a compelling case for using game mechanics to transform the way we think about and do work, making play a core driving force of the modern workplace.
This book is my attempt to compartmentalize the relevant information about games and play in everyday life into one quick but actionable read. The truth is, we are born knowing how to play, and how to invent games where none exist. I’m convinced that there is a role for games and play in reshaping the world around us. Most of the the game designers I know imagine a world full of highly engaged people actively becoming the best version of themselves. In bringing that vision to life, we lack only the road map to get there, and the willingness to begin the journey.” ~ Aaron Dignan
If you consider yourself a gamer, or you’ve ever seen Philip Toledano’s portraits of gamers, you know the kind of passion, drive and emotion that go into gaming. Yet, chances are, you’re also familiar with the kind of drone-like mesmerism that an unengaging job can inflict. The core premise of Game Frame is that the psychological insights and behavioral motivators of game mechanics can be translated to the business world with powerful, transformative results. From why games have such a strong magnetic pull on the human brain to how our iPhones, hybrid cars and other technolusts are priming us to be intuitive gamers, Dignan blends illuminating research with real-life anecdotes from around the world to deliver a compelling treatise on the elusive intersection of creativity, productivity and real joy at work.
Filmed in August 2010 at São Paulo’s MIS-Museum of Image and Sound, the documentary is a living hallmark of the incredibly diverse ecosystem of contemporary art, exploring some of the key pillars of creativity, from collaboration to inspiration to cerebral stimulation.
Part Enchantment, part Gamestorming, part Reality Is Broken, Game Frame offers a thoughtful yet digestible guide to making the modern workplace what it always should’ve been: Productive, engaging and, above all, fun.
Published April 11, 2011