10 August 2014

Wow - people really love games

Recently I gave a talk to a group people in our business (PageUp) on game mechanics, and how games are being used to engage people in enterprise software. Some of my research came from Jane McGonigal's excellent book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make us Better and How they Can Change the World - which I highly recommend as one of the most fascinating non-fiction books I've read in the last 10 years.


As a precursor to the talk I asked people via our internal network (Yammer) about their favourite games, and boy did it create a buzz:

"At 1pm AUS time today I'm having a chat with a few people about #gamification (games, game mechanics etc.). I'm wondering - what are some people's favourite games (offline/online/physical no boundaries here but that you play yourself rather than watch)?

One of my favourites is the Myst series originally on PC"

49 replies later, here's a compilation of some of the games mentioned.

Let's start with my own favourite Myst:

Myst was one of the first "adult" games that I played at primary school in our Mac lab. I don't think I ever finished it at that point, but the magic of navigating around a completely fabricated world holds a soft spot in my childhood memories.

A few classics started the thread:

Pac-Man, Pong, Minesweeper - all had a few mentions from a number of generations of colleagues.

One of our ex-employees from Facebook chimed in at this point with one of their gamified workflow tools - one in which they can "catch" Pokemon!


2048 came in next - one I'd not heard of (given it was created this year - that made sense!). Basically a 4X4 grid where players slide the tiles around to ultimately create a tile with the number 2048.


Things took a quirky turn with the out of this world Robot Unicorn Attack...


Quite a few Nintendo fans with Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Legend of Zelda to name a few of the titles that came up.

Definitely one I know I spent a few hours on, the source of many 80's and 90's catchphrases - get over here - Mortal Kombat.


Portal (both 1 and 2) - not a game I've played but definitely on the list.


A guy after my own heart chimed in next with my favourite genre - adventure games, particular the ones where you have to solve a bunch of puzzles or use detective work to move on in the game (remember my favourite game is Myst right). A few of the favourites were Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island:

One of those games that rekindled the Scrabble craze - Words with Friends popped up next:


Given the topic for the talk was about gamification in enterprise platforms (and we're a Microsoft shop) the Visual Studio Achievements program got a call out.


Bubble Bobble!


"Let's go to a place where everything is made of blocks". Yep - it's Minecraft - https://minecraft.net/

I figured this one would pop up at some point - the grisly 3D shooter Wolfenstein


All the way from 1986 - Alex Kidd in Miracle World - oh how we loved that this was the built in game on the Sega Master System.

Some more Sega goodness with Sonic 2:


Of course Frogger got a mention along with some other retro favourites - Bounce Zone, Duck Hunt, and another of my favourites - Commander Keen.

Spice Girls game on Playstation - I seriously did not realise this even existed. There is a game for everyone it would seem.

From our CIO - his favourite game was Bastow Manor on C64 - Youtube clip below:

And to cap it off, one of my favourites played on my first computer, an 8086 Olivetti - a very simple artillery game which involved aiming your tanks and determining angle/power in order to shoot your way over/through a mountain to hit your opponents tank: Scorched Earth.


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