My book is reviewed in Dutch!
“Play the game – gamification as a motor for change is a nice and fresh booklet in which the elements of (playing) games are unraveled and you are invited to start working with it yourself.“
In short and concise chapters, Bartholomeus takes you along in her field: developing serious games and demonstrating, using (physical and digital) games that are more or less known to everyone, what techniques are used.
How do you invite a player into the game? How do you keep them motivated? What is the magic of a game and why is a game such a rich learning environment? As a fanatic player of board games I am reassured… I now know that I am simply drawn into the magic circle…
Bartholomeus also plays with language (no child’s play, playing the right card, playing hard) and the fun splashes from the book. It gives a nice insight into what the game does to the players and what elements are all in it. The book is divided into all compact pieces and you evolve from beginner to advanced player / game designer and expert with the exercises in which the theory can be put into practice. These exercises include an invitation to look at how you play games, to unravel your own favorite games and ultimately to develop a game yourself.
Due to the multitude of elements and the hopping between used techniques, psychology, goals of playing etc., I sometimes lack the line in the book. There is coherence through the subject, but I sometimes miss a logical order. It is therefore somewhat difficult to follow what gamification can mean for me. The step to the promise from the subtitle – gamification as a motor for change – is therefore an ambitious one, despite the very nice examples she sketches of serious games that she developed with her company Laika.nl. Fortunately, I also have such experience in which we have helped with serious game teams to work more data-driven and to base their decisions more on available knowledge. Very cool and fun to see how teams are completely absorbed in the game and forget for a while what setting they normally work with.
In short: Bartholomeus has written an enthusiastic anthology of the richness of the world of play to take games seriously and provided some nice tools to take the first steps towards developing game (elements) for your own (work). surroundings.