domingo, 16 de abril de 2017

International Academic Conference on Management, Economics and Marketing in Budapest 2017, Hungary (IAC-MEM 2017 in Budapest)

Last week I was in Budapest to attend the International Academic Conference on Management, Economics and Marketing. The event was great! Full of good content and awesome people. This conference is very important to me because it's the first event that I attended as a PhD (Yeah! Finished my doctorate one month ago!).



I had the opportunity to present the article "Advergames: games as marketing tools". Below, I want to share the PDF file with some slides from the presentation.



You can download the full article by clicking here.

One more international achievement unlocked. =)

#GoGamers

domingo, 2 de abril de 2017

Let's give the floor to specialists in advergames

I selected four experts from the gaming field and asked each one the following question: what are three essential characteristics for an effective advergame? Below, I present and discuss the answers:



Fabio Tola, Brazilian elementary school teacher and specialist in the use of games for education, says that one advergame 1) must reach the target audience; 2) convey the branding/product message effectively; 3) become viral – this last item is very important to quickly expand the marketing message to the social media environment.

For Guilherme Camargo, CEO of the Brazilian gaming studio Sioux, the three essential characteristics for an effective advergame are: 1) have a well-defined purpose aligned to the brand, product or service (it seems obvious but, often, an advergame is detached from the core concept of a campaign); 2) know your target audience to match the style, mechanics and other characteristics of the games; 3) be fun – it is fundamental to create something that strengthens engagement through entertainment languages.

Mauro Berimbau, Brazilian high school teacher and specialist in advergames ponders that 1) in this modality of games, is elementary to send a clear marketing message; 2) to observe the historical socio-cultural aspects of the players; 3) to study the player's interpretations and responses to the system. From these opinions, we can ponder a lot before an advergaming project or an analysis of an advergame. We will discuss these ideas in the final topic of our article.

Laura Herrewijn, guest Professor at University of Antwerp, says that 1) it is important to be sure that your audience will have fun, to create an original game in which you integrate your brand message in a central, prominent way; 2) it’s necessary to focus on the moments where the player has no attention left to perceive the brand messaging; 3) you need to make sure that the behavior you want to promote (e.g. visiting a website, buying a product) is made as easily as possible (e.g. to include a very visible link/ a coupon, etc.).

#GoGamers

segunda-feira, 20 de março de 2017

Board game mechanics in a poster

I was in Santiago (Chile) last weekend for a presentation about my new mobile game RockFlickz. After the work, I visited one very interesting ludic place: Dos De Seis Board Game Café. You can rent board games, play them and drink excellent coffee. One poster in the wall caught my attention and I want to share it in this post:



Some "artist" grouped the main board game mechanics in the same space. A cool poster to decorate a wall and an excellent exercise to think about game design.

#GoGamers

segunda-feira, 13 de março de 2017

Game design process: one more interesting approach

Some excellent stuff from the YouTube channel Game Design Ed. A concise and interesting view about game design process. Enjoy!



#GoGamers

domingo, 5 de março de 2017

The magic circle idea and the playgrounds scattered throughout everyday life

From countless mobile gadgets with wireless and fast track connection to the Internet, or using more traditional modes of access, people are increasingly blurring the lines between near and far, public and private, work and leisure, online and offline. The impressive rates in social appropriation of communication and information technologies entail changes in the way we live, get together, do business and – of course – have fun.


Stephansplatz, Vienna (June, 2016). Photo by @vincevader

Having fun, in this scenario, is closely linked to the large number of entertainment languages that pervade our daily experience. The languages of entertainment are crisscrossing boundaries in the quotidian landscape and games become media and a relevant tool of marketing for many companies. We can find games and languages of entertainment in our mobile devices, Facebook site, television shows, videogame consoles, mobile applications and lots of other platforms. Everything indicates that, more than never, individuals are searching for ludic/entertainment/gaming experiences to disconnect for some moments from the chaotic quotidian, the pressure of working hours or the accelerated routine of big urban centers; in certain way, people are trying to reach places of catharsis, dreaming and fiction to escape from this. Based on the Huizinga’s (1995) thoughts, they are searching for different “magic circles”.

Johan Huizinga (1872 – 1945) was a Dutch historian and one of the founders of modern cultural history. In his book Homo Ludens, from 1938, he discusses the possibility that playing is the primary formative element in human culture. In this book, the author (HUIZINGA, 1995) presents the idea of the "magic circle". As described by Adams and Rollings (2009), Huizinga did not use the term as a generic name for the concept: his text refers to the actual playground, or a physical space for playing. Inside the magic circle, real-world events have special meanings; in the real world someone kicks a ball into a net, but in the magic circle someone scores a goal leading the crowd to celebrate this act. (ADAMS; ROLLINGS, 2009).

The magic circle is a place of dreams and fantasy. It's an escape from everyday problems and chores. Most importantly: everything inside the magic circle is, in some way, transformative. Each time a person leaves the magic circle, they bring meaning and experience to the real world. The arena, the card-table, the stage, the screen, the tennis court, the court of justice, etc., are examples of the magic circle idea. It is important to mention that authors like Bogost (2016) discuss that “magic circle” is too dramatic a name for this kind of processes and embraces the term “playgrounds” as an alternative.

Regardless of the categorization – whether “magic circle” or “playgrounds” – it is important to understand that the contemporary stage is full of platforms that we can access entertainment/games and there are lots of individuals attached to these ludic experiences. We can suppose that companies/brands/products/services will try to connect its selves to the audiences immersed in these experiences, platforms and languages. Based on this assumption, we understand more clearly how games also become communication and marketing tools.

#GoGamers



References:

ADAMS, Ernest; ROLLINGS, Andrew. Fundamentals of Game Design. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009

BOGOST, Ian. Play anything: the pleasure of limits, the uses of boredom, & the secret of games. New York: Basic Books, 2016.

HUIZINGA, Johan. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. Boston: The Beacon Press, 1955.

quarta-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2017

A diagram to explain connections in a board game design process

An excellent diagram to think about the relationships between theme, rules, players and components in board games. The intersections between the different areas point out very interesting ways to ponder about game design questions.


Source: Big Game Theory site

#GoGamers

terça-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2017

Defining “advergame”, “product placement in games” and “in-game advertising”

According to Cavallini (2006), the notion of advergame – a neologism formed from the juxtaposing of the words “advertise” and “game” – could be described as a strategy for marketing that uses games, mainly electronic, to advertise brands and products. That includes a large range that goes from complex games that are developed specifically for advertising purposes to common casual games. The Internet and video game consoles are great environments to use this strategy. Mobile media (smartphones and tablets) are already being tested by companies, which chose this marketing strategy too. For instance, the Brazilian branch of the soft drink brand Fanta launched in 2015 a hot site with ten advergames. Developed by Sioux Studio, the games emphasized Fantas’s branding features like happiness, friendship, radical sports and music. All the features of the brand appeared in campaigns displayed on television, magazines, movie theaters and on the Internet are present in the game; therefore, we can conclude that the game is an advertising piece like any other.



Cavallini (2006) also discusses the idea of product placement in games as a strategy that inserts a company’s product inside the gaming interface and context. The characters in the game Devil May Cry wear pants with the Diesel brand in evidence. In Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - Pandora Tomorrow, the character uses a Sony Ericsson p900 smartphone to solve missions, so the player virtually experiences the use of the device. In Worms 3D, by SEGA Studio, the characters drink a can of Red Bull energy drink in order to jump higher. In the last released UFC game, we can see the fighters wearing shorts and gloves from famous sporting brands. It is very important to highlight that this kind of strategy, as everything in marketing, needs its context aligned with the target audience. In all previous examples, the product fits in the gaming universe and dialogues with the players.



Another fundamental keyword in this context is in-game advertising. As Herrewijn and Poels (2011) define, in-game advertising refers to the use of games as a medium for the delivery of advertisements, and the authors point out that there is one player branding experience during the gameplay. In this type of strategy, we can notice the use of banners, posters, radio spots, digital ads and billboards mixed to the game’s landscape. In Virtua Tennis 3, as an example, it is possible to see Bridgestone tires and Citizen watches billboards all around the scenario. Both brands are present, sponsoring the real tennis matches, so it is very pertinent to be in the virtual game, creating a deeper sense of immersion to the player.



In this topic, we are discussing examples developed for consoles, personal computers and mobile media. However, the advergaming strategy is not something created in the Internet age. In the beginning of the 1980s, we already could find some very interesting cases in the Atari platform (as we discussed in this old post here).

Note: this post is part of a complete paper about "games as marketing tools". Soon, I hope to share the complete content in another post.

#GoGamers



References:

CAVALLINI, Ricardo. (2006). O marketing depois de amanhã. São Paulo: Digerati Books.

HERREWIJN, Laura. & POELS, Karolien (2011). Putting Brands into Play: How Player Experiences Influence the Effectiveness of In-Game Advertising. Proceedings of the DiGRA (Digital Games Research Association), 6, 1-19. Available here.