Ani full version!

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has participated.
I have one last favour to ask. It would be great if you could fill out this survey and let me know about your experiences.

If you wanted to still give the app a go, you can try it out today/tomorrow and then fill out the survey. Any and all help would be great!
All your feedback, comments, experiences are extremely valuable to my research and I greatly appreciate the time that you have taken to be a part of this project.

For all those who have tested Ani AND completed the survey, you will get full access to the full version by entering your username and ANI2016 (e.g. gamerzANI2016). Given that we are a little while away from the full version, keep up to date and be the first to know when the app is released by subscribing to the ANI mailing list here

Workshop on Entertainment in Serious Games and Entertaining Serious Purpose

Featured as part of a workshop on entertainment in serious games

The serious games community rightly argues that there’s more to serious games than entertainment, and restricting the focus to entertainment “seriously undersells its potential” (Jenkins 2006). Indeed, while a consensus definition of serious games still eludes us, serious games are often described as games designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment.

However, entertainment obviously has an important role to play, for example in contributing to the motivational and engaging qualities of serious games and making learning or serious elements more palatable. Why would anyone want to voluntarily play a serious game again and again for extended periods of time if it’s not entertaining? Furthermore, discussion around what is, and what is not, primary or secondary importance is not always helpful and can be problematic – because arguing that serious purpose is primary rejects many games and interactions whose entertaining element is the purpose – where purpose and entertainment are inextricably and synergistically linked. So arguments or distinctions along the lines of what’s more important, the serious purpose or entertainment, become blurred.

In addition, gameplay and interactions exhibiting this synergistic nature typically identify good design. Where entertainment and serious purpose meet, where purpose doesn’t overshadow entertainment (and vice versa) and ideally where players want to play voluntarily for hours on end, again and again, and in their own time.

Similar arguments are used with learning and development where learning with games is fun (e.g. Gee 2007). Other more obvious examples can be found in exergames and dance games where the mechanic of working out is entertaining and entertainment is a workout; or with interactive art and installations that provide a message or an experience that is entertaining. Similarly, other examples might include well-designed role-playing, interactive storytelling and performance where taking part in historical events, encounters with different social and cultural structures, or facing moral and ethical dilemmas and situations can be entertaining.

In this respect, entertainment and associated experiences can mean different things to different people and can involve elements or mixes of gameplay and interaction that is fun and exciting, through stimulating and thought provoking, to difficult, scary, or darker experiences that are pleasurable (Marsh and Costello 2012).

As more and more interactive entertainments (games, diversions and brain teasers) appear on social media and networking sites, it’s not difficult to foresee these offerings increasingly extending to serious purposes (learning, training and well-being); and in doing so perhaps signal an increased confidence in overcoming the failure surrounding the introduction of Edutainment in the 90’s.

In this workshop we want to highlight the importance of entertainment (in its various forms) in serious games irrespective of supporting technologies/platforms. The objective of this workshop is to provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to identify, discuss and share topics associated with entertainment in serious games and the synergy of serious purpose and entertainment in interactions and gameplay – where entertainment is the serious purpose and also where the synergy of purpose and entertainment identifies good design.



Henry Jenkins. 2006. Getting Serious About Games.

John Paul Gee. 2007. Good Video Games Plus Good Learning, Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York.

Tim Marsh & Brigid Costello. 2012. Experience in serious games: between positive and serious experience, Serious Games Development & Applications, SGDA2012, Bremen, Germany.

New blog post series COMING SOON!!

A 22 series blog post will be coming soon that will investigate the various elements and mechanics that make up the design of gamified systems and how they are used (or can be used) as part of the design of games and gamified systems.

Also, if you are  (or will be) in Melbourne towards the end of October and are interested in taking part in my Melbourne Knowledge Week workshop, email me at: to register your interest. Details will be released soon, so make sure you’re on the list to secure your place.

The survey for my research project perfekt.ID is now CLOSED. I would like to thank everyone who has taken part and helped in the distribution of the survey. The results are currently being analysed and will be available shortly. Be sure to check back here or if you are on Twitter @R3nza. In other news, I will be running a workshop PERSONA-lise in the coming months. If you are interested, again, watch this space or Twitter as more information will be available shortly regarding times and requirements. To give you a brief overview, the workshop will include two parts. An theory part and a practical part. If you are new to gamification, interested in applying it to your own work, or wanting to know more about what is currently being developed this will be the workshop for you! Unfortunately, it is only available for those who are (or will be) in Melbourne, Australia at the time of the workshop. More info coming soon!