How scientists can manipulate us with games to gather data

Smartphones have turned us into an army of accidental data collectors, checking in at locations, taking photos, recording audio, even gauging network speeds wherever we go. This rich data can be used for research, but because people are creatures of habit, there are sometimes gaping blind spots.

jesse schell

Game visionary Jesse Schell talks about the pleasure revolution

When Jesse Schell talks, the game industry listens. A talk he gave at the Dice Summit in 2010 garnered hundreds of thousands of views as he talked about the logical extension of spreading game rewards beyond games. This year, the professor of entertainment technology at Carnegie Mellon University has elaborated on that vision in talks on a topic he calls The Pleasure Revolution.

Bunchball brings gamification to Adobe’s digital marketing suite

It’s not as sexy as landing Playboy as a customer. But Bunchball is moving further into enterprises with its gamification technology, which makes non-game web sites more interesting by making them game-like. Today, Bunchball is integrating gamification analytics into Adobe’s Digital Marketing Suite.

Mindbloom Life game teaches you how to live better

Most games can be time sinks, stealing time away from the things that you’re supposed to be doing. But Mindbloom is the kind of game you can feel good about playing. It is a simple game aimed at improving your quality of life by rewarding you for doing the things that are really important.

Basis launches heart rate monitor and health tracker

Basis Science  hopes to get us all in better shape. It will do so with its $199 heart and health monitor that you can strap around your wrist. The company is revealing today the design of its B1 Basis Band that will launch later this year.

Screen Shot 2011-09-20 at 3.21.33 PM

Diablo 3 beta begins today

Initial invitations to join the beta testing program for Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo 3 game are finally making the rounds to Battle.net account holders.

Bunchball hits 500M badges awarded for gamification service

Bunchball launched its gamification service four years ago, before the name for adding game-like features to non-game applications became popular. Now the company is disclosing some interesting milestones, including the fact that its customers have awarded their 125 million users with 500 million badges and trophies.

Badgeville adds social fabric analysis to its gamification suite

Gamification company Badgeville has made a big splash in the past year by helping web sites better engage visitors through game-like features such as leaderboards and badges. Now it is taking a step further and adding behavioral analysis to help its clients better understand their users.

Venture capitalist Tim Chang describes the white-hot landscape of game investments

The emerging landscape of games is attracting a lot of money, thanks in part to excitement about Zynga’s upcoming initial public offering and some recent acquisitions such as Electronic Arts’ $750 million purchase of PopCap Games. Tim Chang, a partner at Norwest Venture Partners, has kept his finger on the pulse of the game market for years and spoke about the opportunities in games at the recent Casual Connect game conference in Seattle.

lumosity

Lumosity raises $32M round for brain games

Lumosity has quietly amassed more than 14 million members for its brain-training games, which help you improve your core mental abilities. That in turn has enabled the company to raise $32.5 million in a third round of funding today.

Health gamification startup Basis snags Jef Holove as CEO

Basis is making a health monitoring device that could make it more fun to get into good shape. That could be a tough sell to couch potatoes, but the company has announced it has a new chief executive to lead the charge: Jef Holove, who was previously CEO at wireless photo card maker Eye-Fi.

With Playboy as proof, Bunchball says gamification works

Gamification, or using game-like mechanics on non-game sites, is starting to bear some fruit. Bunchball has been working at gamifying web sites since 2005, and its latest efforts with Playboy show that it is able to keep users more engaged with the brand than they otherwise might be.