The Alternative University is a personalised learning program, created with professionals in various fields, to help grow young students, capable of generating a change in society.
University’s Camp is one of the most impactful experiences of its program, it’s a seven day intensive camp, full of learning, that kick starts the new academic year, it is known as one of the most powerful and beautiful experiences.
Playful Solutions has worked with the Alternative University to gamify 2016’s Camp. We offered a solution that increases the involvement of students in the daytime activities and made this camp more fun. This is how we did it.
The Alternative University has a culture based on freedom. No activity is mandatory. This faced the organisers with a possible difficulty, lack of involvement from some students regarding the agenda. Also, the students get involved in co-creative activities like waking others up, serving breakfast and so on, that tend to be less fun. Finally, the team wished participants to be proactive and organise random fun activities on their own, on top of the agenda they created.
Young professionals between 18 and 39, both students from the Alternative University and invited persons from outside who resonate. Diverse with the common drive to grow individually; opened to initiatives and passionate about self-discovery; active and involved in diverse projects with social and business impact.
We pick some behaviours that, if applied, the goals will be achieved.
We started building the strategy from the CAMP agenda. We focused on empowering the dynamics and intentions of the organisers.
Players were split in six teams, each group having 10 to 12 players. This encouraged the participants to get closer to their team members and to be motivated to win as a team. It created a social pressure to participate in the game and, indirectly, a fear of missing out.
Each player gathered points individually that were added to the team score. At the beginning of each day we displayed two things. One consists in the challenges of the day, and second is the leaderboard of the teams with top 5 most active players included. During the day we gave surprise challenges, depending on the needs or situations, for example we had a birthday in one of the days and we had the participants take selfies with the birthday boy.
Their purpose in the game was racing each other to the top of the leaderboard, or to put it more simply, to win.
The challenges were mainly intended to follow the red wire of Camp’s activities and, as already mentioned, to keep the players active and present.
We did most of the communication via Facebook, but also used SMS and Facebook Chat to individually connect with them. The person they were communication with was called the Game Master, and nobody knew who this person really was. He was the one who talked about the quests, about their points and so on. He was both the handler of the game and a friend.
These are the game elements used to build the mechanics for this CAMP:
During this Camp we made changes that helped us reach desired outcome. One example is the Booster mechanism we used to increase the number of people who would do the reflection challenge. We just doubled the points for that challenge.
In the fourth day it rained, so all the activities, that were outdoors, were canceled. We adapted our points mechanism and used backup challenges to fill in the space. Another challenge was for them to play a childhood game and send a video while doing so.
The purpose of the game was reached and the objectives met. Not all the plans were perfect, and not everything fit, but we adapted just in time so that everything worked out even better than planned. Truth is, of the most important aspects is flexibility and the power to adapt to any unexpected situation. You can find below some photos from this Camp, to emphasise with the energy that was created. ‘Till next time, I wish you a fun day.
Game Master, over and out.