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Supercharging Your Product Design With Game Thinking

Much of my time these days is devoted to teaching game production at The Los Angeles Film School, as well as giving live talks and virtual lectures on the topic of game design to everyone from boy scouts to industry professionals. Still, I was absolutely thrilled when Amy Jo Kim invited me to be a coach at her Game Thinking Live training event being held March 31 to April 1 in San Francisco.

For those of you not familiar with her work, Amy Jo is an accomplished social game designer, community architect and startup coach. She is well known for her 2000 book, Community Building on the Web, and her 2012 TEDx talk, “Collaboration & Community-Building”. In addition to earning a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Washington, her expertise is based on her work on such products as Rock Band, The Sims, Ultima Online, Happify, eBay, and Netflix.

Amy Jo has drawn upon her experiences of creating innovate products to develop an integrated system for accelerating innovation and driving sustained engagement.  Called “Game Thinking”, it is a powerful blend of game design, systems thinking, agile/lean practices, and design thinking built upon the following development pillars used by game designers when making games:

  • Build a community of Super Fans — your most passionate, early customers —  to provide early feedback on your product and then later expanding  your playtesting from that base to a larger group of target customers.
  • Build and test your core product from the inside out by first focusing on the product’s core interaction loop.
  • Tinker and prototype without assuming that your first idea is the right one.

By leveraging Amy Jo’s Game Thinking system, entrepreneurs have learned how to innovate faster and smarter, and to build products that people love to come back to.

Amy Jo is now putting together as high-impact two-day training event to teach entrepreneurs the tools and techniques of Game Thinking, and give them a blueprint for building products that are as engaging as games. The event will introduce participants  to the designers and innovators who’ve created successful businesses with Game Thinking, and provide hands-on training and support that will super-charge product design.

A ticket to the event provides a package of benefits that includes:

  • An introductory online course before the event, with short videos and step-by-step templates that take you through the basics of Game Thinking at your own pace.
  • The two day-event, where on Day 1 participants will learn the foundations of Game Thinking through real-life Case Studies, and on Day 2 apply the Game Thinking Toolkit to your project with coaching and support from guest experts & peers.
  • After the event, continue learning and stay in touch with the people you met in the Game Thinking Academy — a curated learning community of experts and enthusiasts.

Sound interesting?  If you’re a startup CEO, game developer, UX pro, design leader, product manager, agile expert, or innovation executive, this event may be just right for you!  To find out more, visit Game Thinking Live.