Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Category Archives: Thoughts

Shifting from Gamification to Playful Design

This is a lightly edited transcript of a short lecture I delivered some time ago at an off-site gathering organized by one of NL’s largest construction-services businesses. The event explored the potential of games, game design and gamification for property development and construction. This talk creates a common frame of understanding about gamification and why […]

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New Planning Methods

This is a writeup of my talk at the event ‘Nieuwe Planningsmethoden‘ (‘New Planning Methods’) in Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam on October 8, 2015. Hello. My name is Kars Alfrink. I am a designer and partner at Hubbub, a small playful design agency, based in Utrecht and Berlin. Hubbub helps organisations do things with games, […]

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Slack’s emoji reactions are playful product design in action

Last week Slack launched their Emoji reactions feature. This allows you to attach emoji to a message and for others to chime in and vote for an emoji or add their own. I am very excited by this for a number of reasons. We use Slack fairly heavily. We have channels for specific projects and […]

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Three Perspectives on Serious Games

At the end of last year I was invited to give a talk at Creative Mornings Utrecht on the theme “education”. I figured it would be a nice opportunity to share the things I’ve learned over the past 5+ years of practicing applied game design. I tried to connect a wide range of sources with […]

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Engagement loops are the best way to motivate people using game mechanics

It has been a pleasure to see our associate Sebastian Deterding’s thinking evolve through his presentations over the years. It has been a treat to read every new deck and to follow his reasoning in detail. You can also trace a very distinct line about games, user experience, psychology and ethics that has become more […]

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An Outline of Playful Design

In the summer of last year we announced a new direction for the studio, which boils down to us no longer framing our work as game design, but as playful design. We are interested in designing a wide range of playthings, and we are also interested in designing things that aren’t primarily meant for play […]

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Goat rodeo, issue games, and Bycatch

When Subalekha was presenting Bycatch at Playful back in October 2014, at some point Ian Willey tweeted the following: I was intrigued by the expression “goat rodeo” and immediately looked it up. It turns out Ian wasn’t referring to games about chasing goats with lassos. In stead, he’s talking about situations that I tend to […]

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The Gameful City, a preview of my chapter for The Gameful World

This year, MIT Press will publish The Gameful World, a book edited by Steffen P. Walz and Sebastian Deterding to which I’ve contributed a chapter. The book will cover approaches in gameful and playful design, how it can be applied to a range of fields and its common issues. For example, Ian Bogost will expand […]

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Notes on project AJI (part 3)

This is the third and final part of a post about AJI, a self-commissioned research project about public protests. Read the first and second post or continue reading below. The most important idea is that a protest is a performance of civic resistance and solidarity and as such it has a broad swath of spectators […]

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Notes on project AJI (part 2)

This is the second part of a post about AJI, a self-commissioned research project about public protests. Read the first post or continue reading below. Looking back on the talks we gave in the past few years, they’re obviously (and naturally) precedents for what we’re doing with AJI now. I’m really happy we’re returning to […]

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