Gamifying books and content on mobile devices – new ways to attract Millennials and monetise mobile content.
London Book Fair. 14th April 2015. In the digital world, the word innovation is always thrown around: how to you innovate the book? Enhance it? Make it an app? Or a game? Marcin Skrabka, of Young Digital Planet, was at LBF to talk about his company’s approach.
The polish company “provide digitalisation solutions for publishers”, and seek to “make education interesting, more personalised and customise the tools for [the users]”.
“Games are so important to students.”
The statistics of the average student age 7-21 show the potential importance of games: in those years, they’ll spend an average of 10,000 hours in school, and 10,000 hours gaming. “Games are so important to kids and students that they take up the majority of their spare time.”
What they find is children are sitting to play, not moving, and they want to create games that make children move. The other important factor is smartphones: it’s the most common device, where schools use tablets. There is a US movement for children to bring their own devices, which is good for inclusion, not everyone has a tablet.
The goal: “Something for education and smartphones that will un-chair children.”
It is important to think digital v. traditional – millennial readership is dropping, and people are making apps with whole books, for devices that shines light into your eyes. It’s not convenient for reading, so you need to think about what would work amid the distractions of the internet, social media, and mobile devices.
The future, he believes, is gamification with augmented reality using mobile devices, but thinking how to connect that with paper. Millennials playing games is over 70% and it is one of the top uses of smartphones, alongside social media, chatting, maps and GPS. These are crucial to the solution.
“Books are ready-made game templates.”
How can be connect a traditional book with a mobile device? Their solution features:
- Mobile book app.
- Universal app creation.
- Based in cloud.
- Web tool.
- Android, and launched iOS (pending store approval).
- Communicates with Cloud, playing the game sends further info to the Cloud.
Can use Google maps with all these features, setting certain checkpoints in real life. The use of QR codes it how to link it back to the printed product.
He feels that readers benefit: they download the app to play the game, the game loads automatically with the QR code. “Play, learn, have fun” is the mantra. The use of QR codes works in line with their GPS plans, as it can work inside where GPS currently cannot. It allows participants to explore, not sit on the chair, and utilises the book content.
Here’s their example, in physical form (click to view full size):