Adam Palmquist

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Adam Palmquist

Adam Palmquist is an industrial PhDc in Applied IT at the University of Gothenburg and works as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) here at Insert Coin.

 Palmquist has a background in learning and (analogue) game design. He is an author of several books addressing the intersection of design, technology, and learning. He has written “Det speliferierade klassrummet” – (A gamified learning environment) in 2017, the first comprehensive book on gamification and learning in Swedish. Since then, he has authored two additional books covering game-based learning, “Motiverande Undervisning” (Engaged Instruction), explaining how to use gameful design in an analogue classroom, and “The Automation Game Master” introducing a novel research-based framework and practice of gamified change management in the digital era. Adam has worked as a gamification expert and advisor for several international companies in the production industry. His PhD-project is a collaboration between the University of Gothenburg and Insert Coin, concerning Gamified the World ENgine (GWEN), a unique system-agnostic gamification API built to democratise gamification. Palmquist describes his interdisciplinary project within Human-Computer Interaction, Socio-Technical Information Systems, and Design Science.

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“Motivation is the key to success”

An interview with Adam Palmquist.

What is your background?

I have a background in teaching and school development. I worked as an HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and Gamification consultant for different enterprises and incubators. Also, I have done a fair share of lecturing and public speaking.

How did you get into the table-top role-playing game scene?

I started my gaming career with table-top RPG’s in the early nineties. We “borrowed” my best friends’ older brothers Mutant and I’ve been hooked ever since.

What led you to teaching?

I have always been fascinated with storytelling and learning. I have always seen the humans as a storytelling being, a kind of ‘homo narrans’. After I finished my master’s degree I worked with different museums to make their exhibitions more interactive. During that time I was getting more and more fascinated with human learning and understanding, so I started to pursue a degree in peodogy as well.

What is gamification?

Gamification considers how game mechanics can increase user motivation for a different task. It’s not a full fledge game but part or parts of game elements in a non-game context. It can be used in many ways. At Insert Coin we use this to give the user more control and sense of progression through different design principals.

What made you want to study gamification?

When it comes to teaching, there is always the question about the apprentices motivation, right? Motivation is the key for success. Gamification is designed to drive user motivation. I wanted to investigate how different game mechanics effects user motivation in different contexts. Pursuing research in that area was just a natural thing to do.

You’re working towards a PhD in gamification. Tell us a little bit about that.

Doing an PhD is very fun. Hard work, but fun work. To validate and measure different perspectives on game design thinking in non-game contexts is important for the seriousness of the gamification industry. We need more people from the gaming industry to do research together with the universities so the field can thrive even more.

Where do you think gamification is in ten years?

That’s a good question! I think that we will see more motivational design, as known as, Game design in our digital products. Here, the internet of things will play a significant role.

Where can gamification be applied?

Gamification can be applied everywhere where human interaction is involved.

You’ve written the book ’Det spelifierade klassrummet’ for Studentlitteratur. Tell us a little bit about that process.

It was an exciting time. Reading all those articles about gamification and comparing them with my own work in the field. Super exciting really. Because there was no Swedish book about gamification I really felt that I had undertaken an important quest here.

What is GWEN?

GWEN is an agnostic and agile gamification platform designed by the gamification studio Insert Coin. It’s made to implement gamification in already existing software products – giving them gamification. It could also be used as a cornerstone for new projects as well.

Want to learn from Adam Palmquist?