Blogs about Video Making, Gaming, Gamification and Virtual Reality.

These blogs can also be found here on @æStranger's Medium page.

We hope that you enjoy all the blogs on here and that they are challenging, enjoyable and above all helpful.

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Musings of the Mind

roleplay

How role-playing games can be used as therapeutic tools

Looking at how role-playing games and experiences can be used as therapeutic tools, to help develop and practice social skills and communication.

ash or phoenix

So, Gamification, are you a pile of ash or a phoenix?

So, I thought I’d write this short piece today on the term gamification, and whether it is dead, dying, rising, resurrecting or not even there…

sunset stroll

Weaving narratives together – engaging yourself and your group

The question of narrative and how to use has been a long-standing one in the gaming and gamification or gameful design community. I’ve covered it myself a few times on my blog, and it is indeed a favorite topic of mine, of how we create narratives, experience them, remember them, and weave them with others.

battling averagstation

Using games & play as a framework to combat a world of “averagisation”

We should see it as a calling to combat a culture where everyone is placed into what can only be described as a committee decided averaged out cubby hole. People should be allowed to shine as individuals and collaborate with those that are like-minded. Games and play are the portals to this world.

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Why Gamification is the way forward in a world of Automation

Entering the automated world, where robots, artificial intelligence, and androids take over our lives seem to be the favorite topic of the day for many.

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Storytelling: The strength of metaphors when gamifying

Metaphors are amazingly efficient storytelling tools to bring across abstract concepts in an original and unique way. Learn how to use them effectively.

the grind

The nature of the grind in gamification and how you should be using it

The grind is always seen as tedious and repetitive, but what if you changed it so that it became one of your strongest tools in gamification?

rewards system

Why You should be the one to give rewards and not a ‘Robot’

Rewards are some of the most difficult aspects to get right in a game or gamified environment. We should take the time and effort to make authentic rewards.

games_intelligence

Do Games and Gamification really make you more intelligent?

Many people believe that anything to with games shows a lack of intelligence. This is UNTRUE, games can actually help you become more intelligent!

killer type

Exploring gaming personality types and play styles: Part 4 The Killer/Philanthropist

Breaking down the various player’s types, such as the Killer/Philanthropist, if you wish to use these in your game or gamification development.

socializers

Exploring gaming personality types and play styles: Part 3 The Socializer

Breaking down the various player’s types, such as the Socialiser, if you wish to use these in your game or gamification development.

Explorer Type

Exploring gaming personality types and play styles: Part 2 The Explorer

Breaking down the various player’s types, such as the Explorer, if you wish to use these in your game or gamification development.

Achiever

Exploring gaming personality types and play styles: Part 1 The Achiever

Breaking down the various player’s types, such as Achiever, if you wish to use these in your game or gamification development.

vr_scene

Effective Storytelling in 360 Video – Part 2: Set the scene in 360 degrees

The next area in our series on 360o video will be looking at how you set the scene for a world where the viewer can look in any direction they want.

vr girl on bike

Effective Storytelling in 360 Video – Part 1: What 360 degree Video Offers

360o Video has been around for about 3 years now, maybe even 4 if you’re in the visual industry and had the budget to start early.

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Why playing games actually makes you more social

The debate about whether games are social or not has been going on for decades. The question of whether gaming isolates people or brings people together.

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The rise of esports and how you should be involved

For this blog I thought I’d do a slightly shorter piece for you about something I’ve enjoyed for the past few years and has become more and more prominent in the public eye; esports.

Helpful Hints & Tips

mystery

Mystery & Narrative: Keeping your players motivated

In this piece I explore some of the concepts used when creating narratives in ARG’s to keep players motivated when they immerse themselves in the experience

randomness_luck

Game Tools: Using randomness and the illusion of control to engage

The first of these game tools is the usage of randomness or unpredictability in games and the illusion of control to keep players engaged.

shyness

Gamifying your life: How you can beat shyness & social anxiety

A great many people suffer from shyness & social anxiety. Perhaps using gamification to enable change in your life can help you overcome these challenges.

roleplay simulation

How Role-Play simulations help motivate your learners: A continuation

Role-play simulations can be very effective gamified tools to incorporate and create fun & applicable environments for participant learning.

consequences and motivation

How consequences can positively motivate you and those around you

Consequences, as well as rewards, are great motivators, we need to remember this and remember to use both as effectively as we can.

Strength Discovery

How to gamify your life and discover your true strengths

Let’s tackle with you, a way to gamify your life by creating a journey and go on a search to discover your strengths and weaknesses!

user journey

Understanding a User’s Journey in your gamified experience?

When discussing games and gamifying an experience, the conversation will invariably always need to go to the topic of the User’s Journey.

camera photo

How to make the best choice of Camera for low budget filmmaking & video

As we get closer to Summer once again, the itch and need to start making films and video’s grabs us all once again. And as a professional filmmaker, I often get asked around this time what is the best camera for you to buy?

colours

7 Top tips when color correcting your videos

The one thing you probably never think of or notice when watching a video is color. At least not when it’s done well. When you watch something that doesn’t have good color balance you notice it immediately.

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7 Easy tips to get your video production Looking better

So many things have to come together in a video production for you, to ensure that your new video looks the best it can be.

laptop_editing

Top tips if you want to do low to no budget video editing

When you specialize in any field you will inevitably get people, friends, family or complete strangers asking you for advice on something to do with that field.

interview_reflector

4 things you need to do and think about when lighting for a corporate video: Filmmaking 102

I bet you’re very much like how I used to be, you go through Google trying to find various articles or how to guides to help improve or inform how to do something just right.

flying-books2_low

7 Things You Need to Know About Knowledge Scarcity

When you’re thinking about what motivates people when developing your ideas around narrative, film, gamification and gameful design, one very important concept to give due consideration to is a scarcity of knowledge.

Youtube

The 11 Best Game Based Learning Youtube videos

As you may have guessed from the overall theme of this website, we at æStranger.com enjoy learning through games and through a visual medium. Each video brings a different aspect of the overall theory of Game Based Learning…

GamefulDesign_Infographic1

Dummies Guide 2 Gameful Design

Gameful Design and Gamification are two different schools of thought really. The former is a more holistic approach than the latter allows. In this infographic you can see 5 points that will help you create a better gameful design for your projects.

Live Conference

6 Tips for Filming a Corporate Live Event

Here are 6 easy tips for capturing your Speaker at your live event if you are strapped for resources and only have 1 camera available.

Abstract Articles

environmental storytelling

What is Environmental Storytelling & why it’s important for you

Environmental storytelling is extremely subtle and requires that the player be constantly aware and work for their own understanding.

http://www.frostpunkgame.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Order_05.jpg

Frostpunk – An analysis of emotional narrative engagement

Frostpunk is the latest game from Polish developer 11bit Studios, where you are the leader of a small colony of survivors known as New London, in a post-apocalyptic world that was hit by a severe ice age.

purpose

Game Tools: The power of purpose and narrative to engage your players

In this week’s game tools exploration, we come to our final set of game tools, those that revolve around a sense of purpose and the use of narrative to create a context and framework for this sense of purpose.

belonging

Game tools: Belonging and its need for successfully engaging players

Belonging and being part of something is one of the strongest motivators that you can use to engage your players in your game or the gamified environment.

value loss avoidance

Game Tools: Using value and loss avoidance to engage players

In this installment of the game tools series, we’ll be looking at value and loss avoidance. If you’ve missed any of the previous blogs on game tools and game mechanics, then please do check them out.

mastery

Game tools: Using mastery mechanics to engage your players

In this weeks post, we’ll be looking at how mastery mechanics can help you further engage your players. The tools in this piece have been split into four different aspects, but they all work together as a single experiential process.

exploration_decision

Game tools: Using exploration and decision-making to engage players

In this piece we’ll have a look at exploration and decision-making, and how these can be used to engage your players in your game or gamified experience.

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Can VR help with a therapy shortage in mental health treatment?

With mental health treatments not being widely available for everyone, could VR therapy be the answer to treatment shortage?

archetype_hero_journey

Player Archetypes – Using the “Hero’s Journey” as a Framework

Using Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey”, Jung’s Archetypes and Bartle’s Player Types, we explore how to better expand the framework for a gamified environment.

How effective goal creation can actually gamify your life

How effective goal creation can actually gamify your life

Goal creation or setting goals is something you always hear in businesses, schools, or at the start of a new year. But they hardly work, let’s change that!

How the methods of First Principles thinking can gamify your life

How the methods of First Principles thinking can gamify your life

Why can’t we use a method to break down and simply our lives to better realize our aspirations? How can First Principles thinking gamify your life?

fail_success blog

Gaming: Experimenting and being Allowed to Fail…a lot!

why is it that when we play a game, failure is perfectly fine, even in certain games it’s necessary, it’s part of the process?

dark forest

Can gaming & VR help you with combatting traumatic experiences?

Trauma affects a great many people in a variety of ways, but can gaming and VR experiences help with treating these traumatic experiences?

caring

The world needs more compassion, and games can help you with that!

You may have noticed in the media nowadays that the world is becoming a little bit harsher with every passing day. Compassion, caring, and empathy…

sunset-129503_1280

How embracing Japanese anime storytelling in the West, might expand our virtual reality game experiences

As the world becomes more global, we need to expand our concepts of what storytelling is and what it can help us with. And as virtual reality game experiences increase and enter our daily lives…

man_walking grass

How can gaming help you in the fight against Cancer?

Fighting any disease is tough. It’s hard for the individual and it’s hard for those around them. One disease that everyone struggles with is cancer.

cliff and clouds

How Games can help You help others with Autism and Aspergers

There is a group of people who I feel can benefit the most from engaging with games, both online and offline games. This group of people are those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and their family and friends.

many doors2

What Alternate Reality Games can do for Your learning events

You may be wondering what is an alternate reality game, or better known as an ARG? Firstly, let’s determine what it’s not. It’s not Virtual Reality, nor is it Augmented Reality.

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