Q&A: Phaedra Boinodiris, gamification global leader, IBM

IBM’s head of serious gaming and gamification spoke to Serious Games Industry about the computing giant’s involvement in the continued growth of gamification and the direction in which it is heading….

What is your company and how it is involved in serious gaming?

IBM. We have many areas of practice around the company focused on serious games, from custom development practices, to games for internal use, to a game development ecosystem on our cloud for developers.

When did you personally get involved in serious gaming? In what position/expertise?

The backstory is here

I started off at IBM designing games that explain the complex systems which we sell.

How would you qualify the evolution of serious gaming market in the last five years, in terms of growth, maturation…?

It has really matured over time tremendously. The stigma is going away, the patterns of use stretch well beyond corporate training to things like strategy optimisation, recruiting, patient engagement, etc. I am especially excited by the intersection of games and cognitive computing in order to evolve the space.

How much of your business is in the US and how much international?

Mainly US but growing interest abroad in Asia Pacific and Europe.

What are the main growth sectors for serious gaming?

Healthcare. Patient engagement market is tremendous. I see growth in Customer Engagement and Employee Engagement as well.

What direction do you see the serious games market heading in the next five years?

Spanning even more strongly many other areas like cultural transformation within organisations, citizen engagement, strategic optimisation…

What could accelerate the adoption of serious games?

Envelope it into the blanket of “Good design”. Add cognitive computing in order to greater personalise experience. With cognitive computing you can use Watson-based services to completely enhance and create an experience that is curated uniquely for that player. It transforms game play balancing into curating custom learning pathways and dynamic levels for people. You can take patterns from other structured and unstructured data sources (like social media feeds), and customise storylines, characters, app experience etc based on the player’s personality.

What technology do you expect to impact the most serious gaming in the coming years?

Watson cognitive computing serviceswatson

Could you give us the best/most successful example of a serious games project you have been involved in?

I love this one because I got to do it with Disadvantaged students from a high school in Texas. It brought cognitive computing to the classroom via a game they designed.

Additional links: 



InterConnect Videos: (IBM MEGA conference)

2016:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPjjs48rccQ&feature=youtu.be


Example Partner games:Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 12.27.53





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLuQf3eNC6w – intel optimization game

Red Book Cognitive Wargames for defense: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/redp5128.html?Open

IBM’s Corporate Wide ARG


Smart Play


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