Innovation Gaming: An Immersive Experience Environment Enabling Co-creation

Innovation Gaming: An Immersive Experience Environment Enabling Co-creation

Marc Pallot (Centre for Concurrent Enterprise, Nottingham University Business School, UK), Céline Le Marc (Arts et Metiers ParisTech, LAMPA, France), Simon Richir (Arts et Metiers ParisTech, LAMPA, France), Colin Schmidt (Le Mans University, France) and Jean-Pierre Mathieu (AUDENCIA Nantes, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0149-9.ch001


A number of existing innovation paradigms and design approaches, such as open innovation (Chesbrough, 2003), user experience (Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006), user-centred design (Von Hippel, 2005), and user-centred open innovation ecosystems (Pallot, 2009a), are all promoting distributed collaboration among organisations and user communities. However, project stakeholders are mainly trained for improving their individual skills through learning experience (i.e. practical exercises, role playing game) rather than getting a live user experience through immersive environments (e.g. Virtual Reality, Serious Games) that could unleash their creativity potential. This chapter introduces the findings of a study on serious gaming, which discusses various aspects of games and explores a number of issues related to the use of innovation games for enabling user co-creation in the context of collaborative innovation and experiential living labs.
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Traditionally, people learn their job in mimicking their more experienced colleagues and in being confronted with various unforeseen challenging situations bringing about risky decisions. This approach often leads people to learn by making mistakes. Interestingly, serious gaming provides an invaluable approach for learning by making real mistakes that have a real impact only in the virtual world. Hence, there is absolutely no risk of any dramatic impact in the real world, meaning that users are even encouraged to do mistakes for getting an appropriate experiential learning about all possible situations. Today, due to various trends and new paradigms such as Open Innovation (Chesbrough, 2003), businesses are collaborating more and more for designing innovative products and services. However, people are trained for enhancing their individual skills and improving their productivity rather than for enhancing their collaboration skills and improving their interpersonal productivity. Other approaches promote the earlier involvement of user communities, namely: User-Centred Design (UCD) (Von Hippel, 2005), User Experience (UX) (Hassenzahl & Tractinsky, 2006) and Living Lab or User Co-Creation (UCC) (Pallot, 2009a). This is a context where on the one hand users or citizens have to experience something new while sharing feedback, meaning and understanding within the community. On the other hand, researchers collect data for better understanding emerging behaviours and usage patterns as well as embedded adoption mechanisms.

This chapter explores the way in which serious gaming could be used in the context of UCD and UCC. It also considers whether serious gaming, through the use of innovation games, could be a relevant tool to support user co-creation in a way that games could be included into a living lab service platform (Pallot et al., 2010b). The role of distributed cognition and collective intelligence, including both social intelligence and emotional intelligence in the decision making process, is investigated through the application of serious games. And in a reverse manner to this, the application of the living lab approach for supporting UCC in creating new serious gaming tools may also be explored.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Living Lab: The Living Lab approach is intended to engage all stakeholders, especially user communities, at the earlier stage of research and innovation to: co-create in discovering emerging ideas, scenarios, usages and behaviours; bring together technology push and market pull (i.e. crowdsourcing, crowdcasting) into a diversity of views, constraints and Knowledge Sharing; explore, experiment, and evaluate (including socio-ergonomic, socio-cognitive and socio-economic aspects) new ideas and innovative concepts as well as related artefacts in real life situations; observe the potential of a viral adoption of new artefacts through a confrontation with user’s value models. ( Pallot, 2009a ; 2010c AU60: The in-text citation "Pallot 2010c" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. )

Co-Creation: Co-creation is about engaging people to create more value together. It involves redesigning interactions through the experiences of individuals. Through co-creation, organizations can unleash the creative energy of people — especially employees and internal stakeholders, but also customers, suppliers, and related external stakeholders and communities — to create mutual value. ( Ramaswamy and Gouillart, 2010 )

Serious Game: Serious games are designed for the purpose of solving a problem. Although serious games can be entertaining, their main purpose is to train, investigate, or advertise. Sometimes a game will deliberately sacrifice fun and entertainment in order to make a serious point. Whereas video game genres are classified by gameplay, serious games are not a game genre but a category of games with different purposes. This category includes educational games and advergames, political games, or evangelical games. ( Adams, 2009 )

Innovation Game: It refers to a form of primary market research where customers play a set of directed games as a means of generating feedback about a product or service. The research is primary because the data collected is gathered directly from customers or prospects and is intended to answer a specific research question. Customers who play innovation games are commonly direct recipients or consumers of a specific product or service. In some cases, though, game players may be any person or system who is or would be affected by a product or service. The successful operation of an innovation game relies on collaborative play among the participants and a set of observers drawn from disparate functional groups within an organization. For example, a typical game setting for a word processing software might include participants drawn from two or three corporate customers along with observers comprising the product’s quality assurance manager, technical architect, product manager, developer, sales executive, or any one else on the product team. Arguably, the most important observer is the product manager because that person is responsible for acting on the data generated by the game. However, a single observer cannot possible capture all of the nonverbal and nuanced communication that players exhibit, so all observers play a significant and irreplaceable role in the effective utility of the game. ( Hohmann, 2007 )

Virtual Reality: Games can be considered like alternative realities with their own models, organizations and rules in which the player can compound ( Caillois, 1992 ). It seems easier for players to immerge themselves in the virtual reality proposed by a game than doing it cognitively from outside the context of a game. Virtual Reality refers to computer created environments that simulate physical presence in places in the real world or in imaginary worlds, by using computational techniques and devices. The user has the real sensation of being inside of the virtual world (immersion) and that is able to manipulate the objects (interactivity) of the virtual environment just like they were real.

User Experience: User Experience is a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service (ISO 9241-210). The ISO definition describes user experience as all users' emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviours and accomplishments that occur before, during and after the use of product, system or service. It is also mentioned that the type of product/system/service, user profile and the context of use are factors that influence user experience. User experience could be considered as either product centred or person centred or even interaction centred ( Battarbee, 2004 ). Forlizzi (2007) developed the product ecology framework (people, adaptation, and place) to accumulate the experience of use in order to enhance user experience design.

Experiential Learning: It is the process of making meaning from direct experience. ( Itin, 1999 )

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