Programmers turn life into a game at Hackweekend
KUALA LUMPUR — This weekend, 60 of Kuala Lumpur’s best programmers and designers gathered to hack together new products and services at an intense, overnight session called Hackweekend. By dawn, software developers and designers built a variety of applications intended to make life more fun by turning everyday activities into games.
Late in the morning, 13 teams demonstrated services that ranged from promoting carpooling, turning meeting people at conferences into a game, and helping distribute work tasks. One nine year old participant developed a web browser design themed for Hackweekend.
Telemoney World and Mindvalley pledged substantial amounts of money to invest in applications built at Hackweekend and support for launching products internationally.
Development work at Hackweekend was focused around the emerging trend of gamification. The event culminated in a live demo where developers showed off what they built to business executives and potential investors.
Gamification is not strictly about games. “Gamification is about about adding game elements to everyday activities. It’s a powerful way of changing people’s behaviour,” said Hakim Albasrawy, Director at Tandemic, one of the event organisers. “Loyalty programmes are a form of games. They can change their purchasing behaviour even if their members don’t plan on spending their points.”
“Gamification has been applied to areas such as social networking and cancer treatment to increase the use and effectiveness of products. In Foursquare, a location-based social network, users gain badges and mayorships for checking into venues such as restaurants. “People respond to challenges. While these badges have no intrinsic value, they drive greater Foursquare usage,” says Albasrawy.
Hackweekend is a collaborative initiative by a group of passionate individuals from the local technology community. Hackweekend is supported by Nova, which organises a series of Malaysian innovation programmes that aim to spike interest in and nurture budding innovators. Several organisations from the technology sector including Microsoft, Techmaki and Wakalab, are also offering their resources to support Hackweekend, all in the spirit of promoting innovation.
High resolution photos of the event can be downloaded here.
A car pooling application that helps people car pool with their friends and extended network rather than strangers. The application loads users’ social network from Facebook and finds friends and people nearby with whom to pool. Carpoolers are rewarded with badges and ratings for their car pooling. The app is designed for use by communities such as workplaces or universities and has already obtained a major customer.
BigApp is a platform that helps event organizers publicly display and run games based on a twitter hashtag. The platform includes several templates for processing tweets, including a game where tweeters can inflate and pop a balloon based on the amount of tweeting they do on a hashtag. Another template allows tweeters to vote for different options and displays the results using a live bar chart.
Workpad is an online work distribution and collaboration application. Workpad breaks down projects into programming tasks that programmers can bid on. As people take on and successfully deliver on more projects, their warrior avatar on the site is upgraded and gains access to more skilled projects. One project being run on Workpad so far is the development of the Nova Platform, a platform for collaborative idea development.
Qwest crowd sources the best venues wherever you are. Users submit a question about where to find something on the mobile app, such as the best burger in town. When someone checks into a venue, they can vote that venue up or down on the question’s leader board. Similar to foursquare, users get badges for submitting questions and voting venues.
Inspired by the magazine face-off where two people are asked the same questions and readers decide which they like the best, Matchaa allows people to set up face-offs between their friends and vote on winner.
Lubang Lubang 1Malaysia
This application is crowd sourced platform that encourages citizens to report potholes and other municipal issues by gamifying it. Users sign in with Facebook, submit reports, and vote issues based on their importance. The more issues the user submits and the more votes the user’s issues get, the greater their credibility and points on the system. The app features a leader board with top reporters.
World War Tweet
A war game based on competing twitter hashtags. The game features a site where people can join a team (hashtag) and view their health and expend ammunition on enemy hashtags. The more popular your hashtag becomes, the more ammunition you have. When your hashtag is “shot” on the site, you lose health and eventually die. In order to be resurrected, friends must spend action points to help you out. These action points are related to actions on twitter users take.
With Cab APB, anyone who has a car can become a taxi driver. Cab APB is an all points bulletin where people can specify routes they want to take based on their destination and drivers can bid for the route. Points and badges are awarded to drivers and passengers based on their behaviour. For example, particularly fast drivers receive the “flash badge.”
This app encourages people to get in touch with persons they’ve recently met rather than shelving their business cards after meeting. Users of this iOS and web app add the email address of the person and the app displays a profile for the person sourced from several social networks, including a profile photo sourced online.
C4Square is a location based game that allows players to place virtual bombs where they tweet with geolocation enabled. It is a virtual game of tag that can run through any city. The first player to tweet in an area can plant a bomb with the #c4sq hashtag. Anyone who tweets in the same area with geolocation turned on in the next 48 hours gets blown up.
ShortcutKami is a marketplace for traffic shortcuts. ShortcutKami crowd sources short cuts by making people submit traffic shortcuts to gain points, which they can then spend on viewing other people’s shortcuts.
Campr simplifies and encourages face-to-face interaction between attendees of an event. Users can post requests such as “I need a designer” “I’m a designer looking to help out.” People who you’ve worked with at the event can Thumbs Up your profile. Those who have Thumbs Up-ed you will be mentioned in an automated tweet from your Twitter account, so they’ll know how to get in touch with you after the event.
Hekken turns your social network into a series of collectible playing cards, similar to Magic Cards. The profile for each person on Hekken is displayed as a game card with user stats and special powers. As a person connects to more people, they collect more cards and their powers on Hekken increase.
For more information
Hackweekend (http://hack.weekend.my) is a series of community events that brings together the very best programmers, designers and thinkers to build amazing applications. Hackweekends are an environment where developers rapidly build innovative software solutions in collaboration with like-minded people. Hackweekend is part of The Weekend Movement, an initiative that helps people bring their ideas to life by rapidly prototyping and launching new products and services over the course of a weekend.
The July 30th Hackweekend was free of charge to participants who were accepted. Developers and designers may apply to participate at http://hack.weekend.my/apply. Applicants are evaluated based on their credentials and project idea.
Nova is a Malaysian innovation programme that aim to spike interest in and nurture budding innovators. The program includes a series of Weekend events that help people innovate and an online open innovation platform where people share ideas, seek expertise, form collaborative teams, attract funders and customers.
The Nova programme is a collaboration between between Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), the national innovation agency, Motionworks, a software development firm, and Tandemic, a social media firm focused on building social movements in innovation and entrepreneurship.
WakaLab (Waka = “Youth” in Japanese) is an initiative by NSTP to engage with its youths and other young Malaysians. Its members aim to innovate ideas to find solutions to real world challenges.
WakaLab is also the physical space in NSTP e-Media where members and guests are welcomed to thrash ideas and network. WakaLab is interested in all unusual, out-of-the-box ideas. For that reason, if you have a bright idea which could benefit others, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.