Category Archives: planning

Why computer games make us smarter

While traveling a lot lately I have had the time to read some wonderful books, and will try to share some good thoughts and quotes here. 

Took three very different books with me to London and all though the Paul Arden “God explained in a taxi ride” and Advertising Age’s “Madison and Vine” were some easy reads, I especially enjoyed the last (but also more demanding, so better for hotel room than for airplane) “Everything Bad is Good for You” by Steven Johnson. 

While parents often tend to judge the unfamiliar habits of the next generation, this book challenge (among a lot of other interesting subjects) the tendency to dumb down the emerging gaming culture. While gaming is evolving from being perceived as a child activity to an emerging cross demographic activity, stealing time from TV, reading and other media consumption, this is an important discussion.

Johnson starts with the much used (but even more current than ever) McLuhan quote “The student of media soon comes to expect the new media of any period whatever to be classed as psedo by those who acquired the patterns of earlier media, whatever they may happen to be”

This clearly defines the ongoing discussions on the gaming culture, with the tendency to evaluate the gains from spending time on games with the gains from reading linear text. 

I will recommend all with an interest in this, to read the book, but here’s the main conclusions. 

Reading is teaching the child some elementary skills on imagination, interpretation and concentration based on the premises of following a plot. Gaming on the other hand is teaching the involved to lead a plot and make decisions. 

This is just as important skills for the engaged participant. 

Even though the decision making process for outsiders will seem as a basic pushing of buttons, the major key to making the way through most games, is based on the ability to figure out what the right thing to do is.

This decision making skill set is basically developed around two techniques; probing and telescoping. Probing is learning the concept of inductive reasoning with trial and error as driver for the progression in the storyline of the game. Telescoping is defined as the ability to act on complex task solving with the final goal embedded in an impressive amount of layers of tasks, each interdependent. 

So even though killing the Dwarf in WoW or leading Marcus safely through GoW isn’t important to get through life, the skills of learning how to take decisions and lead a proces, must be recognized as some of the most important human skills. 

Johnson compares the lack of this level in the discussion with the concept of teaching kids algebra. It is more likely than not, that the kids will never use this skill after graduating. The reason for teaching algebra (and a lot of other things) is to learn how to think. The same as when people playing computer games learn how to take decisions. 

Instead of learning how to follow a narrative thread, the gamers learn to solve tasks and lead the plot. 

This is just one of the insights on gaming. Johnson also discusses why games are so addictive, taking the much hyped  (these days too hyped) discussion on neuroscience into the discussion and challenges the common understanding of the next generations love of instant gratification to court, by pointing out the attraction in games exactly based on the opposite concept of delayed gratification, activating our basic reward system sending dopamine into the body when solving a challenging task.  

So games do not dumb us down. The activates the brain in a new way, they teach us to take decisions and navigate through complex situations. And I’ll end this with a quote from John Dewey’s book “Experience and Education”.

“Perhaps the greatest of all pedagogical fallacies is the notion that a person learns only that particular thing he is studying at the time. Collateral learning in the way of formation of enduring attitudes, of likes and dislikes, may be and often is much more important than the spelling lesson or lesson in geography or history that is learned. For these attitudes are fundamentally what count in the future.”


Congratulations to A-Film, Nordisk Film, Go Viral og Philip

Had a great evening at True Awards last night.

“Rejsen til Saturn” won two of the three main categories at the Award. The viral campaign won with big applause and the main prize “campaign of the year” was split between “Rejsen til Saturn” og Oddset, who managed to take their “There are so many things women do not understand” to the next level, jumping from a clean cut soccer univers to now include golf and Ice-hockey.

But two main prizes to the wonderful people at A-film and Philip, who believed in the concept long before anybody even understood what he was talking about. I’m so proud to be part of this project and a huge thanks to Frederik Honore at Nordisk Film, who gave these people the frame to play play in (and money to the campaign to play with)

But all this about split prizes are a bit of a turn off. So when the jury couldn’t decide; I’ll let you decide.

So please help me vote for the real “Campaign of the year”

Nokia 7610 campaign: Somebody else’s phone

Nokia’s new campaign for the 7610 launched a few days ago, and playing with the idea of accessing people’s life through the phone is quiet interesting. Here the intro:

The campaign site for “somebody else’s phone” is the key element in the campaign directing to facebook pages and other activities.

 Anna’s facebook page

Here’s detailed info on the campaign from welcome to optimism, the blog from wieden + kennedy london

Imagine finding a phone that belongs to somebody else; filled with personal text messages, contacts, diary entries, photos, voicemails and private video clips. It’s like having a window into somebody’s entire life. Would you be tempted to look through it?

This question is at the heart of our new campaign for Nokia. Inspired by the evolved role mobile phones play in our lives, the campaign invites the audience to explore the lives of three characters – Anna, Jade and Luca –  in intimate detail, in real time, through their Nokia 7610 handsets. 

The campaign launched yesterday and will run in ten different languages, following the characters’ evolving storylines across three time zones, through a 24/7 feed of content, for over 6 weeks. Fusing scripted content with real life audience interaction, fans will be able to learn everything about the characters through their text messages, photos, videos and calls on

Read more on Welcome to optimism-blog.

Buyology close to release

I’m not sure about my opinion on this matter, but got approached by some professional digital PR/Buzz people providing me info and material on Martin Lindstrøm’s new book.

A little teaser.

Everybody’s a publisher these days. Just first time I felt it on my own body… It’s interesting and I’m a bit proud that people even now my blog, so for today I will post this video I got. And that I’m already interested in the subject helps a bit too. So I do not feel influenced, but influencing, so that’s okay.

As said before I’m going to the seminar on the 1th of december and I’m looking forward hearing the whole thing. Will post lots of notes on it here afterwards.   

By the way:

Martin Lindstrom, author of the forthcoming book Buyology – based on the world’s largest NeuroMarketing study peering inside 2,000 volunteers to understand our true feelings about brands, advertising, product placement has been on a four year mission to find a link between brands and religion. “The entire scientific team was shocked as we for the first time ever realized the true connection between brands and religion” says Lindstrom in the lead up for the global release of his next book.

When advertising goes wrong

Sitting working on a presentation on marketing in times of recession, I fell over this quote on how to handle troubled times between agencies and clients.  

Found it on the Wieden + Kennedy London Blog

When the client moans and sighs
Make his logo twice the size
If the client still proves refractory
Show a picture of the factory
Only in the gravest cases
Should you show the clients’ faces

And the 2.008 version….. even more fun. I’ve done this a lot in meetings I must confess!

If the ads have gone to pot
Mention blogging quite a lot

If you want to dazzle them
Drop in terms like CRM

To make your clients think you’re sage
Give campaigns a myspace page

To make them think you’re clever chaps
Make references to Google Maps

If accused of strategic shirking
Bang on about social networking

If they still think the work is crap

You must present an iPhone app


And we all do these day 🙂

Customized content on webpages

Interesting. Copied from Daria’s blog, idea by Papercut in Sweden. I adore these guys. Please go see more cases on their site. They are bright!

Congratulations to Diesel with XXX-birthday

Diesel turns 30!

With a trackrecord of creating a certain hype and attention around everything they do, a birthday giving the roman numbers XXX couldn’t pass by without a controversial campaign. 

This is dirty, fun and intriguing in an absurd way. So if anybody haven’t seen it yet, here is the viral campaign kickstarting the event follow by a huge facebook driven campaign inviting to the world’s biggest party.

This moment the facebook event has 6.440 confirmed guests, and the events will be broadcasted live on