Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Everything can be turned into fun.

For a few people, fun is work. I think athletics, music bands members, etc.
They are the ones who didn¹t have to look for a job, but managed to get paid for what they enjoyed doing. For whatever reasons, many people didn¹t get their dream job. If you can¹t turn your passion into a job, does that mean you can¹t turn your job into fun?

My belief is that everything can be turned into fun, and here are some examples that spring into mind.

Turning recycling into fun :

It has always been hard to convince people, especially the youngest ones, to act for the planet.
Struggling to make students recycle their coffee cups, industrials had the idea to turn it into a game.
They created a ³reverse vending machine² and installed it in schools. When returning a cup after finishing their drink, people had 1 out of 10 chance to win a freebie or a token for a free drink.
People liked it and started to return their own cups, but also cleaning tables around from cups left by others. Recycling became an accepted and fun process, and sales have even been boosted by the chance to win a free coffee.

Turning fundraising into fun :

It¹s hard to raise money, even if a cause does worth it. People won¹t give money for the sake of it, so how to make them enjoy giving away money?
Associations had a good idea: make people give money for what they like.
That¹s how they come with the creation of fundraising events: people are willing to pay more for a nice dinner or to attend a festival, and will even feel better knowing that funds raised will go to charities.

Turning sport into fun :

For most people, sport means fun. Not for everyone. However everyone has to make physical exercise to keep fit. But over the last years, new methods have been created to engage more people doing exercise: gamers can spend more time playing and keeping fit with the Wii, clubbers and music addicts get some fun out of music spinning class, etc.

Turning learning into fun :

Some studies that were conducted on memory found that, on the whole, we tend to remember what we learned in pleasant situations and we tend to forget what which was learned during unpleasant or stressful situations.
So how to make learning a more pleasant experience, both for kids and adults?
The solution was to build teaching methods on games and play activites. This idea proved success for years : geography met success thanks to Carmen SanDiego, kids learned how to read and count with Sesame Street:
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjxnQBCkxHA), etc.

The same kinds of methods have been implemented more recently for adults.
Companies started to use ³serious games², sort of videogames with specific rules that uses entertainment to further government or corporate training, education, health, public policy, and strategic communication objectives.
(Examples: companies like IBM and DELL created virtual worlds to provide employees with immersive training experience.)

There is for sure a way to turn your job into fun, you just need to find the best way to do it.

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