An Interview with Andres Garcia Parker: The New Chair of GamFed

Last week, a week after Andres Garcia Parker had been elected as the new Chair of GamFed in the Annual General Meeting, I had a chance to interview him via video call. Over lots of laughs, loud background music at the local Starbucks (I’m sorry Andres, I promise I’ll call from a quieter location next time), and charm that immediately puts you at ease, Andres generously answered questions about himself, his work, gamification, and his ideas for GamFed. 

Read on for excerpts of that interview.

Andres Garcia Parker, GamFed Chair.

Rakshith: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Andres: I’ve worked as a field engineer for over 15 years specializing in Quality Assurance and Control. I’m experienced at working in international and multi-cultural work environments with the ability to adapt, negotiate, perform, and deliver under varying circumstances.

Back in October 2017, I started my own design office, Greyhawk Gamification. I live in Madrid happily married and with our three amazing kids.

Rakshith: How did you get interested in gamification?

Andres: It started around 2015 when I attended my local game night. I had two friends talk about a Gamification solution that was being implemented into one of their Companies solutions. I asked about it and immediately got hooked. I wanted to know what was this Gamification word was all about.

I first started learning more about it on the internet, and then like many others in this community, I also did a course on Coursera. The more I learned about gamification, the more interested I got. Last year, I got my Master’s degree in Gamification and Transmedia Narrative from IEBS, Madrid.

Rakshith: What is the most exciting gamification project/innovation you have been involved with?

Andres: By far, I believe it’s my Master’s thesis – “Gamified Experience for Coffee Vending Machines in Madrid Metro.” I am currently working on it. I’ll be happy to share more with you once it gets published.

Rakshith: What made you join GamFed and how have you been involved since joining?

Andres: The 2016 Gamification World Congress took place in Madrid, where I met Yu-kai Chou, Andrzej Marczewski, Pete Jenkins, and Sandra Abadir. Pete delivered a talk on GamFed, which inspired me to join. Just a month later, there was an Annual General Meeting and I was nominated as their new Secretary. Ever since then, I’ve been actively involved with GamFed.

Rakshith: What are your top three priorities for GamFed in the next 6-12 months?

Andres: Our Aim is to improve Credibility, Status and Market Knowledge. Along with the team, I am aiming to achieve tangible results in 6 months. One of these aims is to bring Gamfed back into the limelight of gamification; to make it more relevant in the market. We are exploring opportunities to reach out and strike strategic collaborations with other associations. We will also be working towards unifying good gamification practices and a framework to engage better with GamFed ambassadors is already in the pipeline. And of course, to build the community by marketing GamFed to more gamification enthusiasts and professionals around the world.

Rakshith: What can members do to strengthen GamFed?

Andres: I think the biggest thing members can do is to be good ambassadors and spread the word because I believe gamification transcends all backgrounds, religions, language, and cultures. People can surpass their differences and understand each other through the language of play. I believe GamFed and its members are in a great position to lead the way in this pursuit.

Rakshith: Any message you would like to give the GamFed community?

Andres: Keep playing, keep learning, keep sharing, and keep enjoying gamification 🙂

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