An article inspired by the ‘Choose your own adventure books’, or an article that gives you the autonomy to decide what you want to read.

Autonomy is a decisive insight for humans when deciding if we want to take part in an action or not, and since Motivational Design is all about you -the user/reader/player- this article will give you the information you decide you want to have. Storytelling, on the other side, is the oldest and most memorable way of communication.

So why not trying to turn a simple article into a little journey… Shall we?



It’s been a super frenetic month at Cookie Box UK, exploring the Themed Entertainment Industry and the Learning & Development market in the UK, pitching at their respective events and launching our new identity and website!

–>’I want to know more about the latest trends in the Entertainment industry’–> Go to SECTION 1: Cookie Box a new ally in the entertainment industry.

–>’I am an HR specialist, and I want to know more about your L&D approach’–> Go to 5 Reasons why Engaging Employees in a Company & Kids in an Amusement Park, are essentially the same.

–> ‘Did you just say new identity and website? Cool, wanna see that first’–> Click here…, feedback welcome! 🙂 


Can you guess what we do have in common?

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is the international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of experiences worldwide. Their events are designed to explore trends and to share success cases among industry professionals, all in all, to achieve a common goal: to provide unforgettable experiences by merging Storytelling, Architecture, and Technology. Cookie Box was invited this year to talk about how Motivational Design, a.k.a gamification, is becoming an indispensable ingredient when designing for all kind of audiences.

–> ‘I want to go directly to the trends and key topics discussed’—> Go to SECTION 2: The future of the entertainment industry delivered today.

–> ‘Did you just say Motivational Design? Sounds good, I wanna know more about it’–> Go to SECTION 3: Motivational Design, our link with the entertainment industry.


We divide the keynotes into 4 main categories: storytelling, architecture, technology, and experience; and among many interesting insights, trends and success keys, these are the ones that caught our attention:

Ken Robinson said that:

  • Storytelling goes -always- before technology, and has a much more important role when delivering a memorable experience.

  • Smartphones as one of the main platforms. And we agree with him since content should be delivered where the user wants to find it, in the platforms they usually use.

  • Designing for each individual. The future is about hypersegmented experiences, and marketing experts realized it years ago, where the customer has the chance to design his/her own products according to his/her taste. Nike understood this long time ago, with their NikeID.

Margreet Papamichael explored the near future and talked about some trends, social behaviours and technological improvements that will change the way we communicate, socialize and understand entertainment:

  • Travel redefined: in terms of time and periodicity. Imagine London-New York in a 3h flight. Fancy a coffee at Times Square?

  • Artificial intelligence: we won’t be able to cope and neither compete with it in 20 years or so. AI systems will be far more capable and intelligent than us. Actually, some of them are already among us, like LexMachina, a system able to predict the outcome of a legal dispute with a 90% of accuracy, while specialized professionals can do it with an approx. 70% of success… Scared or excited?

  • Living spaces up, down and beyond: Taking in account population keeps growing and the available space is what it is, there are new suggestions regarding “housing” under the ocean, buildings higher than ever and an elevator to the moon that’ll be ready by 2050.

  • Digital Detox: infoxication, hyperconnectivity and this irrational speed that leads our lives will finally force us to find places where we can disconnect to reconnect again; reconnect with who we are, nature and our loved ones.

  • Midorexia: aknown as communities of elderly people who still feel healthy and full of energy to enjoy life, therefore they act younger than they are. It implies a revolution in the entertainment offer, which should consider them as active users.

  • Virtual Reality (VR)… maybe not such a cool tool: and the truth is there are a lot of sceptical opinions regarding VR because at the end it’s an individual experience where you, the glasses and the story take place. But where is the feeling of belonging? Where the knowing smile with your family and friends? Lots of different opinions, certainly, both against and for VR; and other technologies such as AR or Hyperreality ready to jump -strongly than ever- into the entertainment stage.

–> ‘I want to explore more in this idea of designing for the individual, in Customer Centricity’ –> Go to SECTION 4: The era of the individuality and the guest -customer- experience obsession.

–> ‘VR not that cool? I don’t agree, tell me more…’ –> Go to SECTION 5: VR, AR & Hyperreality. Fighting for the best experience

–> ‘Discussing theories is fine, but I’m more interested in real success cases where all this applies’ –> Go to SECTION 6: Real cases of new projects within the entertainment industry.


Oscar García-Pañella, Ph.D. in Gamification and Partner at Cookie Box explained all he’d learned from being a super fan of games and videogames. Motivational Design explained as the science behind the Game industry, which is able to identify, understand and measure the insights of different types of players in order to design activities based on them. Therefore, for each kind of player, a kind of activity. And, of course, taking also into account universal human motivators, such as autonomy, power, discovery, feeling of belonging or mastery; and behind each of them, a clue on how to design great entertainment and educational spaces.

–> ‘Interesting, I want to know more about other topics discussed’ –> Go to SECTION 2: The future of the entertainment, delivered today.

–> ‘How do you apply it in a real project?’ –> Go to Motivational Design.

–> ‘Thanks for sharing’ –> This is one of the possible ends, thanks for reading us 🙂


Nick Blofeld, Director of Warwick Castle shared their adventures and challenges when transforming a historical attraction visited just during the day time, into a holidays resort with activities all over the year. For them, there isn’t a better story than the real history, and this is what they focus on, on finding out and exploring the stories the Castle hides and sharing them with the customers from an authentic point of view, taking care of all details to ensure audience immersion.

His conclusion was, at the same time, basic common sense and the most difficult thing to achieve: to deliver a complete outstanding Guest Experience for all -kids, families, adults, teens…- It’s what they call the ‘Guest Obsession’.

–> ‘I want to know more real cases’ –> Go to SECTION 6: Real cases of new projects within the entertainment industry.

–> ‘I want to know more about designing for all’ –> Go to SECTION 3. Motivational Design, our link with the entertainment industry.


VR: a temporary trend or a technology that will change forever the way we communicate and understand entertainment & education?

Well, the discussion is open and complex. Here are some alternatives that overcome VR’s main handicap: it’s an individual experience.

Benoit Cornet talked about Alternative Reality as a technology worth to invest in the Entertainment Industry, allowing you to create spaces and interactions with groups of people. But he also discussed the limits of it and the saturation and stress it can cause to the user with the project Hyperreality from Keiichi Matsuda. Really worth having a look at it!

–> ‘Thanks for sharing’ –> This is one of the possible ends, thanks for reading us 🙂


Great speakers came onto the stage to share real success cases, on which some of the trends and key topics discussed apply.

Marcus Arthur, from BBC Worldwide, shared some interesting insights regarding the transformation of their most famous IP (Narrative Universes) such as Sherlock Holmes, Top Gear or Planet Earth into an entertainment space. Once again, it’s all about telling great stories.

Michel Linet Frion talked about Center Parcs, a space to disconnect and reconnect with nature and your family while admiring architectural spaces designed to respect and adapt themselves to the environment.

–> ‘I’d like to know the trends discussed’ –> Go to SECTION 2: The Future of Entertainment, delivered today.

–> ‘Thanks for the info’ –> This is one of the possible ends, thanks for reading us 🙂