College Basketball + Gamification + $1,000 for Charity Equals Win

2013 College Hoops Guru CompetitionLearn about a learning game…and compete for $1,000 to donate to a charity of your choice. Not a bad combo.

If you’ve spent any time on our Knowledge Guru website, you may have already come across College Hoops Guru. We launched the game in March of last year… you know, the time of year when college basketball fans are working themselves into a frenzy for the NCAA tournament.

All of our public Knowledge Guru games are designed to teach fun, approachable topics. By teaching  you about football (Gridiron Guru), basketball (College Hoops Guru) and Nutrition (Nutrition Guru), we are hopefully showing you how gamification and the element of competition can make learning fun while improving training efficacy.

Whether you are a new recruit or seasoned pro, I want to invite you to lace up your sneakers once again. We are reopening the College Hoops Guru basketball competition. But this year, the stakes are much, much higher…

We’re donating $1,000… win and decide where it goes

We use our company Giving Back program to support a variety of charities. Of all the causes we support, homelessness and poverty are the two biggest issues we support the most. If you win College Hoops Guru, we will donate $1,000 to a homelessness or poverty charity of your choice. You’ll be able to make a difference in your community just by playing a game designed to help people learn the rules and strategy of basketball. Do you find yourself dodging all basketball-related conversation during the time known as “March Madness?” Any game that makes us sound smarter and “with it” among our basketball-loving co-workers and friends is a good thing, right?

Best of all, even if you DON’T win the top spot in the competition, you can still earn a chance to donate $100 to the charity of your choice.

Create Your Account and Play Now

Game Rules

  • Gameplay opens now and continues until 11:59 pm on April 4th. To qualify for the money, you must attain Knowledge Guru level in the game. From there, the competition will heat up as attaining this level unlocks the Guru Grab Bag where the competition begins.
  • You must be affiliated with corporate, government, or nonprofit organization and register with a company email address to be eligible for the prize. This means you cannot play with an email such as Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo.
  • Employees of any charity (and family members) cannot win the contest and give the prize to their own organization. They must pick another charity.
  • On Friday, April 5th we will unlock the Guru Grab Bag mode. Players who have completed the normal game mode  and earned Knowledge Guru status will have access to the Grab Bag mode and can start trying to rack up the high score.
  • We will update the current scoring leader each day on the Knowledge Guru twitter account and send out emails to all players announcing the current leaders. Emails will come from the Guru to the email address you specified when you created your account.
  • You can play the Guru Grab Bag mode as many times as you want and follow your progress on the leaderboards to see how you’re doing. You can also watch your progress against all players by viewing the See the Standings page available within the game.
  • The owner of the highest Guru Grab Bag score by tip off of the National Championship game on Monday, April 8th will win! We’ll donate $1,000 on behalf of the winner to a charity of their choice… pending our verification that it is indeed a reputable charity serving the poor and homeless. In the event of a tie, the player who had the higher score in normal game mode will win.
  • In addition, all of the players who participate at the Grab Bag level will be put into a drawing. Five names will be pulled from our own Grab Bag; we will donate $100 on behalf of these winners to the charities of their choice… again, pending our verification that these charities are reputable ones serving the poor or the homeless.

What to Watch for

We think College Hoops Guru is a great way for virtually anyone who enjoys watching the NCAA tournament to learn more facts about college basketball. The game covers the basic positions and plays but also has a whole section on coaching strategies for game situations. Prize or no prize, this is a fun way to learn about basketball during the tournament.

How This Applies to You

Many of our readers are interested in how to use games for learning in their organizations… so we hope that hosting a contest like this can spark some ideas for you. A few elements to consider:
  • We are publicizing and promoting the game, just like you would need to do internally for a learning initiative. Promotion is key to a successful game experience like Knowledge Guru.
  • We are incentivizing completion of the game by awarding a prize to a charity of the winner’s choice. The initial motivation a person brings to the game situation does affect their involvement. Games DO offer motivation in and of themselves, but when making choices on how to spend discretionary time, incentives can help.
  • Though the game is question-based, the game content is not just fact recall: we use scenario-based questions to teach strategy, too.
  • We wanted to take this contest a step beyond the world of gamification and make a difference in the community. Giving Back incentives are powerful motivators for people; we all like to do good for others.
With any luck, you’ll be able to learn something new about games and gamification also picking some college basketball knowledge.

What’s the fine print?

  • The recipient organization must be a homeless shelter, food pantry or similar organization. Those local to Indianapolis may consider organizations such as Dayspring Center and Gleaners Food Bank. We have every intention of donating to an organization of the winner’s choice, but reserve the right to suggest another organization if necessary.
  • The contest is open to people in all countries, but the recipient organization must be based in the United States of America.

College Hoops Guru - win $1,000 for charity

  • P.Srujan Babu

    great post!