Betty Adamou presenting her Keynote address at the AMSRS Conference in Melbourne, Australia in 2015

Betty Adamou presenting her Keynote address at the AMSRS Conference in Melbourne, Australia in 2015
Born: Enfield, London, UK
9th November, 1985 (age 30)
Known for: ResearchGame development and article “The Future of Research Through Gaming”.
Website: www.researchthroughgaming.com
Title: CEO, Founder & Chief ResearchGame Designer

Betty Adamou

Betty Adamou is a British game, research and IT entrepreneur of Greek heritage based in London. She is the co-developer of digital games for online research (as a replacement for the traditional ‘survey’), inventor of research methodology “ResearchGames™, and an award-winning innovator [1] [2] and entrepreneur [3] [4] [5].

She is the CEO, Founder and Chief ResearchGame™ designer of award-winning research company Research Through Gaming Ltd (RTG).

Since the inception of RTG, Adamou has been frequently named as a pioneer of game-based research[6], a researcher of influence[7] [8], a thought-leader[9][10][11], research innovator[12], revolutionary[13], and most recently one of “7 females shaping the future of market research”[14].

As such, Adamou’s foresight is often sought by industry publications through interviews and articles on the future of market research[15] [16] and in particular, the impact of emerging and future technologies on data collection[17] [18].

From working at software company Nebu[19], Adamou then went on to start Research Through Gaming as a business when she was 24, from her bedroom with a laptop[20].  After seeing how online research needed to drastically improve in several areas, she wanted to harness the intrinsic motivation and engagement that she experienced playing games like World of Warcraft to improve the research experience primarily for participants, who she has said “must have been bored out of their minds with traditional surveys” in interviews and conference talks.

Through her work developing ResearchGames™, Adamou and her team have also developed additional technological assets to make the creation of ResearchGames possible. As the methodology of ResearchGames was so forward-thinking, there were no existing software systems or other technologies at the time which Adamou could use to create ResearchGames as she had imagined them. So Adamou and the RTG team had designed and developed their own software systems to make and run ResearchGames; namely their own home-grown Game-Engine ‘RES Engine’ and data collection system ‘MIRANDA’.

Adamou has been responsible for designing, co-designing and co-developing several software platforms including the RTG Avatar Creator Tool™, MIRANDA data collection system, The Employee Happiness ResearchGame™ and other internal and extermal software game-and-research platforms.

Adamou has shared, through several Keynote speeches[21] [22], University guest lectures, interviews[23] [24] [25] [26]and guest magazine articles[27] [28], that not only are participants voluntarily sharing how much more engaged in the research process they are when ResearchGames are used, but also RTG clients are self-proclaimed to be more engaged as well.[29]

Furthermore, RTG’s research-on-research results show increased response rates and completion rates to be recorded when ResearchGames are used. It is thought this is through the novelty of the use of ResearchGames being experienced by participants, often for the first time, and the enjoyability of the ResearchGame being played, again, as stated voluntarily by the participants themselves who have used words such as ‘enjoyable’, ‘novel’, ‘fun’, and ‘unique’ to describe their experiences playing ResearchGames.[30]

RTG clients have gone on to produce new products[31] and achieve new levels of understanding of their customers and prospective customer-base through the research results garnered by ResearchGames, noting to Adamou and her team that the data gathered as both ‘insightful’ and ‘actionable’.

Research Through Gaming specialise in creating bespoke Games and Immersive Experiences for online research, primarily for brands. Having worked with Fortune 500 brands and other organizations (including academia[32]), Adamou has designed ResearchGames using further pioneering techniques within the realms of online research, such as the use of Avatars, virtual environments, alternate realities and the use of music and sound effects within the ResearchGames™.

Adamou is also working on her part-time PhD at the University of Winchester[33] - the first PhD to explore the use of Games in online research and the impact the methodology has on participant engagement. The PhD has been supported by one of the largest governing bodies of Market Research, ESOMAR.[34]

Adamou has also been highly vocal in establishing the gargantuan differences between Games and Gamification as two very different methodologies of research through her workshops, University guest lectures, webinars[35] [36], and keynote addresses, where she calls to action that research organizations, researchers and conference organizations provide the accurate labelling required and know the difference between games and gamification in the context of online research.

Outside of her PhD and role as CEO and designer at RTG, Betty is also involved with other initiatives such as teaching entrepreneurship to young children in her local area of North London, and together with local Borough councils she working to create a Tech Hub which will aid her local community in bettering IT skills and innovating through technology.[37]

Adamou lives in London and is married to filmmaker Paul McGhie. They have a dog called Xyla, a border-terrier.

 


[15] Research World Connect Magazine, January 2016 edition, paperback. Article written by Space Doctors and included Betty Adamou’s quotation on experience-based research.

[18] Research News Magazine, March 2016 edition (online) “Challenges and Opportunities in an Era of Disruption” http://www.amsrs.com.au/researchnews

  (updated in 2016)