7 minutes with Tomás Giovanetti

Tomás Giovanetti is the only person I’ve interviewed during my 4 years blogging who I’ve never met (yet) in person. Blame it to pandemics and distance. Luckily, videocalls fill this gap. He leads since 2016 The Gaming Agency (TGA), an organisation that uses gaming to deliver corporate solutions such as branding, engagement, product launching or training. Tom was born in Buenos Aires in 1998 and he is a true supporter of gaming as a way to build a community of both internal and external clients. He shares his thoughts with us.

1.How did you start in gaming from a professional perspective?
Curiously enough, I have a sport background. I competed in tennis and I even was in the sub16 ranking in my country, Argentina. In 2016, as a hobby, I developed my first game with a very powerful anti-bullying storytelling. It became extremely successful and it was STEAM’s number 1 game. Taking into account this scenario, my mentor then, Gabriel Monti, helped me to evolve professionally in the gaming industry.

2.How did you start with TGA and what’s its purpose? And what are your most immediate plans?
The anecdote is that at the very beginning the name TGA came from my initials (Tomás Giovanetti Alejandro). In fact, the process between deciding to be professionally in gaming and founding TGA was very quick. Our purpose has always been to offer gaming as a way of communication, far beyond taking it as a mere amusement. We act as a bridge of quality content between brands and audience (for both internal and external clients), specially for the young target, using the fun factor.
At TGA we use gaming in three different business lines: branded games, training games and community gaming. Our content goes from working on a brand’s DNA to launching a new product or creating change management frameworks within a company.
At the beginning of 2020 we took a big step forward in making TGA even more professional: we won our first investment round and a cohort of experts such as Julio Alfonsín, Diego Mikiej or Lorenzo Sanz joined the project as board members. We are nowadays present in seven countries: Argentina, Perú, México, Chile, USA, Spain and France and we work for clients such as Nestlé, Telefónica or Sony.
Our goal is to become the first global developer of corporate games, to consolidate our brand in Europe and USA and penetrate new markets such as Emirates.

3.We can spend hours with a game … Why is gaming so attractive?
This is not a simple question. A game is a combination of playful and visual elements that generate great value. Unlike e-learning products, gaming is much more sophisticated and generates attraction thanks to three concepts. The first one is the atmosphere: music, graphic elements, design, colors, characters, storytelling, … It is much more experiential, so you dive into the game. The second element is the competitive factor: We play because our brain loves challenges. Either against ourselves or against others, we love to overcome missions and levels. The willingness to improve makes us spend time practicing. The third concept is rewards. We play for something, so rewards are crucial.

4.Today, everyone “gamifies” but … What’s the difference between “gaming” and “gamification”?
The line is very blurred because the industry is still very new. My perception is that gamification is based on a rewards system to encourage the user in real life to achieve specific goals (for example, sales targets). Gaming is hybrid. There are rewards, but the action happens within a game where atmosphere, storytelling and characters constitute very powerful elements.

5.What’s the difference between developing leisure gaming and corporate gaming?
They both are very similar. Technically speaking, we fully share the elements of leisure gaming and we put them at the service of the content a specific company wants to communicate: from compliance to cultural transformation, to name two examples.

Many thanks for sharing your perspective with us, Tom!

To know more about TGA, have a look at www.tgacompany.com

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