Continental keeps rolling toward its anniversary

Mobility. Our Heartbeat for 150 Years

2021 is a special year for Continental. On October 8, our company will be 150 years old. We have every reason to be proud of our development over the past 150 years! That’s why we’ll be presenting our past, present and – most importantly – our future as part of our anniversary celebrations under the slogan “Mobility. Our Heartbeat for 150 Years.” Get involved in our anniversary and help shape the celebrations. We’re launching a worldwide campaign that will allow everyone to experience Continental in a completely different way: On a virtual course with marbles.

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The Marble Adventure online game is easy to access with any end device via a QR code or under the following link.

The players steer a marble through the company’s history. The action starts in the present day, heading off across the rooftops of the new headquarter. While doing so, you must stay on the path, avoid obstacles and collect as many anniversary coins as possible. In exchange for these coins, you get accessories to equip the marble. From sunglasses or a Continental cap to headphones and reindeer ears, it’s all there. With a little skill, endurance and a bit of luck, you can achieve up to three stars per level and maybe even make it to the high score list. After 15 levels, we go back through a time warp to the Continental founding year of 1871. Every month, a new region is added, representing a new milestone in the company’s history.

The third world takes players to lofty heights and the year 1910, when Continental balloon material was used in the first German airship. Then it’s off to the snow-covered mountains of the Alps, along winding racetracks and into the production halls of 1990. To mark the 150th birthday in October, the 10th region is all about the anniversary year of 2021. Players can lose themselves in the game alone, or together with friends, family and colleagues. In this multi-player mode, it’s also possible to compete against international teams. An extra feature for creative types: Soon, the Level Editor will even let you build your own routes that can be shared with fellow players. 

With the Marble Adventure game, we’re celebrating an entire year of our birthday and discovering the history of Continental in a fun way. This shared digital experience connects all employees, our partners and customers with the company, and also creates a sense of community through the opportunity to compete in teams. This is a rare commodity in times in which we all spend a lot of time at home.

Denise Maria Eichhorn
Senior Project Manager Group Brand Communications, Continental

Trend Towards Gamification

Society is increasingly understanding how gamification can help to inform, motivate, and make processes more effective. After all, the drive to play is in the nature of humans. Whenever we play, we also learn. And a good atmosphere at work has always contributed to success.

Ali Mahlodji, a trend researcher at the Future Institute, one of the most influential think tanks in European research into trends and the future, predicts that in the future it will be a matter of letting go of competitive ideas at work and of playfully approaching tasks. “We’ve forgotten how much this open-ended approach to the world has advanced our development. In increasingly complex environments, companies have to remember that it is the power of play that causes us to learn something highly complex, such as running, ourselves, to the extent that it becomes part of our subconscious.” A culture of forgiving mistakes and the opportunity to try things out until they work are fundamentally important for developing an effective play culture.

We’ve forgotten how much this open-ended approach to the world has advanced our development.

Ali Mahlodji,
Trend researcher at the Future Institute

Games are already in use in many companies. SAP for example has developed a digital golf game that is used to play projects back and forth between departments like a golf ball. NASA is training employees with a Serious Game. In a 3D world, they can immerse themselves in different situations in the workplace and learn how to best behave with regard to bullying and harassment. At the German IT service provider Datagroup, you can solve seven puzzles online and earn an interview. The company is reacting successfully to the IT skills shortage, while also signaling: We think differently, we work differently, and we find better solutions.

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Computer games are gaining greater social relevance in general. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has been funding the development of games with €250 million since September 2018. Many games are sold in Germany – especially now during the pandemic – but they are not yet developed here on a large scale. The reasons for this level of funding: “The computer games industry is a rapidly growing global industry. Germany is the largest market in Europe and the fifth largest market in the world. As part of the digital creative industry, computer game development is highly innovative. In addition to technical innovations (e.g., in graphics processing, 3D modeling, virtual reality) and cultural innovations, process and economic innovations can also be observed. Other economic sectors (such as the film industry, architecture and construction industry, mobility, education, health and care) also benefit from the industry’s technical innovations and expertise.”

Are we all becoming gamers now? Are our lives and those of our children increasingly playing out online? Absolutely, to a certain extent – even beyond the pandemic. Which begs the question:

Are computer games good for us?

Neuroscientist Simone Kühn investigated the positive effects of computer games at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Her findings: The “Super Mario 3D” game allows the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, strategic planning, and finger control to grow. She noticed that fun plays a role in this. The brains of test subjects in a comparison group who played a boring computer game did not show any changes. Brain growth and fun are therefore intertwined. For the time being, it remains unclear what the cause and the effect are.

US researcher Douglas Gentile observed surgeons using very fine optical instruments to perform minimally-invasive operations in the abdominal cavity. Those who regularly played on the computer were 27 percent faster during operations and made 37 percent fewer mistakes, according to his study.

And he discovered that video games that focus on social interaction lead to students avoiding arguments and being more helpful. Of course, it’s also the case that violent games make people more aggressive. But the blanket assessment that games have only negative effects is incorrect.

Games are culture

We also want to take a look at lavishly produced and commercially very successful computer games. They are impressive contemporary narrative forms. They have not yet broken through completely, but they are catching up and moving closer to literature, film and theater. In 2018, the New York Times declared the Red Dead Redemption 2 game a cultural product of the season. At the German Computer Game Prizes 2020, the Anno 1880 strategy game won the “Best Game” award.

In its handbook on games culture, the German Cultural Council writes: “The development of a digital game is a highly complex and, above all, collaborative process. Unlike established cultural assets, however, many creative people in the games industry (still) do not have an artistic understanding of themselves, or indeed artistic self-confidence. On a film set, almost everyone feels like an artist.”

Perhaps that will change soon. We hope it does, and we celebrate the game industry and ourselves with our Marble Adventure anniversary game. Have fun playing!

 


You can find out more about 150 Years of Continental on the Continental website and here in the magazine soon. The anniversary year has only just begun.