Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's all about earning points

This is a brilliant presentation by Jesse Schell, game designer and futurologist from DICE 2010.

It starts with a quick explanation of everything you need to know about social games like Club Penguin and Farmville, but then goes on to cover future technologies and opportunities, with implications for education and society.

It lasts 30 minutes, but he's a brilliant presenter. Watch it!

Or, if you don't have time to watch it all, here's a summary:

"First 10 minutes: a brief explanation of the psychology behind casual games of the farmville, webkins, mafia wars variety.

Then five minutes of a sort of strange digression about reality TV and organic groceries and authenticity, which to be honest I'm not really following what point he's trying to make here.

Then another digression about convergence and divergence in technology (technology diverges, except for things that fit in your pocket, like the iphone and the swiss army knife.)

At about 20 minutes he starts to get to the point: he's talking about applying these same psychological tricks to non-game situations: he namechecks fantasy football, geocaching, crowdsourcing games, weightwatchers point system, the"virtual plant" that shows up on your hybrid car's dashboard as existing examples.

After that he's describing near-future life as an MMO: points for brushing your teeth, doing your homework, eating your cornflakes. Gain levels for riding the bus instead of driving. Net-integrated sensors in every device to keep track of your score and upload them to Facebook or wherever. Tax incentives if you get a good enough score on your kid's report card or read the right books.

Basically he's describing an ubicomp panopticon, dressed up in a casual MMO point system"

(Privacy campaigners might have a few issues though)

Via GigaOM


Promotional Products said...

I saw this video the other day, I am so glad that someone has explained Farmville to me, because this stuff annoys me to no end. I can't believe so many people have been hooked by it.

charlie gower said...

joyed that Dan, thanks.
i designed part of a goe-locative immersive game once and got very excited. The client was too stupid to understand the potential though, marketing execs eh!

Dan said...

Glad you liked it! I'd never come across Jesse before, but he's such a great speaker. ;-)

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