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Play the future

September 12, 2010

We are in the midst of a revolution in which gaming has become a deeply embedded part of our daily lives. Game designer and Carnegie Mellon professor Jesse Schell paints a colourful future with gaming at the heart of our every action and motivation. See his talk here.

His vision may seem extreme, but the root of his future landscape – that gaming will help us navigate our daily lives is already a reality – just look at Farmville, or the Fiat Eco Drive.

A latest example is the new iPhone app Epic Win, which transforms a mundane to-do list into a virtual quest. With experience points and the possibility to level up, the app is also an example of the game layer discussed in SCVNGR’s Seth Priebatsch’s TED talk. It’s all about using dynamics to shape behaviour, and leveraged for good. Like leveling up in education with better grades, and rewarding patients with points for taking their pills on time.

So should social policy be developed with game designers to motivate behavioural change through the game layer? And what does this mean for brands now; should all brands build game platforms, or does the layer only apply for certain kinds of categories? In luxury for example, will the game layer work?

Image from MacTalk.

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