Thoughts

Jesse Schell: Visions of the Gamepocalypse

Posted on: September 14, 2010

There was recently another engaging talk from Jesse Schell on his vision of the “gamepocalypse”. It builds on his DICE talk which burnt its way across the web some months back and draws together a lot of the news items and odd thoughts that have been posted on his Gamepocalypse Now blog. You can watch the full “Visions of the Gamepocalypse” video here – it’s well worth it.

I think there’s a lot more to the gameification of everything than the short “points for brushing your teeth” type examples used in the DICE talk, as I’ve previously posted, and Jesse goes into more depth in this video. Of particular interest was a justification/explanation of why the gameification of life could be either a good thing, or at least a meme that will replicate itself. From the section about 25 minutes titled “Why Games?“:

Games provide:

  • Clear Feedback: you’re told exactly how well you’re doing; no guesswork, as there often is in life.
  • A Sense of Progress: you have a progress bar to fill, and people love filling progress bars.
  • The Possibility of Success: games, almost by definition, are winnable. Therefore you know when you start a game task that there’s a reasonable chance you’ll be able to complete it.
  • Mental and Physical Exercise: a basic need.
  • A Chance to Satisfy Your Curiosity: another basic instinct to find out what happens next.
  • A Chance to Solve a Problem: we seem to be built to want to solve problems, and combined with the possibility of success there’s the perfect hook.
  • A Feeling of Freedom: “one of the most defining things about games”. You don’t have to play games; you have to do work.

Watch the “Visions of the Gamepocalypse” video.

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