If you work in the tech or business worlds, chances are you’ll be asked this question in the foreseeable future (if you haven’t been asked it already). And what better way to round out a year than with a bold prediction for what’s to come?
If the last decade was largely about technology shaping social connections, the next few years could mark the start of the ubiquitous gaming era. Now I’m no prophet. But many a bright mind in these circles seem to agree: the games are coming. That’s right, games and layers of games, everywhere… where you work, where you eat, where you go to the doctor, where you sleep. This could mean a world that’s more fun, more measured, more engaging, more transparent, with more gold coins. Or it could mean something else. Like the social web pioneers of the early 2000’s, the power is in our hands… as the rules for how games will shape our future are yet to be written.
Tell me more, you say.
If you’re in a reading mood, here’s a lengthy deep dive from Fast Company into the psychology behind games, and what many corporate and government players are doing in this space. (Did you know humans have collectively spent as much time playing WoW as we’ve spent evolving as a species?)
From the New York Times, this articles touches on the history and current state of the gaming world, and where we’re headed.
And here, the token video from a young pioneer of the gaming future, breaking down game stickiness into four key dynamics: appointments, influence & status, progression, and communal discovery. Right.
For those in need of some bedside reading, check out Total Engagement, a unique, though admittedly academic, take on the potential for games to revolutionize the modern workplace, drawing on dynamics from wildly successful massively multiplayer online games (MMORPGs) out there.
For the auditory learners, a short radio segment from NPR on top games of 2010.
And lastly, a Wired Magazine article on a game that inadvertently changed a previously-established billion-dollar industry, by changing the behaviors of the players involved. Sound familiar?
So don’t say you weren’t warned, citizens of the world. Happy 2011. And game on.