Got game?

Will this poster still be funny in 2020?

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.

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3 Responses to Got game?

  1. Astrobassist says:

    I predict that computer operating systems will start to include adaptations from gaming and social media.

    Using Microsoft office could be more like * going to* the office. Microsoft word could take on the role of an administrative assistant to whom you dictate a memo, then you ask outlook to send it to your team.

    Voice recognition isnt quite there yet, so in the meantime, a twitter based operating system could fill in the gap:

    @printer please print document “annual report 2017”

  2. Like robot-butlers but for offices? Interesting. Think we’d need to use “please” in our printing requests? (Maybe polite requests could simply jump ahead of more crass ones in the printer queue..)

    I think the gaming trend is more about cultivating human power than it is about automating our technology. About getting more out of ourselves, harnessing our collective potential, rather than getting more out of our machines. Of course the two will always be linked at some level.

    Funny though, since last night, 2017 doesn’t seem so far away, does it.

  3. More from around the horn (thanks Jason!):

    Awesome collection of 10-20 minute segments on GAMES from the always insightful world of NPR: http://www.onthemedia.org/episodes/2010/12/31

    Memorable quotes:
    “Outsiders underestimate the importance of learning how to fail at something very complicated over and over again and then finally make it.”

    Jane McGonigal (last segment): “When we are in game worlds we become the best version of ourselves”… “We are happier to be working hard than to be relaxing”… “Gamers believe that they are capable of changing the world. the only problem is they believe they’re only capable of changing virtual worlds.”

    Jesse Schell and Jane McGonigal’s unedited TED Talks can also be found here:

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