Video: Visions of the Gamepocalypse, Possible Futures, Waking Up, Thinking, and Creating a Better World

04 Education, Augmented Reality, Corporations, Cultural Intelligence, Geospatial, Peace Intelligence, Technologies
See the "Long Short" (short video) on gaming and Jesse Schell's presentation

Jesse Schell: Visions of the Gamepocalypse

Hosted by The Long Now Foundation

This is a provoking and entertaining presentation.
After the short video called “Pixels” prior to the presentation, Jesse Schell starts off with what if life becomes, not Orwellian, but Huxleyan (Brave New World) where pleasure achieved through technology grips the whole lives of citizens. Imagine sensors attached to commercial products from toothbrush to television (and electric tattoos linked to Facebook) collecting data + wi-fi connections uploading behavior data to the Web.  People can earn “points” like in a gaming environment depending on their behavior and habits and these points can be used for coupons, deals, and other corporate profit-pursuing conceptions.

Soon the presentation gets into prediction and if the more one practices at predicting the future, the better one can become.  Other parts of the presentation:

  • The upward trend of mobile gaming application sales versus console gaming systems, and how micro-transactions of money (Zynga, Playdom, Playfish, Bigpoint) in connection with social networking will be like peanut butter + chocolate.
  • Dream states (REM sleep) as un-tapped territory that most likely advertisers will reach first.
  • Virtual money such as “Farm cash,” and World of Warcraft gold was mentioned to attract product attention.
  • A stat was shown of commercial ads on television rising from 13% in 1950 to 36% today.
  • “Battlefield of the 21st century” as how you spend your day and carving up those percentages to target your behaviors

  • Explosion of Facebook gaming due to people gaming at work (time = virtual real estate)
New ethical decisions needing to be made when converging games & profit-making culture
  • Brain sensors detecting student levels of effort and engagement in the classroom (upside (?) might be think hard & customize your education).
  • “Curiosity gap” where those who are not curious will be “left behind.” The need to figure out how to produce curious students to revolutionize education and go from standardize to customize (or custom-mix).
  • The need for authenticity
  • User “immune system” kicking in (hopefully observed by developers) to reduce the bad viral aspects to social networking
  • Speech recognition (whenever it matures) will become huge (will make machines smarter when creating them to listen) with speech as a decision-making control mechanism in gaming environments
  • Possibility of immersive fantasy gaming theme parks
  • Has nothing but high regard/nothing negative to say about Wikipedia
  • Recommends the books Finite and Infinite Games, Rational Optimist, Punished by Rewards, and Good to Great (businesses that become great find concrete numbers to judge themselves by).
  • Game designs that are intrinsically rewarding, effortless, uncheatable, not embarrassing
  • Whole life tracking becoming games and what are our responsibilities
  • Four Groups: The Per$uader$ (get money & get out), The Fullfillers (help people fulfill hopes & dreams),  Artists (advance visions & medium), Humanitarians (make peoples lives better)…whose going to win people’s attention while the people with the gold makes the rules (“golden rule”).
  • Wake the hell up, think about what we’re doing, figure out what’s going on…if we can, the Gamepocalypse doesn’t have to become a horrible thing.
  • If we can become masters of our craft, wise enough to work together and brave enough to follow our hearts, we can make the 21st century a beautiful place

Q & A with Kevin Kelly:

  • Gambling addiction and game design
  • Long game design (Toon Town & World of Warcraft) that are multi-generational inheriting responsibilities (games lasting longer then human lives)
  • Professional game players and hobbyists
  • Imagine gaming without advertising
  • Gaming versus television
  • Gaming having a meaningful relation to politics and law to understand complex inter-connected systems (mentions Peacemaker)
  • Enders Game (book) and the gamefication of war with use of drones in Afghanistan; soldiers realize that good simulations can save lives; a think tank on simulation had one side say it would democratize the military and others from the top who obviously opposed this

Comment: Our future lives gradually becoming saturated in corporate digital epoxy is something we must grasp. We must work harder at imagining other future possibilities, not simply accept any forceful ideas that come out the profit-making pipelines.

Check out Siftables from Sifteo for a future gaming + learning product not yet publicly released.