Why Games Are So Important – and other news
It’s 2016 and what a lot has gone on already!
The biggest change is that I am now no longer part of Capgemini. I am now at G2G3 working on gamification – so a dream come true for me! I want to take a moment to thank everyone at Capgemini that supported me over the last 5 or so years.
Loads more to come, but you will see more content coming from me around work and from the G2G3 blog with luck.
In the mean time I have spent a while going back to the start of what gamification is and why I find it so important and interesting.
Why the Fuss about Games?
I had a conversation recently about what games are. There are too many cans of worms to open on the definition side of things, but what interested me in the conversation was there was an idea that games are there as pure escapism. This was triggered by a certain level of discomfort over the recent coverage of “That Dragon Cancer“, a game that aims to take a player through a child’s 4 year battle with cancer from the perspective of a father. Hardly the most enjoyable concept and it is unsurprising that some have felt slightly uncomfortable.
For me, games are the next step in the evolution of media. We had word of mouth, songs, written word, books, recorded music, radio, film, T.V. – the list goes on and on. For me, it is all coming to a head with video games.
Before video games, most media was unidirectional. The story or message was presented directly to the viewer with no interaction. Games and video games change that completely. Now the story and the message can be directly influenced my the player. With the help of the games designer, they can shape the way it is presented to them. Because of this interactivity and two way conversation with the designer, the player can gain a much deeper understanding and empathy with the source material. Rather than just witnessing it, they experience it for themselves.
For me, this is why games are so important and why I spend so much time exploring them and trying to understand them. They show that to truly learn and understand, you have to be involved in the conversation, not just listening to it. When you can apply that thinking to other areas of the world, you suddenly start to see how powerful and simple a concept it really is. Involved everyone on the conversation, not just the author!
A Couple of New Videos
What is Gamification 2016
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation