Title: Alternate Realities
Speaker: Jane McGonigal
Showed “The Lost Ring” – video preview of a game – you can find hundreds of screenshots of this video in flickr, looking for hidden clues
She focused on the game designer’s perspective on the future of happiness
Question – are you in the happiness business?
Our primary product soon will be happiness… (think experience)
Happiness is the new capital
four key principles of happiness:
1 satisfying work to do
2. experience of being good at something
3. time spent with people we like
4. chance to be a part of something bigger
Multiplayer games are the ultimate happiness engine
We can be good at something (in games) that we can’t do in real life
Games give you instant feedback (you never get a “great job at speaking – you gained one speaking experience point”)
better feedback all the time in games – we know how we’re doing
better community – we feel part of something
Quality of Life – for many gamers today, their gaming life is better than their real life.
multiplayer games – it’s like we invented the written word, and we decided to only create books – why are we chaining the game to a PC or console? Why not free it into the real world?
Real world game examples:
Chore Wars – you do household chores, you gain points
Zyked – video games are fun, excersising not so fun – they give points for excercise
Serios – give work mates points for doing stuff at work – helps you set priorities. And you can see where the virtual money is being spent… it shows connections
Citizen Logistics – what if life were like a team activity? Treating everyday reality like a game by doing stuff in the real world
all these are in beta/alpha
to imagine the future, always look backwards
1931 – soap kills germs… it took many thousands of years to figure this out! Games are kind of like soap – we should be installing them everywhere. Instead of killing germs, we are killing boredom
Games kill alienation – for people who are socially challenged
games can kill depression by giving you community and a sense of purpose
She’s making the point that it’s not alternative reality – it’s alternate reality – still real, just alternate – another way of experiencing existence
World Without Oil as example – live your real life like this statement was true. People actually converted their cars to non-gas power and made videos of it. It sounds like a social activist kind of thing – figure out how this works, and attempt to do it. It lasted for 32 weeks.
It was alternate reality in real life
10 skills/terms in gaming that help amplify happiness…?
1. mobbability – ability to collaborate on large scales. Think crowd conrtol
2. cooperation radar – who would make good collaborators
3. ping quotient – ability to reach out to others in a network, easy to resspond to them
4. influency – adapt your persuasive abilities to different environments
5. multi capitalism – somem people want money, some want social capital, etc – different types of currency and how can you trade amongst the groups
6. protovation – rapid, fearless innovation – not worried about failing because you’re still learning
7. open authorship – think blogging. comfort with giving content away and knowing it will be changed. Also a design skill – knowing it won’t be broken when people change it
8. signal noise management – they hear lots of signals, and can sort it out
9. longbroading – ability to think in much broader systems
10 emergensight – spot patterns as they pop up
[aside - interestingly, these are all business-related skills or team-building skills with a game-based name...]
how do we start?
start with twitter
nike ipod – it gives you feedback, challenges by friends
sniff collars for dogs – the collar measures speed, “dog friends” etc in real life
Prius – “my car is a video game”
trackstick – records your gps locatin every 5 seconds
new brain scanner thing that shows when you’re tired, angry, etc while in a game
the important stuff:
– most of us in this room will be in the happiness business
– game designers have a huge head start (think experience in gaming, in web, in real life)
– important because they signal the desire, need and opportunity for all of us to redesign reality for real quality of life
Q on how much is good. some people are breaking their broken reality with gaming. Also – some have perfectly happy, normal lives. We won’t replace face-to-face
sf0.org – no online story. It’s about real life stuff.