Daily Archives: March 1, 2010

Game-ifying reality

Related to the “Glow” post below, Kevin Kelly at The Technium has a post on the Game-ified Life. What does that mean? In a nutshell:

“It’s the last third of his talk where Schell really gets going. He offers a vision where ordinary life is gameified. Cheap tracking technology turns whatever you do into a “game” that accumulates points. As the gameification of life becomes ubiquitous, you go through your day racking up points and “getting to the next level.” Instead of getting grades in school you graduate to the next level. It’s a head spinning scenario, with lots to love and hate, but well worth considering.”

We all do this in a limited way now: I play “Punch Buggy” with my kids, people on the subway try to stand in the proper place on the platform to get on the train faster and get a seat easier, drivers try to find the fastest way home. What our new technology allows us to do is to play more sophisticated versions of those games. For example, it would be interesting to have a game that allowed you to track your carbon footprint for the day, week and month, and provide you with suggestions on how you could lower it. To make it more interesting, you could compete with out people who have the game. I can imagine all sorts of games like this. To people who don’t like games or bets, it may sound stupid. But for people who do like games and bets, it is a way to make the mundane more interesting. I can see it taking off.

Glow: Location-Based “Feelings” for iPhone and other such ideas

RWW has a review of Glow: Location-Based “Feelings” for iPhone. Essentially you can enter your feelings on your iPhone, and Glow will somehow aggregate them with the feelings of others and put them on a map. It’s an interesting idea, and like Twitter or other augmented reality software, this one could end up taking off. If….and here’s the thing…it could take off if you could get more from it then you put in. One of the things I thing any such app should do is provide I high benefit/cost ratio. Users should think: wow, I want to use this, and even take the time to submit my status, because it provides me with alot of value. For example, with Glow, if enough people go to a place and report positive feelings, others might want to go and check it out. (Likewise with negative feelings).

I also think that iPhones and other devices should be able to gather some of this information automatically. Either through better sensors or through even faster inputs (e.g. if I had a bluetooth device I could quickly tap to send a signal).

Regardless of where this technology goes, I expect to see alot more of it in the future.