Amy Jo Kim
I’m not actually sure where I am on the anti-tech line. I make money making websites, and I love the Internet, but I’m also frightened of how it has affected our relationships with other people, with corporations, and with technology. Perhaps the best thing I can do is continue to develop on the Internet, but always make sure I’m working towards a goal that I believe to be morally sound.
It was thus really amazing to see the power of internal motivation, finding groups of self-motivated players creating their own ‘challenge runs’ on our forums once they got to that point. They were coming up with new sets of self-imposed goals that changed the nature of the game, such as trying to play without eating any meat, or by starting fights with every creature that they find. They weren’t doing this to get achievements or even to get a high score. They were doing it because they were having fun.
You can’t just say “Hey, people like games, therefore people will like this.” That isn’t necessarily true. And people don’t necessarily want a user interface to be a game per se, but to have gamelike qualities. There are many things that games are especially good at. They can provide clear feedback, the possibility of success, mental and in some cases physical exercise, the opportunity to satisfy your curiosity, a chance to do problem solving, or a feeling of freedom. So you should be asking “What are the elements of games that people find pleasurable?” (wise words from Jesse Schell)
I strongly believe that all good stories have a conflict, and that all good games tell a good story regardless of if it’s pre-written or emergent. Free building mode is fine and dandy, but for many people it will ultimately become boring once you’ve got it figured out. It’s like playing a first person shooter in god mode, or giving yourself infinite funds in a strategy game.. a lack of challenge kills the fun. (from the Minecraft website)
Some think that virtual environments will gain traction once they are browser-based (no hefty downloads) and are made easier to use. I’m sceptical: while I feel comfortable in a virtual environment and as an avatar, for many others it’s an uncanny experience, especially in a professional context. I have the feeling that it is about the representation of oneself and others, about identities, not about technical hurdles.
the “neural” explanation has become a gold standard of non-fiction exegesis, adding its own brand of computer-assisted lab-coat bling to a whole new industry of intellectual quackery
Minecraft’s blocky, retro-Legochic (aided by some imaginative sound design) also adds immeasurably to the experience. Somehow, the relatively abstract aesthetic lets our imaginations take over and fill in the blanks-resulting in a world that’s as realistic, beautiful, idyllic, daunting or terrifying as we imagine it to be. Minecraft avoids the classic trap of falling into the uncanny valley by steering very wide of it. It’s a great immersion win.
A basic element of human nature is that people feel compelled to belong to groups and, having joined, consider them superior to competing groups.
E. O. Wilson in The Social Conquest of Earth. (via explore-blog)
do you feel good when you see a bonus in your paycheck? Do you want to try a little harder when your boss gives you a high five for a job well done? Do you appreciate it when pizza is ordered for the team during a particularly trying week? Of course! Gamification is simply the digital translation of these real world motivation tactics. Plus, thanks to supporting analytics, it offers more quantifiable results than a pizza party.
Brogrammer culture celebrates frat house values, youth over experience and men over women. In the war for hiring great talent, the companies that embrace this culture rather than reject it will lose.