As promised in an earlier post some more details to the next Future Salon Friday in a week the 21st of May.
swissnex this month's host, is an annex of the Swiss Consulate and cosponsored by large Swiss organizations. Their mission is to connect the dots through information, relationships and projects in the areas of science, higher education, art and innovation between Switzerland and Western North America.
As the Future Salon brings people together in the area of science, technology, business and society, connecting the dots from the now to the future, it is very appropriate to have it this month at swissnex, and it has been a while since we have been in the city.
Attention: Because swissnex is connected to the Swiss Consulate you need to Register for the event. They promised to only use this information for security.
730 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 [map] T: (415) 912-5901
As always Friday 21st of May 7pm to 9pm.
We are really organized this time and even have reservations for 9:15 at the Café Prague just around the corner. 584 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133. Please note, they only take cash, so either bring that or bring a friend who has this greenish paper with the dead presidents on them.
As promised more details to the talk: What really excites me is, that Nicole has already put lots of thought and effort in preparation for the talk. A clear sign that this is going to be excellent:
Why We Play Games: Gaming Beyond Games
Life as Game
Life is a game where men and women are merely players. Just as film and television eclipsed the stage and literature as the dominant mediums of expression in the 20th century, computer games are emerging as the new ambassador of culture and taste for the 21st. As over 50% of US households play some form of computer games, next generation products and services will look increasingly to games for ways to connect with new consumers, how to become more emotionally and mentally engaging, and to seize the opportunity to offer emotions and challenges for optimal human experiences. Future products and services, work, and other cultural artifacts will provide better customer experiences by carefully crafting a consumer's cognitive and emotional responses.
People will play more games in more places. What happens when the services offered by today's laptop become cheap enough to print on a candy wrapper? Mobile gaming will improve other experiences such as interacting with friends and waiting in line. Augmented reality games break out into the real world through Geo-casching or games of tag through a city. With ubiquitous computing soon everything from your mobile phone, to your front door to the ketchup bottle in a diner could contain enough smarts to offer services. Will everything from your car, elevator, to coffeepot contains a screen and therefore the potential to host a game? Will we surf the net from our salt shaker or will it provide other opportunities to delight us and engage our attention?
Today everyone may not play computer games, but as game designers create increasingly compelling and expressive games their influence on other media and culture will be profound. Plus the generation raised on games (today's college students all played Oregon Trail in grade school) will play more games as adults than their parents did. Already we have the automotive industry consulting the designers of racing games on how to make more exciting cars, and politicians such as Howard Dean using web-games to teach democracy and increase interest in their campaigns.
Like games, products create experiences. Cutting edge product designers now focus on customer experiences not products. Designers aim for engagement in addition to making something better/faster/cheaper, and easier to use or market. Nowhere is this more true than in the field of computer games with its fierce competition for a world market valued at over $10 Billion dollars a year (surpassing Hollywood's domestic US box office receipts). And this is just the beginning. To make truly mass-market games designers are racing to innovate beyond graphical realism and high scores to create deeper player experiences. Understanding how games create emotions can make products and services more engaging. For example remove all challenge from a task or job and it becomes boring.
Games will re-design how we work and shop. Employers will use games to screen potential hires for 3D reasoning skills and train them to solve problems with multiple variables. Games will change consumer processes such as the game of buying and selling on eBay or the games and dining experience at Dave and Busters (Chuckie Cheese for adults). Even software applications will include more fun to increase appeal like the artwork for Roxio's Toast CD burning application, or by offering features to be gamed as in Orkut, Google's social networking software.
Not only is life is getting more game like, games and elements of play are used to increase product appeal. Adding playful elements to goods and services increase the attraction of everything from advertising messages, to South West's in-flight safety announcements to the design of public spaces. We see the increasing importance of emotions in design already in products such as the playful squid shape of the Phillip Stark juicer, Danger's Sidekick mobile phone, and in the pleasing octave chords produced by Seqway's acoustically designed motors. Understanding how games create emotions offers further insight into how to make other products and services more enjoyable and even improve the quality of life.
Why We Play Games
Experiences that tap into who we are create emotion, produce flow, and offer more compelling experiences. What we know about games improves how we design other aspects of life. But will game penetration go so far as to change serious processes such as monitoring nuclear reactors, security screening, or air traffic control to improve attention and employee motivation?
To answer these questions we first need to understand what adults like about playing current games. As the first phase of designing new types of gaming experiences we needed to know. So XEODesign conducted a study with 30 hard core and casual players to understand what people like most about playing and how games unlock player emotion. This research is the first step in defining what makes Player Experiences so compelling and offers insight into how we can increase enjoyment of non-game activities and products.
XEODesign's results provide a glimpse as to why people play games, establishing 4 Keys to how games produce emotion through doing. These results also contain insights into how to make other products and services more enjoyable.