Trends: GamePlay Action!

One of the best presentations I enjoyed at the 2010 Casual Connect in Seattle this July was the “trends” overview by Tim Chang (note minute 6:40 in the 2010 trends video – to the end then ask me about ENERGY BANK).

The moment he mentioned the words “physical activity” he had me! But the rest of what he described was equally compelling.

Tim explained that human beings are game players by nature. Although we might not self identify ourselves as gamers, we all buy into game mechanics. Game mechanics are basically rules, systems, and scoring. Hey, what is money? Money is just a way to keep score relative to the world. Retailers have used gaming mechanics for decades. “70% off, plus take another 25% off the original 70% off…but only for the next week.”

“Humans all buy into gaming mechanics even though we’re not all gamers.  Humans love to be scored, we love to be given feedback on ourselves, and we love to see progress in real time. Instant gratification towards this leveling curve is something that’s innate for humans. Games are so compelling because they’re systems which level people up across multiple dimensions based on what the game wants you to do. This leveling curve is a very well known mechanic in game design.  Read the full interview here

Tim was quick to suggest ways to grow a $100-200 million business out of a social game distributed by android, netbooks, cloud technologies with a growth in all vectors.  WellnessGaming can learn from this. The GAME doesn’t have to have the physical activity. the activity can be with an active controller – or gamers can EARN ENDLESS GAMEPLAY SUBSCRIPTION THROUGH QUANTIFIED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. (When will you ask about Energy Bank?)

Tim threw out this challenge: We need something that is simple enough to appeal to the non-gamer and that will be a huge market.  At HCD we focus on the 80% of the population that needs an engaging, readily delivered and endlessly customized invitation to physical activity.

  • Imagine and active computer mouse tied to the playing of great games.
  • Imagine “buying great game play, virtual awards and social game goods” by simply doing physical activity and uploading that information to an Energy Bank database.

Talk about engaging a huge audience – and it’s a huge audience that health plan providers want to move! The trend is metagaming – the quantification of life. yes, you heard it from Tim Chang and he knows what he’s talking about.  Healthy Gaming is part of the Quantified self (yup, there’s another trend defined). The number of inexpensive sensors that can collect the activity data and publish it “to the cloud” is endless.

Physical activity can be built in to missions and social game mechanics. Marketers can do a virtual goods revenue split in a social game – and improve the wellness of the world as a by-product (ask us about the Energy bank). Contact us at judy.shasek@healthycommunitydevelopment if you would like to be interviewed or your blog shared in this blog space.

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