Many young boys dream to become a fireman or police officer. After that interests change diverge a bit but for many becoming a creator of video games is also a wish. After all, who wouldn't like to play games all day and get paid for it?
But again years go by in which you become more interested in other things. For me at university they changed to marketing and advertising, which offer a more viable career path.
And learning more about marketing, from communication to pricing, it all comes down to one goal, to influence the behaviour or people. Or to put differently: get people to do what we want.
And while we don't always know why people do the things they do, we do know some tricks we can use.
Imagine the excitement when I saw this presentation by Seth Priebatsch. It is called "The game layer on top of the world" in which he talks about using game elements to make activities more fun.
Sounds nice but does it work? A different question can illustrate this:
Would you be willing to send a twitter update every time you enter any bar, restaurant, gym or other building? No?
These location-based services are hugely popular at the moment. The biggest one, Foursquare, has almost 3 million users. And Facebook just announced this week that they will start a similar service.What makes these things so successful? Because of the game elements built-in. People do task, earn badges and share them ok Facebook and Twitter.
It is called gamification or funware.
And the most interesting part of all this is that it can be used in non-game environments such as businesses to help achieve goals.
The text editor I'm typing this with for example uses a little circle to track the changes I make each time I save. The more changes I make since the last save, the bigger the indicator circle becomes. What happens next is a strange competition with myself to "score" a big indicator every time I save. As a result I'll type more.While that example doesn't really seem like a game to you, many services have these small "games" built-in.
That progress bar on LinkedIn for example, which indicates how much percent you have completed your profile. Most of us will be challenged to complete this task and get the progress bar to 100%.Things have just started rolling in this field, and my brain is working full-time to find new possible applications.
This is definitely not the end and might just as well be the start of a new job!