Keynote Speech: Game-Based Society

speeches • June 2014

Gabe Zicherman, who coined the term “Gamification” and introduced the concept of game-based marketing, invited me to join him at the Gamification Summit in San Francisco. Gabe suggested that I speak about “Game Based Society”, which caused me to explore the idea of putting games everywhere in the real world: in cities, shopping malls, cars and more. Today with ubiquitous connectivity and smartphone prices dropping below $50, an overlay of games on top of the real world seems like a possibility that is growing ever more likely. This talk describes a new vision of games that span several big new trends: Internet of Things, the continuing rise of smartphones, and the proximal graph generated by micro-location and beacons. This talk draws a contrast between AR (outward augmentation of the world outside us) and VR via Oculus Rift (inward generation of a completely virtual environment). Finally I speculate about the game mechanisms that might work on a large scale AR deployment: I arrived at a conclusion that will probably drive game industry purists nuts.