Videogames are a fantastic and misunderstood phenomenon!
In less than 30 years since its creation, the videogame industry managed to outpace the music industry and today 126 million people of all generations from the US and Europe claim it to be their number one source of entertainment (they’re called Generation G by Belgium game expert Gabe Zichermann). In fact, half a billion people in the world play games more than an hour per day.
Although Generation Y childhood was riddled with evolving consoles and pleasurable hours playing with their peers (much to their parent’s despair and worries about increased aggression), this is nothing compared to Generation Z’s gaming revolution.
Now games are mobile (in less than a year, Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 12 million times) and everyone participates. Gaming is slowly emerging out of a “kids and geeks” subculture into a culture for all, encompassing teenage girls, retired elders, artists, moms, dads and children alike. More than that, in many households gaming has become an important bonding experience for the family.
That would be just an industry’s success story if the power of gaming stopped there.
Out of the “videogame violence” discussion, a series of independent psychological and neurological studies were made over the last 2 decades to understand the impact gaming had on creativity, learning and development. All over the world, educators tried to incorporate real life or video gaming into their non-conventional curricula. The results were astonishing and surprisingly similar.
Through a constant and adaptable feedback and reward loop, gaming proved to enhance creativity, persistence, brain plasticity, optimism, cooperation and productivity. More importantly, game environments are able to provide and explain desired behaviours better than any set of regulations or great principles, an essential component to meaning (eg. Toyota Prius)
It is no wonder that gamification is already changing the way we build our future. Whether creating positive feedback loops for law enforcement (like the Swedish speeding lottery), increasing our children cognitive skills in a renewed educational curriculum, connecting young professionals and consumers to brands, testing future scenarios for businesses and society, and bringing people together to creative problem solving, gamification is revolutionizing our lives.
Which games need to be incorporated in our businesses and communities?