Tuesday, December 09, 2008

If Gamers ran the World

Really interesting article on games and adaptability - it's probably not what you're expecting:

There’s also something very powerful that occurs when you present data in a gamelike way. The way you present data changes the connection that people have to that information. A lot of what gets described as “playful” design is really just about making it clear what the data you can alter is, and providing simple inputs to make that change - it’s all about highlighting those feedback loops.

So a good example of that is the dashboard on a Prius. By making the default readout on the computer screen Miles Per Gallon, rather than Miles Per Hours, driving becomes a game about increasing the efficiency of your fuel consumption, rather than getting from A to B as fast as possible. The car exposes how its power is generated - be it from the engine or from the battery - and then empowers you to change that (by coasting more or charging the battery harder on hills).

The final thing I’d like to consider to day is the notion of failure. Failure is not necessarily something we’re going to face more of in the future; knowing how to deal with it is, however, a useful skill for life, and it’s a skill that gamers are exposed to all the time.

When we learn in games, we learn by failing; we learn whether or not we can really make that jump, or if that enemy really is vulnerable to fire. Part of understanding the complex systems of games is making mistakes. And, as we become more experienced, we learn to discern between something being “possible but not by me (yet)” or “impossible for anyone”. Once you learn that progress comes from failure, you stop seeing failure as an absolute, and more as a step on the path.

via mefi

(oh, and if you didn't read to the end of the article, here's a link to boomshine)

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