Most people are probably aware that I’m deeply interested in videogames and the gamification of the world which is occurring as more and more businesses and individuals look at what is able to be produced by game methodology.
- More than a billion hours are being spent on Xbox Live each month. That’s just one of the three console platforms, and it equates to each of the 25 million current Xbox Live subscribers contributing around 40 hours of time each month.
- Taken globally across every platform, there are figures as high as 3 billion hours a week. And while efforts to adapt that productivity are underway, it turns out that besides the potential risks of addiction etc, gaming actually may be beneficial to your health and wellbeing in some specific ways. That is – no matter how superficial the game and the output, by enabling you to experience positive emotions and social bonds, you’re likely to live longer, do better at work, and even have longer, happier marriages.
- There’s a brilliant quote in the video of Tom Chatfield embedded below which sums up online gaming perfectly. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have evolved in certain ways to perform tasks and get enjoyment from them. Crucially, videogames allow us to reverse-engineer everything, to create worlds which are perfectly tailored to the ways that humans have evolved.
Another of the points he makes which deserves repeating is the fact that an online game allows the measurement of over 1 billion data points – everything that anyone has ever done in that entire world can be tracked, measured and used for optimisation.
And it also justifies the inordinate amount of time I’ve spent in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 recently – the combination of a social group who are online almost nightly, and the rat pellet feed of rewards and achievements for frenetic (and frustrating on a slow net connection) action.
The other element of the games industry that will be of interest to the publishing/marketing/media non-gamers is that the games industry is relatively young, highly technical, and going through the same challenges as traditional media – how to compete with the challenges of a second-hand games market, how to utilise the ability for gamers to digitally download content, how to implement freemium and subscription models etc.
The difference is that there’s a lot less legacy and inertia to overcome – hence the success of Steam, or the release of the demo/minigame Dead Rising 2:Case Zero as a paid download exclusively for the Xbox 360. It sold 300,000 copies in the first week, and over 500,000 in the first fortnight as a prequel to the forthcoming full retail game, and as content sufficient enough to stand alone.
Through in motion-controls which are going to reach enough people to have an influence almost on a par with the touchscreens of smartphones and tablets, and there’s a lot there – something I’ll continue to expand upon…