The Most Disturbing Presentation of the Year
I invite you to take a journey with game designer Jesse Schell as his mind goes for a little stroll in the near future. He gave a talk in February 2010 at the DICE summit that is being called the most disturbing presentation ever. I’d like to keep open the possibility of getting my mind equally blown somewhere down the line. So, I’m only going as far as to call it the most disturbing presentation of the year.
In Jesse Schell’s future we will still shop, eat cereal, brush our teeth and watch TV. But everything we do and (more importantly) all the information we attend to will win us points and benefits across a vast incentives network engineered by corporations and government entities. Or, more tersely: we will live in a game. Two things need to happen for this future to arrive.
- Technology, specifically sensors, must become disposable and ubiquitous.
- Companies need to hire game designers and put them in charge of marketing schemes.
Throughout the video, Schell dips down into the present to point out how close we already are to living in a game. Sensors are all over the place and are becoming more sophisticated every day as new products come out like the body movement tracker, Natal, for the XBox. And a working point system is already there for game designers to build upon and integrate. Earning frequent flier miles is just a beginning.
Schell’s apparent goal is not to scare his audience. He’s way beyond that. His attitude is that, given how close we already are in theory to experiencing life as a game, it’s clearly something that’s going to happen and we better make sure it gets done right.