Tag Archives: Video game

User Experience of Reality – Jane McGonigal [uxweek08 notes]

Jane McGonigal, game designer and games resear...Image via Wikipedia


Jane McGonigal lives at http://www.avantgame.com/ and blogs at http://avantgame.blogspot.com/


We should start making “real world”, more like a game. The term she coined for this is “Reality UX”


1997 Movie – The Game, staring Michael Douglas


Consumer Recreation Service, their moto is “Make your life … fun”. A lot of people were inspired by this movie, in year 2001 four different companies started prototyping real world games that were inspired by this movie.


Reality is broken

68% Americans report playing games in last two week

92% kids under 18 play games every week


People feel that they’re not good at their life.


WoW example


Lots of people are there to help me. When I wake in the morning, there are not many allies that try to help me, I don’t get constant feedback, missions. I don’t get constant feedback how amazing I am.

The WoW wiki – second largest wiki in the world, just after Wikipedia.

People who edit this wiki feel really smart and produce something of a value to other readers.


Games work better than reality

1) Better instructions; clear goals and you know when you succeeded, a great framework for when you acomplish things

2) Better feedback; you get sense to be grounded in cause and effect

3) Better emotions;

4) Better community; we agreed to play by the same rules, we buy into methodology of the game etc. Secretly deep down we’re all happy that we’re collaborating.


“We are witnessing what amounts to no less than a global mass exodus to virtual world and other online gaming environments.”

— Economist Edward Castranova


It’s a quality of life problem


And quality of life is just another way of saying “user experience of reality”.


So what is the future of reality UX?


In order to see forward, we need to look at least twice as much back, as we want to see to the future.


3k years ago, the first description of games. Sheep’s knuckles turned into dice.


What humans crave


1) Satisfying work to do

2) The experience of being good at something

3) Times spent with people we like

4) The chance to be a part of something bigger


These four things are hardwired into our human brains.


Book ideas:

Authentic Happiness – Marting Seligman

Happiness – Richard Layard

Against happiness – Eric. G. Wilson


Are UX designers in the happiness business?


A future forecast (2013): the rise of the happiness engineers

Quality of life becomes the primary metric for evaluating  interactive, service, environments, and experiences

Tara Hunt – happiness a business model as a reference for reading more about that.


Communities form around different visions of a real life worth living.


Good user experience is defined as a measurable increase in real happiness, or well-being – the new capital.


By 2013, Reality UX design, will be the cutting edge of this happiness engineering.


Alternate Reality Gaming

Oxford English Dictionary for Science fiction citations. [Really cool geeky resources]


My car is a video game; real time feedback on driving, so Prius is really cool game.

Chore Wars – a real life game

Nike Plus


Zyked – hybrid video games and recreations


PlusOneMe, where you can give people strengths points and level them up in kindness, creativity, etc.

SharkRunners – trackers and sensing device on sharks, so when you play online, you play with and against sharks


Social networking collar for dogs. Massively multiple-dog game.

Trackstick – takes GPS reading where you are, and creates incredible maps


Book suggestion

Here comes everybody. Clay Shirky – The power of organizing without organizations


We will harness our cognitive surplus. 100 million mental hours to create Wikipedia. This is 5 days of World of Warcraft. It’s also 4 episodes of American Idol; alternatively it’s 1 season of American Idol votes.


We will increasingly operate within an economy of engagement.


So what’s important

Reality is broken

Games work better

You, the UX designers, are our best hope if you choose to harness the power of the games.


Forget predicting the future, start making them.


Next alternate reality – www.Superstructgame.org


Great resources from the talk

Nicole Lazzaro – www.xeodesign.com

Clay Shirky – “Cognitive Surplus” http://www.herecomeseverybody.org/2008/04/looking-for-the-mouse.html 

Edward Castranova – Synthetic Worlds & Exodus from Reality (check it out on Amazon.com)

Tara Hunt – www.horsepigcow.com 

BJ Fogg – www.bjfogg.com 

Gamasutra – www.gamasutra.com 

Alternate Reality Gaming Network – www.argn.com 

Jane McGonigal – www.avantgame.com   (that’s the website! Plenty of papers and case studies to download there)

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