Tuesday, April 6, 2010

games outside of games

With so much being said about Game Mechanics and how it can drive people's behaviour, I wonder if there is a breaking point to it.

One article on CNN talks about toothbrushes telling some website on the internet how often you brush and rewarding you on that basis. I already see too many people fretting about credit card reward points and micro-optimizing their rewards to the cent. If such fake rewards take over our daily lives, one of two things will happen: we will become immune to the concept of rewards and competition; or we will become so engrossed with competing in every single activity that fun and utility both will become meaningless, giving way to a perpetual vanity.

p.s.: Apparently, FourSquare usage (which is a classic use-case of game mechanics) goes from curiosity to addiction to apathy. If true, it might be an indicator.

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