Comment: It is a fascinating idea.

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Michael Nystrom's picture

It is a fascinating idea.

I'm torn about it, in ways.

There was a big startup in Boston a few years back that tried to cash in early on the whole gamification trend. The company was called scvnger, and I learned about them from a huge front page spread on the front of the NYT Sunday business page.

I thought it was kind of faddy at the time. The concept was interesting, but the execution seemed shallow: "Do tasks in the real world, win points and badges online." The example given was something like, "Go take a picture of the biggest shoe at a certain sporting goods store, then win rewards, like free coffee, or a coupon for $3.00 off a meal."

Frivolous. I didn't think it was going to work, and it didn't. Never really lived up to the hype. (Apparently that company is still around. I thought it went out of business. )

The idea that there was a game embedded inside of Ready Player One is interesting, though I never pursued anything about it.

You read the book, too. Did you?

Sounds interesting, but also like a frivolous waste of time, too. Will the Endgame game be different?

I'm sure that eventually some kind of gamification thing will be a huge hit. But such things are hard to predict.

- - - -

An idea that is more intriguing to me is to have a game overlay of real life that actually helps you achieve what you're trying to achieve anyway. My fitbit is kind of like that. It is a very simple game. The number of steps I take are the points I get. Each day I try to get a certain number of points - 10,000 at least. Anything over that is bonus. A 20,000 point day is awesome!

But there should be games that help transform the painful things in life that must be done into challenges. It all comes down to the perspective. Change the perspective and everything changes. Turn it into a game, and things are fun, not hard.

Surely such games must exist. I should get out more (I mean venture beyond the confines of the Daily Paul more). But this James Frey thing is pretty interesting. I have a feeling that his last book will play some kind of a role, too.

Anyway, thanks! I'll be keeping an eye on this!

He's the man.