Friday, December 4, 2009

My Life Is A Video Game: Technological and Social Innovations from Maddock Douglas

Let's start with some numbers: in the first 24 hours of it’s release, Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 units, or 310 million dollars in the US, Canada and the UK. Within the first 5 days, MW2 took in US$550 million worldwide. And yes, these numbers beat out music, book and movie releases during the same period. For some people, this shift in popular media might seem ludicrous. But for Maddock Douglas, it’s an event among many that continues to confirm a future innovation trend:

My Life is a Video Game.

Today, video games are becoming less ancillary and more integrated within our daily lives. As Mike Maddock said at Future Trends 2009 (video link) we use a Wii fit to get in shape—and to build on his point, we already are using video games to:

Test and improve our logic

Delve deeper into history and war.
Build our vocabularies

Train for jobs

And the list goes on.

As Maddock Douglas thinks about the future of many industries, we understand that consumers are becoming less and less passive. They want to be immersed and involved.

As the definition of “video game” becomes broader, individuals continue to utilize gaming for not just entertainment, but also for functional purposes.

Consider foursquare, the mobile app that allows you to “check-in”, tells your friends where they can find you, and recommends places to go & things to do near your current location. Foursquare openly credits a gaming component to their success, as every foursquare check-in (when users find new places—i.e. restaurants, stores, bars etc. in their neighborhoods) earns them points. And, after accumulating a certain amount of points, they’re awarded badges or even made “Mayor” of that location, which may qualify them to earn freebies.

It might seem silly to some, but to foursquare’s investors—the likes of Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter, Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, and SV Angels LLC, The angel group founded and backed by Ron Conway, it’s a seriously fun way to “make your city easier to use.”

As demonstrated by many forward thinking companies like foursquare, where function and gaming mesh together, the chance to innovate is far beyond maps or joysticks.

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