“Who does brainstorming for new psychological locks and keys? Not very many people do that, and that’s something worth thinking about.”

Super Mario, cub reporter: Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jesse Schell on what the game industry could teach the news industry | Nieman Journalism Lab

Notes from Schell’s presentation:

> touches on micro-transactions, lead generation vs. direct payments in Farmville

> overview of all the unexpected successes of the games industry (Wii, Webkinz, Mafia Wars etc)

> the thing the unexpected successes have in common is the use of psychological tricks (e.g. the elastic velvet rope, rationalization…)

> spilling over into actual reality…

> quotes Gilmore and Pine’s Authenticity; there’s a real hunger for reality. So, for example, you don’t just want vegetables at the supermarket, you want real organic vegetables.

> technological convergence isn’t how it’s going to be… technology diverges it doesn’t converge (iphones are the exceptions to the rule; but only because it’s the swiss army knife that needs to fit in your pocket)

> games have crept out everywhere. Examples: weight watchers, Simpsons scavenger hunt, virtual ‘pet’ plant in your car to change your fuel consumption behaviour, new education gaming structures to increase attendance etc

> future: connected objects, points for brushing your teeth for long enough :), points for getting to work on time, tricks to make you pay more attention to ads etc etc 

One warning is the potential for an ad-saturated future. However, we could also look forward to the benefits that living within a digital panopticon could bring; will the awareness of our legacy and data trail motivate us to be better people?