Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lessons from the Online Games Industry - Part 2

In my last post, I spoke about games as learning tools, the social benefit of games and the need for design and architecture.

It's worth remembering of course the online games industry itself is still at an early stage of evolution - and this is reflected in the level of development maturity we see in interfaces, UI or architecture. Many comparisons can be drawn with the early stages of the Internet.

This actually leads to our next point of discussion - which is that the ARGs (Alternative Reality Games) are very good at using multiple media, each to the best of its capability. Perplexcity from MindCandy Design used puzzle cards sold through Borders, online, offline, events, and other media over a 2 year game which recently ended with somebody finding buried treasure outside of London.

Which brings me be to the most important lesson of our session. Something I've argued before but was brought home much more vividly, in the discussion. In a world of falling content prices, and uncontrollable piracy, digital natives migrating away from television, the magic word is "Experience". It's what customers and audiences pay for. It's the reason why we pay 5 times as much to watch a film in a theatre instead of at home. It's the reason why people stay logged in to Second Life or Habbo Hotel for as long as they do. The only way forward for big media is to focus on Experience. Highlighting it through multiple media, online and offline, games, interaction, engagement, community and anything else that does the trick.

The question is, is big media listening?


Blogger Ben King said...

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