In a recent Ted.com talk, Seth Priebatsch, CEO of SCVNGR (part location based game, part platform) discusses building a game layer on top of the world. My take away is that when game dynamics are integrated into stories it has the potential to make narrative more engaging.
He mentions four important game dynamics:
1. The appointment dynamic
– The requirement for people to do something at a predetermined time. He uses the example of Happy Hour and Farmville, where in the case of Farmville you have to return to water your crops or they will die.
2. Influence and status dynamic
– American Express Platinum Card as a status symbol. Badges, levels, etc in many games such as WoW. In school we have grades and awards. In digital stories we can certainly have badges and awards.
3. Progression dynamic
– He uses the example of LinkedIn which tells you how far along you are in the progress to develop your profile. He confuses this a bit with status, but in a story it’s important for us to let students know how much more they have left. With a book, they know how many chapters and pages are left. We need to provide some progression dynamic to students.
4. Communal Discovery
– This leverages the network. Digg is an example of a crowdsourcing application for the best stories. We can expand on this to include fostering a discussion around the discovery. With differentiated instruction the community can help students progress at whatever pace and help they require provided we give them the means to interact with the community.
Seth was only willing to dole out 4 of his 7 game dynamics, but I think it’s interesting to consider them in the development of any new form of Internet narrative.
You can watch the whole talk here.
In our first product, Bully For You, we use three and four. I wonder how to integrate number 1, but in the case of Influence Dynamic, we can certainly add that component!