Priebatsch, who maintained an apparently super-human energy level throughout his talk, discussed how many of the gaming mechanics seen in the virtual world will be applied in the physical world to create a so-called “Game Layer”. “It’s brand new and has not been built,” Priebatsch says. “The last decade was the decade of social — it took connections between friends, family, and coworkers and put them online. It’s called Facebook. The social layer traffics in connections.” Conversely, Priebatsch says that the Game layer traffics in influence — “It will influence where we go, what we do, and how we do it.
Another issue: reward schedules. Priebatsch explains that rewards have been shown to be very effective, leading to spikes in engagement and activity. But it’s not a perfect system — handing out rewards can set users up to expect them everywhere. Without the reward as an incentive, people often stop checking in (he points to the Gap/Facebook deal as an example, and says that he believes many of the users who participated in that deal have stopped checking in).
Priebatsch closed out the talk with a demonstration of what he calls communal gameplay and communal discovery. Everyone in the keynote hall was given a colored card — there were a handful of different colors, and the cards were distributed at random. The audience was then asked to swap cards with their neighbors so that each row of seats was the same color. The audience was given 180 seconds to pull of the task, and they did it with a minute to spare.
TechCrunch writer Jason Kincaid captures all the major points from Priebatsch’s keynote. While some were put off by his boisterousness, I think SP, SCVNGR, and the #gamelayer are going big places.
Seth clearly has an axe to grind with the institutions of academia. Having dropped out of Princeton, it’s far from something he’s embarassed about; instead, he jokes about it during presentations and wears it as a badge of honor.
I give him a lot of credit for the points he makes about the aspects of game theory already at work in education. The notion of switching from a punishment system to an achiement system opens up the door to all kinds of exciting posibilities for engagement.
Imagine a system where resources and investment were rewardded with a similar investment from the institution? A practical example is honors / AP classes. Currently, they’re generally either admitted by testing, or based on grades. But many who have the aptitude for higher-level learning are held back by unrelated issues with the academic system (learning habits, access to equipment, etc), and many who are admitted into such programs get there by default, not by choice. A system like the one SP describes, where all students start at 0 and ‘gain expeience’ as they learn things, a natural self-selection takes place – those students who are more actively engaged and responsible for their own education will naturally shoot into the higher values, unlocking additional access and features.
That concept could be extended into so many fun & engaging educational activites!