Game mechanics roundup

Last week, I went to some meetup, and I met someone that was looking to make a game out of doing things in real life.  It’s not really a new concept, but I don’t think people really understood it until recently with foursquare and gowalla.  
Mobtropolis was suppose to be something that improved your life experiences as you got better at the game.  But My execution sucked, and I didn’t know where to find users.  But like someone said to me, just because you wandered around in the desert doesn’t mean you found the treasure.  Lots of other people wandered there, you just don’t know about it–I mean, how many people knew about Mobtropolis?  
Anyway, it was good to hear about people interested in gaming mechanics in applications.  I don’t think there are hardly any games that were hard to figure out how to use it.  It may be that games copy each other a lot, or because it’s because I was persistent as a teen gamer.
If you’re interested in game mechanics in applications, here’s a round up.  We can start with Amy Jo Kim with “Putting the fun in functional”
here are her slides:

However, just because you put points on something isn’t quite enough to motivate people to do things in real life.  Here’s another oldie, but goodie about the Theory of Fun  (here’s the book).  
You can also use games as a way of motivating people to do grunt work.  Here’s the ESP game.  He basically concocted a game for people to play that generates test data for machine learning algorithms to learn image recognition.  Here’s the fascinating talk about it by the professor that invented it, Luis von Ahn.  
There’s also a protein folding game for people to compete on how to compactly fold proteins.  Some people do a lot better and faster than computers doing a search.
And a TED talk about how gaming in real life can safe the world.  See a pattern yet?
I play casual games at one more level.  They post one every day of the working week, without all the annoying ads.  They’re all casual games that you can pick up easily.  
Long live games.

 

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