Gamification Inverted

Gamification, a slightly over tired principle which spoke of overlaying gaming tenets on to real world situations as a means to solve problems and engage audiences. Foursquare, EPIC Win, task based loyalty platforms etc etc..All good and a logical way to make the mundane become seemingly interesting.

Today I came across what feels to be Gamification inverted – taking real world occurrences and placing them within a system that adheres to gaming principles. Tweetland, created by WHY Ideas and Tree Interactive is being touted as “the first videogame in the world that plays with reality. The game feeds real life experiences from people all over the world via Twitter to create content inside the game that will affect both gameplay and player”. It takes the tweets of the real world and turns them into events with the game. How?

“For example, if a person in New York sees a traffic accident on 5th Avenue and reports it on Twitter, the ”car accident” could  happen on TweetLand. On the other hand, if at the same time in Australia, someone sees a shooting star and comments it on Twitter, a shooting star will appear on TweetLand. Same thing will happen when people tweet about events such as an earthquake, a tsunami, etc.”

The game takes a live feed so it essentially becomes about the input of social experiences in real time. Why use a complex algorithms to simulate and predict what might happen in the real world when you take those occurrences from social channels and feed them in live. The real world is far more interesting and unpredictable.

As you can see from the above, visually it’s pretty basic. The question how far will developers be able to take the idea of real world interactions generating virtual content within games, and then in turn, just how blurry will that make the line between worlds. Just as directors like Ken Loach and Mike Leigh made Social Realism an accepted genre within cinema, are we likely do see the same within gaming? As said by Tree “We do believe there isn’t a better way to replicate our reality than by gathering the collective experience that a society like ours offers nowadays”

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