Tag Archives: reality gaming

When games invade real life

Here’s the latest and greatest TED talk: game designer Jesse Schell on “When games invade real life.”

Schell describes a terrifying/hilarious (hilarifying?) but eerily plausible future controlled by smart-everything technology and systems of endless point-scoring, “the REM-tertainment system” and “Tattoogle AdSense.” Schell’s examples are purposefully goofy, but his point is deadly serious: a game is only as good as its designers, and when games invade real life for good, everything is at stake.

Having read ahead a little bit into the introduction of MacKenzie Wark’s Gamer Theory, I can’t help but get queasy at the thought of a literally game-based reality, knowing that the reality we live in today is already so structured by the metaphor of “the game.” We’re all stuck in an endless quest for “experience points,” but who’s keeping score, and where is all this leveling-up going to take us?