Individuals seem to have a difficult time initiating and maintaining physical activity participation. Staying healthy and making choices that positively impact our wellness aren’t easy. Research consistently shows that our friends, families and social networks frame our habits and attitudes about wellness and influence our choices.
Spouses and siblings influence each other’s chances of becoming obese – habits, choices, lifestyle and what’s considered “normal” and expected cannot be denied as powerful wellness influencers
So how can we harness the wellness power of communities that choose to be active together? Many fit people easily connect with others who enjoy active pursuits they define as fun rather than as a prescriptive wellness endeavor. How can we engage and connect the “activity outliers” into a HUGE COMMUNITY HEALTH GAME?
There are many monetized social networking games already created. They have huge communities of local and global connectivity and can be accessed from almost anywhere. People can tweet with twitter and friend with facebook. Global or local, phone or computer we’re connected. We’re having fun and we’re playing games – so how can we translate all that activity into a huge community health game?
There have always been fears that each new form of technology will diminish good-old-fashioned means of maintaining friendships. The opposite is true. We are more connected than ever, and the Internet has exponentially increased the impact of those connections. How many of you have read the book CONNECTED? But social networks have only grown stronger with the dawn of the telegraph, phone, and the internet! The recent best-selling book by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler has opened our eyes to the power of connection in our lives – and surprisingly to the impact our connections have on our wellness, even our weight.
The more paths that connect you to other people in your network, the more susceptible you are to what flows within it. In all this it is important to remember that we are as much a power of influencing OTHERS as we are to being influenced. The connection goes both ways and to as far as the third degree of a connection. If we are active we influence the friends of our friends and their friends as well – of course the same goes for negative influence, like inactivity.
66% of Americans are overweight or obese From 1990 to 2000, the percentage of obese people in the USA increased from 21% to 33% If our friends, and even the friends of our friends can make us fat, are we doomed because the numbers are growing exponentially?
Absolutely not! In fact, the knowledge we can gain about social networks and connections within those networks is the driver toward an incredible solution path. We can send out a ripple of impact to our connections and friends of friends, including our family, by the choices we make. If we choose to be active and build activity into our daily lives imagine the impact that can have across our social network.
If our goal is to create a community health game there has to be a health component to the game. Do we make the topic of the game a wellness/health message? Or do we somehow connect physical activity participation to a game? It is getting easier to quantify the physical activity a person enjoys. All the ingredients are there, but what do we do with them all? How do people, communities, connections, friends, families and a myriad of choices evolve into a HUGE community health game? Oh, and how do we solidly monetize that game so the right team will step up to design it?
People are already eager to add friends, search for more friends and share accomplishments and ranking in online games. In the search for a huge community health game we may need to make a paradigm shift and recognize – the GAMES are already there. People are already connected in local, global and diverse communities. Where’s the health in all of this?
Everyone seems to be having fun online – how is that monetized? Overall, PayPal processed about $500 million in virtual goods payments last year, according to the estimate of Citi analyst Mark Mahaney. How did Zynga became so big on PayPal, so quickly. Some of its most successful games were launched in 2008, and their quick growth helped prove to the world that virtual goods and virtual currency are a viable market.
Our goal is to create a Huge community health game. Do we need to make the topic of the game a wellness/health message? Or do we somehow connect physical activity participation to a game? It is getting easier to quantify physical activity. There are so many devices – but how do we translate using them into a community game?
Employers and insurers long ago realized that paying and rewarding people for physical activity participation worked. This goes back to the individual effort to be active – and that strategy loses momentum over time, no matter how great the reward. We have learned a lot about the power of connections and social networks, we have devices to measure physical activity – but the challenge remains: How do we turn physical activity participation minutes into real spendable funds that can be used to incent, motivate, connect and influence using the realm and reach of social network games?
HCD is in the business of increasing physical activity participation among members of all sorts of communities. We aren’t in the game-designing business. Hcd started with With Our Vision : Prevention is inevitable. And Our Belief : Participation powers prevention, and physical activity is the primary component of preventive health that establishes the foundation for ongoing positive lifestyle change towards continued wellness for all populations. Then Our Purpose : To design wellness resource networks that successfully engage all populations in every community with physical activity programs, validate participation objectively, and administrate all network transactions necessary to achieve high rates of sustainable participation. The way we accomplsih this mission is : By initiating and sustaining regular physical activity participation for the inactive and marginally active populations across all age bands in a community. In our exploration of what a healthy community needs a huge game driven by accurate data makes good sense. For a huge social game, the key is to connect that activity data collection to something of value for the social gamer and the connected community rippling out from the individual. In short – Energy Point currency could be the catalyst to something both cool and profitable.
Farmville surpassed 80 million users by February 2010. Social City is tracking toward that number. How many of those social gamers are also among the least active and inactive in a community? 30 million people play it DAILY. How many already spend a portion of the $80-$100 million it generates per year?
Look at the growth that relative newcomer Social City, by Playdom, has had in the huge social community game arena in March 2010. 5 million players in a month. People are already spending in the double digit millions - why not provide the Energy Point option as a currency for millions of connected people? As an aside, we all might take a lesson from Social City – there are no cars. People must walk everywhere.
Not only stuff – people who play online games are after collectibles, virtual rewards, super powers for their avatars, special skills and more. It’s fun to show off to your friends, advance in the games and be-do-get tons of stuff that just isn’t available in real life. Remember that all of this can be earned with game play – but the fast track is through coughing up some real currency – or trying a special offer which requires sharing personal info. Zynga game designer Reynolds shared a couple of tricks Farmville uses to get players to part with their cash. (He had other tips related to game design that do things such as hook people into the game and then keep them engaged, but which aren't directly related to monetization.) The first is to sell items that let players differentiate themselves from the crowd (flamingo-shaped topiaries, which need to be purchased, have been especially popular on Farmville). The second is to let players pay to advance faster in the game, thereby saving time, which is, after all, money. Super powers, virtual goods, looking good – why not let people earn these compelling items via Energy Points? Players do not buy virtual goods for the goods themselves. They don’t buy them for entertainment value. They buy them for self-expression. For status. For all the same reasons that you buy branded clothes in the shops. Harness this, and you will have a massively successful business.
So you want to be a millionaire? Harness the super power that can be connected to real physical activity participation, especially for the least active and the inactive in any community. The numbers are what we need – and social network gamer numbers are on your side. The catalyst to motivating communities to be more active is the profit model that already exists in huge social network games.
At HCD, we have the organization of highly specialized Consultants ready to get a community active. Keeping them active while quantifying their activity could develop into a Google or payPal sized profit engine. Do you have to design the Game? No, the games are there, the social networks are there – monetizing the activity data collection is almost too easy. HCD wants to support the team with the ability to develop the IP.
The same people who can be motivated to begin a physical activity participation program with friends can be the same one who drive the revenue model of a HUGE community health game engine – driven by Energy Point currency attached to the very social games they already love to the tune of tens of millions of users daily.
A HUGE Community Health Game
Healthy Community Development Using Social Networks To Create a HUGE Community Health Game
Healthy Community Development You must have questions, comments and ideas about Using Social Networks To Create a HUGE Community Health Game Talk to us at: http://hcdhome.wordpress.com/ Share these slides: http://www.slideshare.com Request a PDF of the Energy Bank Concept Paper: E-Mail: [email_address] HCD Website: www.healthycommunitydevelopment.com