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Jesse Schell 2010 GDC Microtalk
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Jesse Schell 2010 GDC Microtalk

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My five minute microtalk from GDC 2010

My five minute microtalk from GDC 2010

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  • I gave this talk at DICE about how advances in sensing technology will make our entire lives an interconnected series of games. The most common reaction to this was, “Oh my God! It’s 1984!” But technically, it’s Brave New World.
  • 1984 was about enslavement by the government. Brave New world was about enslavement by entertainment, which is far more dangerous. Other people said, this won’t happen, it’s way too expensive.
  • But Moore’s law is still in effect. By 2020 computers will be thirty times cheaper than they are now.
  • Games already exist that give points for brushing your teeth, running, riding your bike, drinking orange juice, buying starbucks coffee, cleaning your room, and, whatever it is you do in foursquare. Gameplay is already creeping into every corner of our lives.
  • And it won’t stop. The 21st century will be a constant battleground for our attention. Corporations will create games customized to fit each activity of our day, all day, every day.
  • But, others told me, no way! People won’t stand for this! They’ll rebel. They won’t allow corporations to invade our lives this way. I say, who are you kidding? We won’t even notice, because this stuff is so insidious!
  • Did you rebel when TV commercial time grew from 13% to 36%? Did you rebel when logos showed up the corner of the TV, burning their brand into your brain every second that you watched? Did you rebel when Google started scanning every email you sent, to distract you with targeted ads?
  • Did you rebel when Shea Stadium turned into Citibank Stadium? If you did, it didn’t do any good! What makes you think this won’t happen with games?
  • We’re going to have some hard decisions to make.
  • Real funny, right? At least until we have to decide, and all of us will. Virtual economies are powerful, and we will be on the front lines in the war for human attention.
  • So, who’s fighting this war? Well, I’ve thought about this a lot, and I think there are four different camps.
  • First, the persuaders. They only care about games for the money they make, no matter how crappy they are, or how ripped off the players feel. I’d name some names, but you know who you are. In fact, we all know who you are.
  • Second, the fulfillers. These are the developers whose every waking moment is about how they can surprise and delight their players, fulfilling their every wish and fantasy. Honestly, I think that’s most of us.
  • Third, the artists. They want to advance the medium for its own sake. They don’t mind if their games aren’t big sellers, as long as they are beautiful and revolutionary. The artists make games that confront what it means to be human.
  • And finally, the humanitarians. They want to use power of games to elevate our minds, bodies, and souls, to make us into better people.
  • Most of us have some sense of which side we are on. But, really, who is going to win? We all know the golden rule – the one with the gold makes the rules. So watch yourself. You might think you are on one side, when in reality you are just a puppet for somebody else.
  • Money is so powerful, the rest of us don’t even have a chance. Is it even possible for us to be more persuasive than the persuaders?
  • It is possible. But we can’t do it with our eyes closed. We can’t do it unless we wake the hell up.
  • Now, I’ve said a war is coming, but that’s not true. The war is already here; you are fighting in it right now. Please, wake up, and figure out what side you are on. If you don’t, someone else will do it for you. Thank you.

Jesse Schell 2010 GDC Microtalk Jesse Schell 2010 GDC Microtalk Presentation Transcript

  • Jesse Schell
  • Orwellian
    Huxleyan
  • TV Commercial Time
    13%  36%
  • Are your friends on drugs? Report them NOW and get 30,000 pieces of Silver!
    Join the US Army Reserve TODAY and get a World of Warcraft Battle Fortress worth One Million Gold!
    Buy 10 Cartons,
    Unlock a Bentley!
  • Are your friends on drugs? Report them NOW and get 30,000 pieces of Silver!
    Join the US Army Reserve TODAY and get a World of Warcraft Battle Fortress worth One Million Gold!
    Buy 10 Cartons,
    Unlock a Bentley!
  • Fulfillers
    Persuaders
    Artists
    Humanitarians
  • Persuaders
  • Fulfillers
  • Artists
  • Humanitarians
  • Fulfillers
    Persuaders
    Artists
    Humanitarians
  • This talk sponsored by:
    Email: jesse@schellgames.comTwitter: @jesseschell
    Track the Gamepocalypse: www.gamepoc.com
  • Jesse Schell