Welcome to the front lines of gaming. I’ve been covering the game industry on a day-to-day basis for about 15 years, mainly by immersing myself in the environment. I play games and I interview people in the game industry daily. But it sometimes helps to pull back and see the industry from afar, as outsiders might see it.
We play more than 3 billion hours a week of video games. Jane McGonigal, director of game research at the Institute for the Future, would like to see us play more than 21 billion hours a week. She thinks we can get there by overcoming misconceptions about games and building games that have a broader interest and more meaning.
Gamification, or making a non-game application more engaging by making it game-like, should not make tasks easy for the people undertaking them. It should make them harder, says Jane McGonigal, game research director of the Institute for Future and author of a new book on gamification, “Reality is Broken: Why games make us better and how they can change the world”.