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  SXSW 2008 Notes:  Jane McGonigal’s Keynote  
Posted 2008-03-11 by Tony Walsh
Rough notes liveblogged from Jane McGonigal's keynote presentation at SXSW...

The Lost Ring has been in pay for a week, there are already over 100 screen grabs from the game trailer posted to flickr.

We need more alternate realities... the real world needs to be redesigned as a game...

Slide: "A game designer's perspective on the future of happiness"

Research around the subject of happiness... the science of happiness... we've started to see a backlash after a period of happiness study... one area of study looks specifically at what makes us happy and function well... it's been all over the popular press...

There's an amazing parallel between what makes us happy and the core tenets of game design...

Backlash: "Against Happiness," Eric G. Wilson

This is a new kind of happiness--brain, body, high quality of life, the best human experiences possible, defined by rigorous scientific research... [examples of happiness metrics]

Slide: "Are you in the happiness business?"

Jane doesn't think most of us are. But we will be / have to be.

Slide: "Future forecast (2013)"
-- quality of life becomes the primary metric for evaluating all interactives
-- positive psychology will be a principle influence on design and dev
-- communities will form around different visions of a "real life worth living"
-- value == increase in real happiness == the new capital

Slide: "Happiness is the new capital"
-- If you want someone to value your service, it has to contribute to quality of life.
-- Happiness doesn't mean what it used to, the internet has changed all that.
1) Satisfying work
2) Experience of being good at something
3) Time spent with people we like
4) The chance to be part of something bigger than ourselves
Games gives you the above better than anything else.

Slide: "Multiplayer games are the ultimate happiness engine"
-- MMO developers are leading the interactive industry

Slide: "Signals"
-- photo: I'm not good at life graffiti.
-- games are set up to make us good at things we aren't good at in real life
-- games give us legions of allies who want to help us
-- games give us amazing visualizations of a world of data that would overwhelm us in real life
-- games give us encouragement and feedback like we don't get in real life
-- games give us a sense of progression and development we don't get elsewhere
-- games are a "better" community... intensely collaborative... we feel a part of something

Slide: "A global mass exodus"
-- towards VWs and game worlds
-- quoting Ted Castronova
-- we spend more time, money, passion, and energy in VWs because they give us the chance to succeed and learn
-- time spent in game "keeps going up"
-- we can design games to capture customers, but maybe we can take learning from game design and bring it to the real world so we don't need to escape

Slide: quality of life is better in virtual worlds than real world for many gamers

Why are we making games only for the bounds of the computer, why not use hte games to navigate and meet people in the real world.

Slide: "Chore wars"
-- parents love it

Slide: games are fun... games not so much...

Slide: seriosity, serios...
-- gaming the workplace, virtual currency
-- can visualize the virtual currency flow, could be used to improve workplace, org structure

Slide: "Signals--what do they mean?"
-- to imagine the future, we have to look back twice as far as you are looking forward
-- e.g. in 1931, LA Times headline "SOAP KILLS GERMS." The Romans had soap. I think games are like soap. We should have them everywhere. Why don't we have games everywhere to kill lack of engagement, anxiety, lack of confidence, depression.
-- ARG designers are trying to embed happiness engines in real life
-- [defines ARG]

Slide: world without oil
-- explains the premise: players co-create fiction of oil crash
-- people changed their lifestyles to play along
-- overview of extensive areas of UGC
-- we can still review all the game content, lots of ways to browse, players helped to document this
-- we can all still "play" by making changes

Silde: How ARGs are improving human happiness
Mobbability- large scale collaboration
Influency- ability to adapt persuasive strategies for a certain audience
Ping Quotient- ability to reach out and respond to people in a network
Multi Capitalism- different ways to exchange capital (i.e. carbon trading), different types of capital
Cooperation Radar- who would make the perfect collaborator in a certain context
Open authorship- comfort with giving content away and knowing it will be changed, not just as an attitude but also as a design skill (permitting multi authors)
Emergensight- you can spot patterns as they start to bubble up, you can take advantage of them, manage the chaos/mess
Protovation- rapid, fearless innovation, where failure is fun, fail quickly, fail often
Signal/Noise management- gamers can handle a lot of noise and know which bit of info is relevant
Longbroading- the ability to think in bigger systems, zoomed out
These (above) amplify our tendencies to improve human happiness.

Slide: Where do we go next?
-- Twitter is a good place to start.
-- Nike iPod
-- need more social applications for software
-- planes should be used as a game platform, what can we do on a plane
-- I need a game to fix my boredom at the dog park... there are social networks for dogs... metrics for dog travel... need an MMO where you're a dog...
-- "My Car is a Video Game" (blog)
-- trackstick (hardware)- Jane's favorite toy, tracks/lifelogs locative data
-- neurosky cognitive transmitter can read emotion, wants to destroy her enemies with this

The Lost Ring:
-- ARG for Beijing Olympics.
-- you can discover a long lost sport. in this game you can become the best at this sport
-- this alternate reality

1) Soon, most of us will be in the happiness business
2) Game designers have a huge head start
3) ARGs are important for all of us to redesign reality for a higher quality of life

[from Q&A] Lost Ring will run for 6 months, sponsored by McDonald's, Jane likens sponsorship to when Proctor & Gamble sponsored soap operas. McDonald's partnership makes this large scale ARG possible.

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Comment posted by jsky
March 12, 2008 @ 12:48 pm
Excellent. Thanks
Any idea where a video of this exists?

I've tried youtube but no joy
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
March 13, 2008 @ 5:22 pm
I haven't found the link yet, but I know SXSW puts excerpts of the keynotes, also Roo Reynolds got Jane's Soulja Boy dance on camera...
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