Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Power of Games

Dear Jason Tanz,

The write up you did on Bogost was quite intriguing. I am a great fan of mobile technologies and your article really hit on just how much potential is present within this market. You mentioned that Bogost watched as the game started from a small group of users and quickly evolved into a worldwide phenomenon. An additional quality that I did not connect initially was the social aspect. I knew that social media in itself is an exponential topic, however it never occurred to me that combining social aspects with mobile gaming aspects could create such a dramatic impact. You mentioned that Bogost created a simple game that only required users to click a cow within an allotted amount of time. This concept seems childish and unappealing to many, including myself. However, you have shown us that a simple task such as this can captivate the attention of many people. Hundred of thousands of people apparently downloaded the game and became quite serious about the game play itself. Making simple changes to the cows appearance yielded positive feedback as well from the users of the game.

Dmitiri Williams, a writer in the field as well, conducted a study of various guilds within the MMO War of Warcraft. He discussed several topics that helped to explain why guilds form and why some individuals are drawn to certain types as opposed to others. One common aspect that I noticed was the social nature of these groups. Therefore, the social nature of gameplay seems to be an important aspect of creating a game that could potentially become viral when released, Clicking a cow with ones self is boring, however when you can click a cow with others and compete against them. it becomes a quite addicting task that compels many. This I believe helps support your case where a truly simple game, one that was an experiment for that matter, took of and became a world wide phenomenon. In fact, this is related to the concept of gameification that you mentioned, and I believe has some incredible potential to change the digital landscape in the coming years as well as life dynamics in general.

Jonathan Thai

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