Update: Switched to embed.
Dubbahdee sent this TED* talk
The Game Layer On Top Of The World by Seth Priebatsch in relation to my Game of Books post. We don't know how far this will go, certainly, but we are clearly going to see more of it, because it works in changing our behavior. There will be an upper limit what this can get us to do, but there's a lot of ceiling room left.
I am interested in the education possibilities of this, and wonder if this is the change that flips the gender-favoring in schools again, as this sort of thing will favor boys. It's too soon to tell, and I think designers will keep that problem in mind much more than was the case when we've made all our previous pedagogical changes. I am not as harsh on those changes as others are. People tried to fix one problem but didn't anticipate the downstream consequences. Only folks like Dewey, another of those Grand Planners who thought he knew what was best for the rest of us, arouse my ire.
There have long been attempts to make learning a game, and the graphical possibilities of the computer have increased this. But lots of these have been pretty lame - transparent attempts to do the same old thing, but now with colors! and sounds! and cute little characters! and keeping score! Nonetheless, Oregon Trail was pretty good, wasn't it? There's a lot of potential here.
*I have been less-impressed by TED talks over the last few years, but that may only be because they got listed in Stuff White People Like, and now The Onion has done some satires of them.