Earlier today I had the chance to hear Will Wright talk about games and education. This event was organized at NYU, and sponsored by Microsoft, as part of the Games for Learning Institute. I have to admit that I was blown away by him – his presentation was insightful, concise and best of all, entertaining. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we were only able to get about 2/3 of the way through his presentations.
I will not attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of his talk, here are a few highlights regarding what stood out most to me:
- Story telling and playing games are crucial activities that support human learning and development.
- Unlike stories told via video or books, games tend to allow people to explore multiple different possibilities.
- Games are currently looked down upon by other media – this is always the case for emerging media.
- Future of media will need to include play, story and branding as core elements (also described as agency, empathy and identity).
- The “magic circle” continues to evolve and expand as new platforms for gaming, such as mobile, become commonplace.
Here is a list of six trends that Will identified, which will drive the future of the gaming industry:
- Fractal entertainment: refers to the ever expanding world of gaming, which now includes mobile devices and more.
- Non-immersive games: casual games continues to grow in importance and change the way people thing about games.
- Bandwidth symmetry: unfortunately, I don’t have notes regarding this point so let me know if you know what Will was talking about here.
- Expressive play: people are increasingly using games as a context in which they can (and want to) express themselves.
- Psychological profiling: in the future games will be tailored to specific individuals, rather than groups of people.
- Relevance: by entering into the social realm and gaining social relevance games will become more relevant in general, and have a greater impact on the world.