I’ve (willy-nilly) read recently “What the world needs now is an epic win!” and can 100% affirm there are some common parts with my studies background and Jesse about online gaming and websites. I’m not a big fan of optimistic Jesse’s vision about changing the world through games and it’s the only thing I can’t agree right now with her.
It’s a common knowledge that all of us have a “second life” which can be called an online one. The trigger to keep gaming or using website is not the thing that we can make a world better. The big thing is to show users a part of real life plus a hidden promise – “you will win if” … If you harvest a tree or plow the land on a FamVille. Those are small steps but you can always get a price and achieve higher level.
What more, see what your friends have on their farm. They have some exclusive decorations which they have paid for. If you want to have the same (and certainly you do), pay for that too.
There are lots of examples you can find about philosophy of buying and why we buy products.
If you show everyone that something is exclusive and unique you can have 100% it will be sold. There was a shop which link I can’t find now where someone was making exclusive etuis on a cellphone and was selling only one per week. What was happening? Everyone was waiting when this etui will be released to sell. It took only 3 seconds to sell this thing for enormous amount after product was published online. Exclusive means I’ll be the one who will have it.
But returning to online games, it’s not an extension of our “offline” life as Jesse said. It’s a substitute which can alientate us from society. Those games which serves you as much things you have in common with your real life can replace you it. The success of online gaming is to create microlife and place it online. To achieve this you have to base your knowledge on mental models which we all are using in a real life just because it’s a part of our behaviour.
How do you think Apple has achieved so big success with iBooks? Just because it was based on a metaphor of our real life. We all have a book shelf at home so we get used to it. It’s obvious that user don’t have to learn iBooks and how to navigate through it because he knows it from his real (offline) life.
That’s why in this year we have a trend in making websites based on metaphor of our real life, it’s the same with games.
Example of a web: http://www.clholloway.co.za/