Games for Real Life Opening the Untapped Market of “Life Gamers”
If I had one wish, it would be for a roundtrip in a Deorean with a built-in time machine. I’d travel back to the year 2000, drive 10 minutes from my house to the offices of PopCap Games in downtown Seattle, and write them a check for $65,000 to buy the Bejeweled game they were offering when nobody else was interested. After returning to 2012, I’d take my portion of the $1.3 billion acquisition from Electronic Arts and set enough aside so I’d never have to work again. Then, I’d invest the rest in serving another emerging market: the market of “Life Gamers.”
We Have What They Need Life Gamers are the rapidly growing segment of 150+ million Gen X and Y consumers who have grown up with games as entertainment—people who are now looking to technology to improve their health, relationships, careers, and finances and desperately want more fun, simple, and effective ways to do it. This emerging market is currently underserved by an archaic self-help industry that, despite its $11 billion annual market value, still struggles to embrace technology. I believe there is a huge opportunity for game developers to do a jiu-jitsu move and leverage the power of technology, social networks, and the science of games to capitalize on this emerging market—allowing us to improve not only virtual lives, but real lives as well. We are a unique breed of professionals with the talent, passion, creativity, and perseverance to blend technology with art in ways that keep people engaged and sometimes even “addicted” to our creations—and we have created a $25 billion game industry to prove it. Games keep players engaged by satisfying the human psychological needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy—psychological needs that are not being met by the self-help industry. While I value the wisdom of the experts in that field, they are just not equipped to create the interactive experiences Life Gamers are expecting.
Inspiration Born from Experience My desire to solve this problem was inspired my own experience in the game industry. Before I founded Mindbloom, I was as an Executive Producer for the game development studio Monolith Productions. I had the privilege of working with an amazing and talented group of game developers to create awardwinning PC titles such as No One Lives Forever, Aliens vs. Predator 2, Tron 2.0. I left Monolith after finishing our blockbuster hit game, F.E.A.R. Our specialty was making highly-immersive, cinematic, action-movie experiences. We expertly combined our game’s visuals, audio, music, and storyline to effectively trig52 Casual Connect Winter 2013
Published on Feb 27, 2013
Published on Feb 27, 2013
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