from the pros and cons dept
I had just been listening to a recent On the Media rebroadcast of their episode all about video games. The episode is fantastic, but the part that I found most fascinating was during the final section on the future of gaming, which includes a wonderful clip from a presentation by Jesse Schell, in which he talks about the potential to “gamify” pretty much everything in life, giving people “points” (possibly points that can have tax implications) for desired behavior. Some of that behavior may be “desired” because it’s good for you (if you brush your teeth long enough, you get extra points). And some of it may be “desired” because it’s good for some companies (if you drink five Dr. Peppers this week, you get extra points).
JESSE SCHELL: And what will that world be like? Well, I think it’ll be like this: You get up in the morning to brush your teeth and the toothbrush can sense that you?re brushing your teeth, and so, hey [BELL TONE], good job for you! [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] Ten points for brushing your teeth. And it can measure how long, and you?re supposed to brush ?em for three minutes, and you did. And so you get a bonus for that. Hey [BELL TONE], you brushed your teeth every day this week, another bonus. All right, and who cares? The toothpaste company, the toothbrush company; the more you brush, the more toothpaste you use. They have a vested financial interest. So then you go and you get on the bus. The bus, why am I taking the bus? You?re taking the bus because the government has started giving out [BELL TONE] all kinds of bonus points to people who use public transportation, and you can use these points for, for tax incentives. And you get to work [BELL TONE] on time, good job. You, you get a, a special bonus. So then you go to lunch and you’ve had Dr. Peppers all week, and so you know you got to have another Dr. Pepper ?cause you get 10 points [BELL TONE], 10 points [BELL TONE], 10 points [BELL TONE], 10 points, and then you’ll have another one [BELL TONE]. You know there?s a special with Dr. Pepper this week. If you have five Dr. Peppers in a week [BELL TONE], 500 bonus points, so you definitely have to take advantage of that.
And then you’ve got a meeting at another building that?s a half a mile away. And you could take the shuttle over but you decide, I’m gonna walk because the health insurance plan that you?re on [BELL TONE] gives you bonus points if you walk like more than a mile each day, and we can sense that easily, you know, through your digital shoes. And if you get your heart rate up [BELL TONE] above a certain, a certain amount, then you get more bonus points from your health insurance company. So then you?re going shopping on the way home, and man, this is like a place you can get a lot of points, and it?s really complicated so you let your like your app figure it out. It like looks at all the point systems you have, it looks at what you want and then it tells you which ones to buy [BELL TONE] in order to get, ooh, wow, a lot of points, just because I make good choices shopping. And then you get home and your daughter?s like, oh, I got my report card. And you?re like [BELL TONE] oh, good job. I mean, you?re getting 2,000 points from the state for getting? such good grades, and [BELL TONE] [LAUGHS] you?re getting 5,000 as a parent from the Obama bonus for the good parenting bonus, which you?re excited ?cause you can use that as tax relief. And then you say, hey, wait a minute, wait a minute, did you practice your piano? And she?s like, yeah, I practiced my piano. Well, what score did you get? It?s like, oh, well, I got 150,000. A hundred and fifty thousand, that?s the best you’ve ever had on that particular [BELL TONE] sonata. That?s 9,000 points given by the Arts Council for your scholarship fund, so go you. Right?
Obviously, some of those things may strike some people as “good” and some may strike some people as “bad.” But either way, understanding the likelihood of these things coming about is important, and you can see the full (extremely entertaining) video below.
Update: Or, as pointed out in the comments, it could all end up like this comic….