As an obsessively digital native, gaming geek, and square-eyed YouTuber, it was only natural that I would instantly smack the like button for the opportunity to attend the Game|ON Interactive Games and Online Video Showcase over the weekend.
It was the first event of its kind in Australia, uniting two interactive and innovative industries – the games industry for casual gamers, developers and experts, and the online video world for creators, brands and enthusiasts. This, and it also brought creators out from the other side of the screen and into the realm of their consumers. (zOMGLOL I totally met ChampChong, Psylocke and Officer Jenny!)
*ahem* There was a lot showcased, and below are a few short form take outs from the intriguing and thought-provoking panel discussions and future-forecasting presentations:
Sweet, Sweet, Gamification:
The use of game mechanics, ‘gamification’, has now been around for several years and is still a key tool to engage customers.
Without a doubt, Candy Crush has been one of the most successful examples of gamification, and when you unwrap the enticing game packaging, you unveil a deliciously smart business model. This combination of a successful business framework with social and rewarding game mechanics has made Candy Crush what it is today – it is simple, familiar and habitual.
However, gamification is not a magic tool. Like many things, it should only be used when it is relevant and appropriate. One metaphor that Jennifer Wilson from The Project Factory sweetly used was that gamification is like chocolate sauce – it’s amazing, absolutely amazing, but it doesn’t go with everything –it’s divine on ice cream, but disastrous on blue cheese.
So when you find that framework, only layer on some game mechanics when it provides value and utility to the consumer.
Plugging Into The World of VR and AR:
The VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) worlds are definitely hotting up with the announcements of a plethora of systems such as PlayStation’s “Project Morpheus”, Microsoft’s Hololens and the HTC Vive. But one of the most intriguing and secretive developments has got to be Magic Leap’s work with the WETA Workshop (of Lord of the Rings fame). One of the issues with VR and AR, is that many technologies rely on you to view projections on a small screen or pane of glass (in the case of the now retired Google Glass), which usually results in ghostly or blurry images because the real world also brings in a whole range of light into your eyes. Magic Leap, however, has been developing technology that reflects light into your retina, projecting sharp images that are indistinguishable from real world information.
Imagine this: before you even go up to talk to someone – seeing their tweets, events they have RSVP’d to and latest Facebook photos pop up around them in preparation for actual face-to-face contact. Or a Total Recall-esque product of curated virtual reality experiences developed by renowned film director, David Lynch (actually. freaking. happening!). The applications for film, gaming, travel and communications are fantastical yet close on the horizon.
Which all makes me think: What will be reality … when digital worlds are part of our reality? Will our analogue perceptions be intermixed with digital projections? And can it completely overtake our analogue realities? It’s a brave new world that will be exciting to explore.
The Future of Interactive Advertising:
The current buzzword in advertising is definitely ‘programmatic’. However, it’s definitely not just a buzzword, but a seismic shift in the way we buy media today – with digital trading desks becoming more and more common and trusted for delivering premium inventory, and TV and out-of-home hot on its binary heels.
A common misconception around programmatic, though, is that communication will become procedural and robotic, with little room for creativity. However, this is definitely not the case – as Dany Milham from Data @ Ogilvy says, “programmatic can be creative because it is so targeted.” With the amount of data we can track and the specificity of how we can target, we must ensure messages remain relevant and engaging to our audiences when programmatically buying and not just broadly produced.
Media, advertising, and all activities in between are still going to be ideas-oriented, but can now be partnered with more efficient buying methods and all the rich data we can collect for data-driven optimisation and creation.
To finish, I’d like to leave you with a quote by Mumbrella’s Alex Hayes which succinctly encompasses the world of interactive gaming, online video and our relationship to these industries as communicators: “We’re moving into a world where consumers say ‘tell me, show me, involve me’.” So let’s tell them, let’s show them, and best of all – let’s involve them.