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反对枯燥的游戏化思维

——价值中国专访游戏化思维权威学者、《反枯燥》作者亚当-潘恩柏格

如果说过去10年是社交网络的崛起,那么未来10年则是游戏设计的时代,这种游戏机制将在各个领域发挥作用。“游戏化”已不仅仅是流行语,经预测,游戏化市场将在2018年达到50亿美金的规模。研究机构Garnter公司声称,全世界2000个跨国企业中70%的员工已经体验过游戏化的员工考核、医疗卫生、市场和培训服务,50%的企业创新将更趋于游戏化。

价值中国:我们注意到2013~2014年间,“游戏化思维”的概念成为了一个商业热词,宾州沃顿商学院的Kevin Werbach、游戏化公司创始人Gabe Zichermann等人都有重要的研究成果发表。请介绍一下您所定义的“游戏化思维”基本思想。

Adam:“游戏化思维”是类游戏元素的集成,这些元素可以使一些非游戏化的活动变得有趣。它的根本不是艺术也不是科技,而是商业。比如说工作,在企业里我们可以重新设计工作、和平凡的任务使之变得更像游戏,这样的方法可以激发员工的工作效率。

游戏化思维可以加强培训、激励合作,可以激励人们总结并分享工作的经验,对他们的健康也有帮助。利用变换每日的游戏化任务,企业可以得到更开心、精力充沛的员工,以及更良性的底线。通过游戏也可以完成更困难的目标。它们可以为科学和医学研究提供框架,甚至还可以让上百万人为了同样的目标一起工作。当然“游戏化”不是解决商业核心问题的万能药,但却是一剂推动商业效率的催化物。

如果说过去10年是社交网络的崛起,那么未来10年则是游戏设计的时代,这种游戏机制将在各个领域发挥作用。“游戏化”已不仅仅是流行语,经预测,游戏化市场将在2018年达到50亿美金的规模。研究机构Garnter公司声称,全世界2000个跨国企业中70%的员工已经体验过游戏化的员工考核、医疗卫生、市场和培训服务,50%的企业创新将更趋于游戏化。

价值中国:游戏化本质并不是娱乐,而是对人性的理解与设计过程巧妙融合后的产物。我们观察到像微软、三星、星巴克这样的大企业,运用游戏化思维让员工对工作像游戏般上瘾,也看到近年来“冰桶挑战”等极具游戏化思维传播方式,掀起网民参与狂潮。您认为什么样才是成功的游戏化?它需要具备哪些要素?

Adam:一个好游戏可以让我们得到生活中无法满足的成就感,能令多巴胺燃烧。

游戏是一种强大有力、且充满人性化色彩的驱动力,它具有明确的目标和规则,要求玩家克服困难与挑战,并及时给予玩家奖励,这也是一个游戏最根本的所在。因此,你需要先找出你的目标。

你要怎么完成?例如,佳能的维修技术人员通过虚拟复印机来练习他们的修理技术。联邦快递用游戏来训练飞行员,UPS为他们的新驾驶员设计训练游戏--甚至模仿在冰上行走的经验。

思科制定了MyPlanNet项目,玩家成为服务供应商的总经理。IBM创建了一个由用户运行的城市。Each做了一个为实现特定目标的游戏设计。佳能和联邦快递希望能够更好地培训员工、IBM专注于教育,而思科看上去更希望提升员工的技能。

目标会迫使玩家克服挑战,并及时反馈结构化的体验。因为游戏可以对每个玩家提供区分水平的积分,给他们明确的回报,这些都能引发玩家体内多巴胺的释放,分泌更多鼓励玩家探索和尝试新事物的激素。

既然我们都喜欢这种感觉,当大脑中充斥着这些激素,我们就会一遍遍地不惜一切代价得到它。电视和电脑游戏,包括老虎机,都可以帮人们做到这一点。它们提供的“门槛效应”,利用不断变换的奖励和关卡设置让我们大呼过瘾。

相同的系统驱动强迫赌徒和吸毒者可卡因,这是它让玩家进入一种称为“心流”的精神状态的东西,即他们完全沉浸在自己所做的事情上,忘记了时间。心流”一词的概念是由克莱蒙特研究生大学的米哈里·契克森米哈赖教授提出的,他认为这种驱动源于“享受”。--达到“心流”有几个必需条件:完成任务,集中精神,明确目标,获取反馈,全情投入以及掌控行为。通过这些条件,对于自我的关注消失了,但自我的意识却变得异常强大。

此外,他还发现,最佳体验都发生在目的明确且有规则约束的活动中,这些活动要求精神上的投入和相应技能的运用。过这就意味着“挑战”要素必不可少。在体育比赛中,这叫“领域”,比如一个篮球运动员突然感觉自己无所不能。无论是“心流”还是“领域”,都是一种强大得可以压倒其他一切感觉得精神状态,这就是游戏改变人类活动的力量。进入这种生态机能的企业能够获得更大的回报。

实际操作方法上,游戏设计师杰西·谢尔在他的《全景探秘游戏设计艺术》一书中,阐述了游戏化的8要素,值得借鉴:

1)自愿原则:玩家玩游戏是因为他们想玩而不是被迫去玩。

2)目的性:短期目标,比如歼灭正在进攻的敌机,或是在网球比赛中得分,赢取一场或一盘比赛等;长期目标则是获取最高分数等。

3)冲突性:玩家会遭遇挑战,进而努力打败其他对手。

4)清晰的规则:游戏的规则还一定要提前知道,但最大程度上理解规则才能获得最好的分数。游戏有输赢。

5)互动性:玩家通过手柄、鼠标或键盘来操控游戏,并及时获得反馈。

6)挑战性:游戏需要具有足够难度吸引玩家持续参与。拥有自己系统的内部价玩家在游戏中获得分数和排名在游戏中都具有重要价值。

7)令玩家投入:游戏必须设计得富有乐趣,让玩家享受其中。

8)封闭且正式的系统:他们具有自己的生态环境和定义法则。

价值中国:与游戏化思维相伴随的,正是更为创新,更具竞争力的创业者的兴起,不少研究者将其称之为“创客企业家”。请为我们推荐一些正在利用游戏化思维创业的“创客企业家”及事例。

Adam: 位于马塞诸塞州剑桥市的Objective Logistic是我最喜欢的创业公司之一。他们创建了一个平台,他们瞄准的是餐馆销售人员,为餐馆运营设计了一套有奖励计划的竞争环境系统。

以下是企业正在解决的问题:餐馆员工可能是世界上最不理想最不专业的销售队伍。他们几乎很少接受培训,过着“月光”的生活,这样他们就会错失很多提升价值的机会。这套系统设置中对于一个很擅长推销开胃菜的服务员,可能就会给他设置一个“任务”,希望他可以在甜点上做的同样出色。很显然他们可不想只做一个销售额统计系统。他们通过销售额、小费和用户反馈等等数据来自动评判员工的工作表现,这对于销售和餐饮这些不坐在电脑前的行业的商家来说十分有用。

这套激励机制推动服务员引导顾客不选择廉价的伏特加,而是点灰鹅和几道可口的开胃菜加上甜点,如果能够影响到关键人物,好的服务员可以影响一个六人聚会。比如礼貌地建议他点些炸鱿鱼和啤酒而不是简单的软饮料,接下来的事情就很好办了。这样以来,餐馆会增加很多的利润。

更重要的是服务员的工作就和企业里与客户面对面接触的工作很相近。餐馆老板希望每个新顾客都能变成常客。那么就必须配备优质的服务。就像一位餐馆老板Danny Meyer说的那样,你为了食物而来,得到的是热情的款待。然而大部分餐饮企业都不够重视优秀员工培养,而且他们好像也没打算考虑这件事。这套系统安装后,与客户直接打交道的一线员工更加努力工作,以争取排班表的优先权。这无疑是一个强大驱动力。没有人逼迫他们去对客人友好、推荐昂贵的菜品或或一直给客人加水。他们也没有因此指望加薪或是升职,但他们都自觉自愿地尽力去工作,这不仅增加了餐厅的收入也让他们的小费更丰厚。

而据他们称,初期的试用效果很是不错,这些餐厅有了平均每天1.8%的收入增长,小费增长更是达到了11%。

任何创业公司都可以为他们的用户开发游戏化的应用,这是一个基于互联网的商业模式。任何公司都可以这么做。利用游戏吸引用户并保持黏性。如果游戏化做的好,你会得到可喜的回报。

价值中国:在商业竞争日益激烈的今天,传统的激励方式日益失效,未来的管理将更多地建立在员工和消费者的内在动机和自我激励上,那么应该如何利用游戏机制解决管理的重大问题,制定企业管理难题的高效解决方案?管理者要从游戏化思维中学习什么?

Adam: 虽然游戏化为商业、医疗、教育行业提供了无限的机会,但仍有一些企业在拥抱游戏化时只简单地用一些积分或勋章上而不解决游戏的核心动力上。游戏化早已不是给用户、员工和消费者颁发虚拟徽章的把戏,游戏设计师Margaret Robinson谴责那些只用积分的游戏,并用一个新词“点券化”(pointsification)形容这种现象。Robinson的公司,是总部位于伦敦的Hide&Seek,她的公司和Sony、EA、BBC、Royal Opera House一起拓展游戏的界限。她主要反对“用游戏最重要的元素,将它作为经验的核心”--例如奖励喝橙汁的人卡通返现券或者给网络使用者一些虚拟徽章--游戏化是一个趋势,但这只会激励形形色色的企业提高消费者参与度,也就是营销的圣杯,这可能在未来几年变得无处不在,产生惊人的影响。

德国学者、游戏设计师塞巴斯蒂安·德特丁把“勋章系统”表述成“感染整个互联网的麻疹”,它席卷了整个互联网网站。他引用著名游戏《模拟人生》制作人威尔·赖特的话:“游戏要素并不是某个事物乐趣的核心,但有了游戏要素,这个事物的参与度和激励性都会提高。”

对于企业,德特丁说:“游戏中奖励给人们的点券和徽章,类似于斯金纳箱中奖励给小白鼠的糖球,这一切就像是某种具有缺陷但又十分流行的行为主义一样。”游戏拥有内在的激励机制,人们玩游戏,是因为享受克服挑战时的紧张感,而不是因为可以获得点券或金钱。“游戏之所以好玩不是因为它们是游戏,”他说,“它们被精心设计过。”

借用游戏化峰会主席盖布·兹彻曼(Gabe Zichermann)的想法,也许公司应该设立一个全新的管理职位:首席参与官的职责是关注企业员工的投入度和参与度。兹彻曼把这个位置的职责局限于客户服务,但我觉得完全可以扩大范围,让人们对任何工作的参与度和投入度都得到提升。如果能找到某种让工作看起来不那么像工作的办法,受益的将是我们每一个人。

价值中国:游戏化不仅正在颠覆娱乐和媒体行业,它在商业、管理、金融、教育和医疗领域也将掀起一场革命。在这场浪潮当中,哪些新兴产业能开启新的时代,又有哪些传统产业能够借机重生?

Adam: 我相信总有一天我们很多人都会在模拟环境中工作。实际上现在已经有人这么做了。举个例子,游戏已经成为外科手术的中流砥柱了,在纽约布鲁克林区的Maimonedes医院首席外科医生陪伴下参观手术室时我认识到了这一点。

在那里,一位医生通过观看电脑屏幕操作摇杆,另一位医生将工具注入小切口中。在手术室我看到医生利用机器人做前列腺切除手术,其中包括前列腺癌切除术。他坐在凳子上,他的目光锁定到了高分辨率3D可视范围上,像操作挖掘机那样使用操作杆。这套机器人系统名叫达芬奇,运行需要250万美元。房间里躺着麻醉的病人,全身除了一些小切口以外,都被盖住了。一个助理站在病人身边,随时更换剪刀等医疗用品。十英尺远的地方坐麻醉师,懒洋洋地躺在椅子上,用她的iPhone玩游戏。房间里播放着老鹰乐队的加州旅馆。(就像开车一样,医生选择播放的音乐。)

在老旧电视剧中描绘的那种传统手术,主治医生、助理医生、护士全围在病人旁边。然而现在情况变了。现在医生做手术甚至不用看病人。看屏幕就够了。而且在屏幕上他能看到更多,手术也能做得更细致、准确、快速。

最重要的是,这种机器人手术远胜传统手术,它能是病人恢复得更快,因此花费也更少。

但外科手术绝不会是唯一运用模拟场景的工作。军事无人机飞行员像电子游戏的控制台,以直接的无人驾驶飞机,坦克指挥官通过模拟器发射炮弹。IBM建了可以让身处世界各地,只要是部署模拟器的人都能参加的虚拟空间。工程师利用应用程序做建筑设计,这在本质上也是模拟器。你很快就能看到电信运营商利用游戏运作。你可以把这些都想象成模拟就业。

价值中国:用众包和用户自组织工作来改变智力资本的经济价值,是一股不可阻挡的力量,而推动这股力量前行需要游戏化发挥作用。许多公司尝试用游戏化思维构建与用户的新型互动--比如发动网友用“验证码”来把古书录入电脑、通过学外语软件来翻译整个互联网等。你觉得游戏化趋势会给商业带来些什么,会开创怎样的新商业模式?

Adam: 我认为众包(crowdsourcing)模式很有意思,利用游戏可以帮助我们完成很多伟大的事。因为通过游戏,你可以汇集上百万人一起克服一个困难。这需要很棒的游戏设计,然而一旦你做到了剩下的就很好办了。有一个很严肃的游戏FoldIt,它需要玩家比赛折叠蛋白质,这很有可能变成一个重大的科学发现。现在有许多这样的项目,从探索宇宙到了解深海,这些都需要不同水平的参与者。

Galaxy Zoo设想帮助天文学家分类“深空天体”--包括行星、太阳系等等,设计者估计只需一年玩家就能将百万星系图谱分类。在第一天,玩家就在一小时内分类了7万个天体,仅用一年玩家数量就增长了50倍达到了15万,做了5000万个分类。一个叫Hanny van Arkel的玩家在一个遥远的星系发现了一个蓝色斑点,科学家们现在认为这是一个被黑洞加热的气体星云的一部分。利用MilkyWay@home和Einstein@home志愿者们帮忙探索星际空间。在Planet Hunters中,任何人都可以用个人电脑分类开普勒太空望远镜传输回来的光学数据。在Moon Zoo中,玩家可以放大月球火山口的高清照片并对岩石做些记录,这些事情可能会对NASA做进一步研究有帮助。

还有其他的例子。WhaleFM,通过鲸之歌项目,汇聚了成千上万的平民海洋学者聆听逆戟鲸的叫声,帮助研究人员匹配类似的声音。MIT做了叫EyeWire的东西,让人们在线标注视网膜上的连接点,这样可以帮神经科学家更多地了解视网膜是如何做出视觉感受的。DARPA做了一个竞赛,让竞赛者把破碎成上万片的文件重新拼起来,获胜团队做了一个定制算法解决了这个问题。在Ancient Lives中,宅男考古学家们唤醒了心中的印第安纳·琼斯,屁股都没离开椅子就解码了古埃及的文本片段。McGill大学的Phylo协助研究人员找出了跨物种的DNA相似点,对认识眼睛和头发颜色等特征以及医学用途做出了贡献。(包括心脏病、糖尿病和高血压)。Pandemic2.5是一个很流行的医疗游戏,它用来预测和“解决”未来爆发的炭疽和H1N1。

从某些程度上看,通过游戏化的众包,或许就将引导一些重大的发现。

问题七:我们都听过“人生犹如游戏”这句话。大胆假设一下,是否存在这样一种可能,“我们现在已经生活在游戏之中了”?而这游戏是由生活在未来的某人设计的?你认为这会是怎样的一个世界?

Adam: 这有些像大学宿舍里探讨的问题,在骇客帝国和星际迷航里有类似的说法。有一个理论是我们都是生活在一个复杂的虚拟器中,这个虚拟器是由一个30年到500万年甚至更久的人创造的,牛津大学的一个学院和NASA的一位科学家将这个理论几乎发展到数学的精确性。

从本质上讲,我们只是一些未来生物的业余爱好者,我们只是他们类似模拟人生游戏的某个版本,或者是某个大型在线多角色扮演游戏,就像魔兽世界一样。我想你可以说我们生活在模拟当中。

强大的处理能力遇上更世俗化的软件系统可能会使电脑产生意识。在接下来的10到30年人工智能会嵌入机器当中。即便是当今,最快的超级电脑的数据处理速度已经是人脑的两倍。一位工程师说,大约十年内,我们用指数计算机花一个月就能计算出我们一生中的每一个念头。

以我们很快就有技术能力去创造我们自己的合成宇宙。这或许意味着本身生活在虚拟世界的我们,也能建立一个虚拟的世界,而那里的人也不会知道他们只是我们电脑中的虚拟作品。没准现在,我们的创造者也只是生活在一个虚拟世界当中呢?或者会有很多层的虚拟世界,没准几百万层呢。(译注:类似佛教的“大千世界”系统)

这样的话,如果我们的世界有一个创造着,那么会是我们,或至少是我们来自遥未来的某一个分支。而且我们都不曾意识到我们生活在虚拟世界当中。

荒诞吗?或许是吧。但这个宇宙里的每一个理论在出现之初都显得很荒诞。这个就一定比其他的更难以置信吗?(采访/翻译/撰文 黄少敏 2015/1/18)

 

英文附录:价值中国全球领导者系列专访之“游戏化思维”

Professor Adam L. Penenberg

B.A., Economics, Reed College

CHINAVALUE1: Please introduce the basic idea of “Gamification”.

Gamification is the integration of game-like elements-the characteristics that make games fun and engaging-into non-game activities, like, well, work. For companies, it may mean redesigning jobs and mundane tasks so that they are more game-like, and that way squeeze ever more productivity out of employees. It can enhance training, incentivize collaboration, or encourage people to recycle or share transportation to work, or assist in their health. By turning everyday tasks into games, a company can result in happier, more fulfilled workers and a more robust bottom line. Games can also accomplish greater goals. They can provide a framework for scientific and medical discovery, or accomplish activities that require thousands, even millions of people, working together.

Gamification is no mere buzzword: The gamification market is forecast to hit $5 billion annually by 2018, says Markets and Markets, and Gartner claims that 70 percent of 2,000 global organizations are already experimenting with gamified applications for employee performance, health care, marketing, and training.

CHINAVALUE2: As you mentioned in your book, in nature, Gamification is not entertainment; it is great outcome that combined the understanding of human nature and process design. We observed that some big corporations like Microsoft, Sumsung and Starbucks take some methods about gamification to make their employees been addicted to work just like they were playing games. Recent years some gamification methods like “Ice bucket challenge” get incredibly popular among netizens. How do you define a successful gamification case? What critical factors do a successful gamification need?

First you need to isolate your goal. What do you mean to accomplish? For example, Canon‘s repair techies learn their trade by dragging and dropping parts into place on a virtual copier. FedEx and airlines deploy game simulations to train pilots, and UPS deploys its own version for new drivers-one even mimics the experience of walking on ice. Cisco developed a "sim" called myPlanNet, in which players become CEOs of service providers. IBM created another that has users run whole cities. Each deploys game design to assist with with a specific goal. Canon, and Fedex want to better train employees. IBM looks into education. Cisco looks to increase employees’ skill sets.

Realize that a game is, at its root, a structured experience with clear goals, rules that force a player to overcome challenges, and instant feedback. Everyday life is anything but. Because games offer clearly articulated rewards for each point players score and new level they achieve, they trigger the release of dopamine, a hormone in the brain that encourages us to explore and try new things. Since we like the feeling we get when our brains are awash in it, we’ll do whatever it takes to get it, over and over again. Video and computer games, as well as slot machines, are particularly good at this. They provide "threshold effects," where prizes or level changes are dribbled out to keep us hooked. The same system that drives compulsive gamblers and cocaine addicts, it‘s also what makes it possible for gamers to enter a mental state called "flow," in which they’re completely immersed in what they are doing and lose track of time. (In sports, it‘s called the "zone," when a basketball player, for example, feels like he can’t miss.) Such is the power of games to influence behavior.

Companies that can tap into this bio-mechanic can reap great rewards.

CHINAVALUE3: Accompanying gamification, entrepreneurs are becoming more innovative and competitive. Many researchers call them “Makers”. Could you recommend some stories of “Makers” who have leveraged gamification for their businesses?

One of my favorite startups is Objective Logistics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which has created a platform for restaurants to usen game mechanics to create a competitive environment for its staff.

Here’s the problem the company is solving: Restaurants employ possibly the most underperforming and unprofessional sales force in the world. Often barely trained and living paycheck to paycheck, wait staff often miss out on juicy opportunities to upsell. Instead of generic brand vodka, get the customer to order Grey Goose, and while you’re at it, an appetizer or two and dessert, all of which reap higher profits for the business. A good waiter can influence an entire party of six, if he can key in on the group’s influencer. Gently persuade him to order the fried calamari or a beer instead of a soft drink, and the rest will follow.

More importantly wait staff function as the customer-facing part of a company. Restaurants want to convert every patron into a regular customer. To do that, service must be excellent. As restaurateur Danny Meyer says, You go for the food, but return for the hospitality. But most dining establishments don’t reward staff excellence. And it’s not like promotions are in the offing.

That’s where Objective Logistics comes in. The Cambridge, MA-based company uses game dynamics to incent wait staff to perform better and in the process add to a restaurant’s bottom line. The company reports that it can increase a restaurats revenue by between 2% and 8% just by incorporating its software.

But any startup can benefit from deploying gamification for its users, if it’s a web-based business. In that way it is like any other company. Use games to attract users and keep them engaged on your site. If you design it right, you will see great benefits.

CHINAVALUE4: Today, competition is very fierce, and traditional incentive methods don’t always work well. Future management would concentrate more on intrinsic motivation and self-motivation of employees and customers. So how to use gamification system to solve big managerial problems? And how to produce efficient solutions for enterprises through gamification? What else does managers need to learn from gamification?

While gamification offers boundless opportunities for business, health, and education, it is inevitable that some companies, eager to embrace gamification, will simply tack on points or badges to just about anything without addressing the core game dynamics. Game designer Margaret Robinson, for one, decries those who conflate points with games and has come up with a neologism-"pointsification"-to describe the phenomena. Robinson‘s firm, London-based Hide & Seek, works with companies like Sony, EA, the BBC and Royal Opera House to expand the boundaries of play, and mainly she objects to "taking the thing that is least essential to games and representing it as the core of the experience" (rewarding orange juice drinkers with redeemable points printed on their cartons, for instance, or giving badges to online reviewers). It is a trend, however, that will only intensify as companies of all stripes attempt to ramp up consumer engagement-the holy grail of marketers-and will likely become pervasive in the years to come, with perhaps surprising implications.

CHINAVALUE5: Gamification is not only disrupting entertainment & media industry, but also raising revolution in commercial, management, finance, education and healthcare industry. Which new emerging industries would open a new era with big possibility and which traditional industries would renew themselves in this revolution?

I believe that one day soon many of us will be doing our jobs in simulated environments. Actually, it’s already happening. For example, games have become a mainstay of surgery, which I learned when I visited an operating room with the chief of surgery at Maimonedes Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.

There, a surgeon operates by watching a computer screen and manipulating levers while another doctor inserts instruments through multiple small incisions. In an operating room I watched a doctor perform a robotic prostatectomy, which involves removing cancer from a patient’s prostate. He sits on a stool, his eyes locked into a 3D, high-resolution viewing scope, manipulating levers like the operator of a bulldozer. The robotic system is called da Vinci, and runs about $2.5 million. Across the room lies the sedated patient, covered from head to toe except for the small area being operated on. An assistant stands over the patient, changing attachments, needle holders, scissors, cautery, and staplers. Ten feet away sits the anesthesiologist, lounging in a chair and playing a game on her iPhone. Soft-rock plays in the background: “Hotel California,” by The Eagles. (Like the driver in a car, the doctor chooses the music.)

In a traditional operation, the kind portrayed on old TV shows, there was a doctor, an assistant, a resident, a nurse, all circled around the patient. It’s very different today. Now a doctor isn’t even looking at the patient anymore. He’s looking at a screen. But he sees so much more and can do much more detailed work with far greater precision and speed.

Most important, for patients such robotic surgery is far superior to traditional methods, since it means a much speedier recovery, and therefore costs a whole lot less.

But surgeons won’t be the only ones performing their jobs within simulations. In the military drone pilots operate a videogame like console to direct drones, and tank commanders fire missiles through simulations. IBM holds meetings in virtual spaces so that anyone around the world, deploying an avatar, can participate. Engineers design building through computer programs, which are, in essence, simulations. You’ll even see call center operators functioning within games. Think of all of this as virtual employment.

CHINAVALUE6: Crowdsourcing and customers self-organizing are great power to change the economic value of intellectual capital; and this needs gamification to promote & enhance the powerful effects. Many companies tried to use gamification to interact with customers by a new way-ex: encouraging customers key-in ancient books into computer by using validate-code; and studying foreign language app to translate the whole Internet! And what kind of new business models will appear in terms of so called “social organizations” or “virtual organizations”?

I think the crowdsourcing aspect is very interesting and through games may help us accomplish great things. Because through games, you can organize millions of people to tackle a single problem. It takes smart game design, but once you have it, good things can happen. Serious games like FoldIt, which has players compete to fold proteins and in at least one instance may have led to a major scientific discovery. There have been several other projects that stretch from the vast reaches of the galaxy to Earth’s deepest oceans and which require varying levels of participant engagement.

In Galaxy Zoo, conceived to aid astronomers in classifying “deep sky objects”-planets, solar systems, and the like-designers estimated it would take a year for players to classify one million galaxy images. After its first day, players classified some 70,000 objects an hour, and in the first year 150,000 players amassed fifty times that, contributing 50 million classifications. One player named Hanny van Arkel discovered a mysterious blue blob in a far away galaxy that scientists now think is part of a gas cloud heated by a black hole. With MilkyWay@home and Einstein@home volunteers help investigate interstellar space. In Planet Hunters anyone with a personal computer can help classify Kepler Space Telescope light data while in Moon Zoo, users zoom in on high-resolution photos of lunar craters and take note of rocks that NASA might want to further investigate

There are many more. WhaleFM, through its Whale Song Project, has rounded up legions of citizen oceanographers to listen to orcas and assist researchers in matching similar-sounding calls. Out of MIT comes EyeWire, which looks to an online community to map connections in the retina to help neuroscientists learn more about how it assists visual perception. From DARPA came a contest to piece together documents that had been shredded into 10,000 pieces, which the winning team solved by customizing algorithms to suggest puzzle pairings and then having humans put them back together. In “Ancient Lives,” armchair archaeologists channel their inner Indiana Jones without leaving the comfort of their desk chairs to help decode text fragments from ancient Egypt. Phylo, out of McGill University, assists researchers in locating sections of DNA that are similar across species and which contribute to traits such as eye or hair color, and medical conditions (heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure). Pandemic 2.5 is a mobile public health game for predicting and “solving” future anthrax & H1N1 disasters.

At some point, through a game, an important discovery will be made. It’s just around the corner.

CHINAVALUE7: Do you believe  “time machine” or “parallel universe”? J Let’s switch to a “crazy” final question: We might know a saying “life is just like a game”. Could we hypothesize or image that we are Now just living in a “game” designed by someone living in some outer space else? What kind of “world” do you think it was or it is or it will be?

We’ve all heard that ‘Life is a game.’ But what if we are all, right now, actually living in one, designed by someone living deep into the future?

It’s the kind of far out idea debated in college dorms, and constructed of equal parts The Matrix and Star Trek’s Holodeck. According to the theory, which an academic from Oxford and a scientist from NASA have put forth separately, there’s an almost mathematical certainty that we’re toiling inside an intricate simulation created by someone existing anywhere from 30 years to 5 million years or more into the future. In essence, we’re just some future being’s hobby, his or her version of SimCity or a massively multiplayer online role-playing game such as World of Warcraft. I suppose you could say we’re living in sim.

Processing power mixed with more sophisticate software will get to the point that it will be possible for computers to create consciousness. Meanwhile, in the next 10 to 30 years artificial consciousness will be embedded in machines. Even now, the fastest supercomputers crunch data at twice the speed of the human brain. Plot that out on the exponential computer processing power curve and within the decade, we’ll be able “to compute an entire human lifetime of 80 years - including every thought ever conceived during that lifetime - in the span of a month,” according to one engineer.

So we may soon have the technological wherewithal to create our own synthesized universes. That would mean that we, who live in a simulated world, have created a simulated world, whose denizens wouldn’t know they’re the product of our collective computing imagination. Now, what if our master designers also lived inside a simulation? Same for those who designed their simulation. Potentially you could have levels and levels of sims, perhaps millions of them.

In that case, if there is a creator for our world, it is we, or at least an offshoot of we hailing from the distant future. And we might not even know we were living in a simulation.

Farfetched? Perhaps, but so is every theory on the creation of the universe. Is this one any more unbelievable than any other?

Adam L. Penenberg
简介

亚当-潘恩柏格,是游戏化思维的重要研究者、纽约大学新闻学副教授。著有《反枯燥:游戏化思维开创商业》、《福特与打火石》等商业畅销书。他也是《福布期》、《纽约时报》、《连线》、《花花公子》等媒体的自由撰稿人。曾任《福布斯》杂志编辑主任。他还经常在NBC、CNN、Fox、MSNBC、ABC、NBC、CNBC、 NPR等电视媒体开设节目。
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