Advent Calendar 2009

1 - Virtual Goods: How and Why They Work

As a Christmas spe­cial, I will for once update this blog dai­ly for the next 24 days with my favorite pre­sen­ta­tion slides about games, user expe­ri­ence, game design, emo­tion, affec­tive and enter­tain­ment com­put­ing, etc.

On December 1, we start with a pre­sen­ta­tion from Amy Jo Kim, who runs Shufflebrain, a com­pa­ny that builds games for social net­works (cur­rent­ly very suc­cess­ful). She is also author of the book “Community Building on the Web: Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities” and can cer­tain­ly be con­sid­ered an expert on online com­mu­ni­ties. Her pre­sen­ta­tion is wit­ty, sharp and to the point. But have a look at it your­self:

So, why do vir­tu­al goods work? (Business Week reports that rev­enues are soar­ing for social game apps) According to Amy Jo, they appeal to peo­ples’ quirks and needs because the social con­text pro­vides emo­tion and mean­ing:

  • Desire for enhance­ments
  • Desire for indi­vid­ual impor­tance and expres­sion
  • Desire for social­iz­ing
  • Demonstration of indi­vid­ual care
  • Need for pos­i­tive reflec­tion on indi­vid­ual action

The slides also present a good strat­e­gy to mon­e­tize this indi­vid­ual need for mean­ing and emo­tion by using social games or games on social plat­forms. For me the most impor­tant take­away is how­ev­er the human desire for emo­tion and mean­ing, which can be uti­lized by game design­ers to turn games into suc­cess­ful ser­vices (which will hope­ful­ly also find its way into improv­ing human lives).

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2 thoughts on “1 - Virtual Goods: How and Why They Work

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Amy Jo Kim's presentation on "Virtual Goods: How and Why They Work" « The Acagamic -- Topsy.com

  2. Pingback: Holiday Present from the Acagamic « The Usable Learning Blog

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