01 June 2012


The Woodrow Wilson Institute's Lea Shanley posted a link to a fascinating Pew Research report called The Future of Gamification by Janna Anderson and Lee Rainie.
Tech stakeholders and analysts generally believe the use of game mechanics, feedback loops, and rewards will become more embedded in daily life by 2020, but they are split about how widely the trend will extend. Some say the move to implement more game elements in networked communications will be mostly positive, aiding education, health, business, and training. Some warn it can take the form of invisible, insidious behavioral manipulation.
What does this mean for landscape architecture?  It isn't very different than when kids pursue Junior Ranger status by achieving multiple goals. I could certainly imagine visitors to Central Park getting points for each landmark they visit or accumulating virtual ribbons for more than 10 visits or 50 visits. Or maybe a "Water, Land and Air" award for people who hike, boat and kite in the park.

But what about urban plazas?  Could there be special lights that only come on when the plaza's users sit in certain patterns?  Or movable features (like chairs or rolling planters) that somehow trigger scores or rewards when position in a specific way?

Is it all crazy?

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