eventually will become our access to everything, the logic of everything,
because games get up close to the id and the body simultaneously.
Kill or be killed. Live through the night. Games disable the superego.
'Depending on your moves, she'll crush you or exalt you'".
Fire in the Lake:
The Visceral Technologies Site
face the challenge of rendering useful and timely knowledge from torrents
of information. Innovative techniques are required to transform knowledge
hunting and assimilating tasks from an arduous, serial process to
an engaging, experiential one.
to transmit this information density to us, at the rate we want it,
is way beyond the throughput capacity of either text or windows-based
environments. As Edward R. Tufte observed in Envisioning
reflects the essential dilemma of a computer display: at every screen
are two powerful information processing capabilities, human and
computer. Yet all the communications between the two must pass through
the low resolution, narrow-band video display terminal, which chokes
off fast, precise and complex communications."
inputs (keyboard, mouse) and outputs (text, graphics) represent giant
"step-down transformers" in the computer/user loop. On one
side of the bottleneck is the brain -- a phenomenally powerful, fuzzy
analog computing device. On the other side is the PC or workstation--a
phenomenally powerful, algorithmic digital computing device. The process
of typing text, clicking mice and scrolling down the screen is ponderous
and slow: a serial approach to a problem which demands a parallelized
solution. We need to step-up the I/O rate; accelerate our OODA
LOOP and get inside of the competitors' decision
say, 'a picture is worth a thousand words.' What they're not saying
is that a moving picture--a game--is worth a billion words."
Ted Prince, President,
Perth Ventures, Virtual Reality and Game Technology for Business
Applications, The Computer Channel Technology Video Series.
interfaces are well suited for depicting procedures. Likewise, graphics
tools effectively portray data as bar charts and graphs. Gaming and
virtual reality techniques however, transmit experience. From procedure,
to data, to experience-driven computing, VR user interfaces will migrate
user inputs from "fingers and text" to "voice and picture".
As human/computer boundaries continue to dissolve, this new paradigm
will deliver tactile and emotional experience as well.
Nintendo Generation is now entering all sectors (industry, military
and government) of the work force . Though sometimes used derisively,
this demographic term potentially includes everyone born and raised
in this country since 1970. Brought up playing computer games, they
possess the requisite eye-hand skills and shortened attention span
which demands to be engaged. Instead of ten bytes of information,
they expect a billion bytes; in 3-D, with stereo sound, all within
an entertaining narrative context, of course. This demand is most
noticeably met by the immersive graphics and innovative interfaces
found in cutting edge games such as WARCRAFT and HALO.
is software which approaches Information Age business tasks with gaming
techniques and interfaces. Beyond text, beyond icons, gameware represents
an evolved form of computer literacy: experiential applications which
rely on visual skills and, through immersive 3-D, induce the same
sense of loss-of-self habitual video game players and long distance
runners know as being in the zone.
Joel Orr, president
of Orr Associates, has coined the term pezonomics, the mechanics of
play, to describe the unique benefits of business gaming techniques.
Many people believe pezonomics will eventually become as important
a business consideration as ergonomics, the mechanics of work, is
today. Why? Because games are compelling: the mind at play is engaged,
simultaneously attentive, calm, and more productive, as opposed to
the sense of distance and mechanics permeating the Windows environment.
In truth, games are among the last remaining environments where the
hunter's instinct is tested and rewarded.
Time spent playing
a game, building on cumulative experience within the environment and
developing requisite skills, results in a mastery (understanding)
of the game. What is the game? The game is increasing sales while
reducing sales costs. The game is trading foreign equity derivatives.
The game is picking the winner of the Kentucky Derby. The game is
sensing and targeting the enemy before being sensed and targeted.
The game is selecting the best insurance coverage for an enterprise
or health plan for your family. "We haven't yet understood that
is a game, if we
could capture the relevant heuristics and algorithms in a networked
environment, we could game-play our checkbook, or the company or the
country, by wire."
to business systems will lead to more dynamic modeling in application
development, as business re-engineers adopt these techniques as primary
metaphors for mission critical applications. This technology will
have a near-term affect on business applications as developers seek
ways to compete and survive. In fact, many legacy applications will
be given a "mid-life kicker" using these techniques. They
will still be written in COBOL, but with new front-ends which express
base functionalities in new and more competitive ways. Legacy systems
will be reversed engineered--enabled--to add-on immersive interfaces
and add-in information processing modules, to enhance strategic, tactical
and operational decision making.
Why will Fortune
500 companies embrace elements of pezonomics? Because competitive
forces will demand it. Businesses use technology to form real bonds
and emotional links with clients: to attract and retain as many customers
as they can; and to differentiate themselves from their competition.
Companies spend considerable resources to acquire customers; protecting
that investment is a critical strategic objective. The re-emergence
of "one-to-one marketing" as a method of identifying and
retaining good clients is one example of how database and marketing
advances are converging. These enterprise-wide solutions deliver relationships
which stretch out, across the monitor and involve people in an experiential
manner. Organizations which viscerally grip people in this way will
enjoy a massive competitive advantage.
Generation consumers will increasingly look to pezonomics to cope
with the complexity of choice in their financial arrangements--mutual
funds, insurance and the like--which have become much too complex
to deal with using traditional tables. Savy, customer-centered marketing
organizations will be compelled to provide their customers with visual
computing tools which enhance consumer decision making--and track
the decisions they make.
children will be as intolerant of the slowness of what we think
of as leading edge multimedia as we are of the monitor and the keyboard.
And, like us, they will push the envelope past their point of tolerance,
and create in their children's generation a readiness to step up
the I/O between the brain and its silicon double up to neural bits
per second, or networked bits per second, whichever is faster."
Marc Demarest, Fire in the Lake:
The Visceral Technologies Site
Much of this computing
progression is generational: magic for us; transitional for our children,
trivial for our children's' children. The only question is, what games
will they be