Gaming and the Millenials – a summary

> I was reading this article about millenials based on research done by MTV Networks. A lot of their conclusions are stated in my book ‘A Brand New Playground ( and I summarized the essence of their study below: 

 Half of Millennials said “People my age see real life as a video game” and almost 6 out of 10 said “#winning is the slogan of my generation” (certainly #epic_fail seems to have become their anti-slogan!) 

Principle #1: Play fair or you are “fair game” (What I call ‘Be Righteous’ in my book): these days you can’t bullshit your customers anymore. Be real and be fair and don’t try to cheat you customer into bad (poor quality) – overpriced – products. 

Principle #2: Leverage the leaderboard  
People are always interested in ‘how they’re doing’ compared to others. A leaderboard shows your position compared to other players and MTV links this to ‘wanting to know’ what price we pay for products and whether that price is fair. The internet is of course an easy way to compare prices. 

Principle #3: Smart-cuts, not short-cuts 
Gaming evokes intrinsic motivation to reach objectives. It’s very interesting that in games we tend to search for ‘work arounds’ to achieve the same goal in many different ways where as in real-life most employees are used to do the same routine every day and actually are afraid to change their behavior because it might have a different result (or at least it creates uncertainty). 

Principle #4: Deliver dopamine/adrenaline fixes

Half of respondents in the MTV study — perhaps those more prone to Millennial micro-boredom — believe that “life can be less stimulating than gaming.” The complementary game dynamic we found fascinating was “positive randomness” — if a game is too predictable, it is boring, but if there are too many random surprises, it is too complex. 

This can be explained by looking at the ‘flow’-model where we continuously balance between frustration and boredom using the skills available to us to fight challenges we face… this is the same in real-life, which I will explain in my next book ‘The Game of Life’. 

Principle #5: Hand over that joystick. 

Millennials are accustomed to having a voice, and having it heeded. And they’re frustrated when big corporations don’t give them a voice or a true “role” as a consumer in the game. In a game the player is always ‘in control’ (at least so it seems….). Instead of just sending advertising into the world brands should start a dialogue and start listening to their consumers and accept that THEY (consumers) are in control of our brands, not the marketing department…. 

 Read the full article here.

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