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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