Sunday, August 06, 2006

Wired 14.04: Generation Xbox

Wired 14.04: Generation Xbox

In Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Shaping Business Forever, John Beck and Mitchell Wade define the dominant characteristics of the nimble-thumbed set.

6 traits that define us in the post-Atari age

1. Arrogance: Killing the bad guys and saving the universe leads to a superiority complex. This carries over into the real world, too. Gamers as young as 20 often claim to be experts at whatever they do.

2. Sociability: Sitting alone at the console isn't considered alone time - especially when it's spent playing massively multiplayer online games. The more a gamer plays, the more likely they are to identify themselves as sociable.

3. Coordination: Virtual heroes must react quickly to visual cues to advance to the next level. A study by the University of Rochester found that visual processing dramatically increases with as little as 10 hours of gameplay.

4. Flexibility: There's always more than one way to win a game. To beat a particularly difficult sequence, gamers try different methods with tireless persistence. They tackle life's problems with the same flexibility. This allows for analytical, strategic, and open-minded thinking.

5. Competitiveness: Life is a game, and everyone plays to win. Even though gamers often succeed at teamwork, they retain a strong, underlying sense of personal ambition.

6. Insubordination: Logging thousands of hours in authority-free worlds teaches gamers to live by their own rules. Gen G accepts criticism exclusively from peers. Outsiders don't speak their language anyway.

And from the lead article of the section (Wired 04/2006) titled Dream Machines, comes this Benkler-like quote:

By moving away from the idea that media is something developed by the few (movie and TV studios, book publishers, game companies) and consumed in a one-size-fits-all form, we open up a world of possibilities. Instead of leaving player creativity at the door, we are inviting it back to help build, design, and populate our digital worlds.

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