Posted by: crudbasher | December 13, 2010

When Life is a Video Game (video)

This is a mind blowing video from Jesse Schell at a conference earlier this year called DICE.

In the video, Jesse talks about a future where everything we do is being monitored, not just by the government but by companies and advertisers.  In essence, you are playing a video game of life.  Everything you do gets points.  While I find this type of future rather dystopian as he describes it, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.  The technology for it is right around the corner.  My thoughts on this below the video.

As the pace of technological innovation increases, we are having a problem with assimilating these new technologies into society.  Ray Kurzweil has talked for a long time about the rate of technological progress.  As you can see by this table we have had a long time in the past to absorb new technologies.

Mass Adoption of Inventions

As you can see though the rate of adoption has gotten faster over time.  It used to be we had a generation to absorb things.

My point here is each technology has to have a societal structure created for it. Acceptible usage rules and such have to be evolved.  For example, when answering the telephone we usually say “Hello”.  However when phones were first invented, it was common to answer the phone and announce your number so the person calling would know they got the right number.  These things evolved over time.

If you ever go into an online video game with other players you will see a whole other ecosystem of tradition and customs.  Words like “newb” and “griefer” were evolved by teenagers.  These system are created to help society deal with new technologies.

Back to the video.  I have no doubt that the technology that Jesse is describing will exist soon.  Personally I value my privacy and so would be uncomfortable with what he talked about.  However, keep in mind that over time, society will evolve rules and customs to absorb even that radical technology.  Don’t judge it from your point of view, try to judge it from the generation not yet born.  They are the ones who eventually will set the limits on future technologies.

Oh, and keep in mind all these technologies will make their way into Education. Pleasant dreams. 🙂




  1. Seriously, seriously screwed up. But I think he is right… nothing can stop this.

    • You are right, the technology can’t be stopped. I don’t think Mankind has ever not invented something because he thought it was a bad idea. 🙂 We will see what happens!
      Thanks very much for commenting!!

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