Have you ever worn a Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband, or pedometer? Ever jogged along to Zombies, Run!, the immersive running game that motivates exercise with an imaginary band of zombies? How about participating in an ARG (Alternate Reality Game)?
Experts and procrastinators agree that motivation is hard to come by. Many times people need to take action, but the consequences aren’t close enough or obvious enough. We have tunnel vision about what’s needed, but it’s possible to move rewards and consequences “into our tunnel.” The book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal suggests that games are more thrilling, rewarding, and adept at tricking the human psyche into taking action and deriving satisfaction than the real world around us.
Social changes start small and grow. My flash piece “Immeasurable”, now available in Nature, explores the possibility of motivating ourselves to be better and the costs that come when people assign point values to life. It’s free online.
Think about it– we’re already being manipulated by advertisers and campaigners, so why not manipulate ourselves with points, rewards, and feedback?
If I were a real marketer, I’d motivate you with promises or offers to encourage the action I want. Leave a comment below.