August 26, 2010

Why Google has no Game.

1 comment:

John Powers said...

"What Google needs is a set of tools to make normal web sites as socially interactive and easy to manage as Facebook Pages."

Somehow my "likes" are valuable to "them" but we don't have a good way to visualize or search "likes" associated with us. You've recently pointed to Klout and Social Mention which are perhaps along these lines. "Like" is used by various applications but Facebook "owns" the term I think something more generic like "points" would be useful. I want a way of accumulating points and in turn giving my points away or to exchange them for something of value. I want markers of the social relationships on the Web that are relevant to me.

I'm not at all sure that Google is capable of asking your brilliant question: Why the money?" But there are hints in their history that the habit of asking questions like that is in their DNA. There is value in what Bruce Sterling calls “play labor” even if extending from that to answer “Where's the money?” isn't too clear. Rifkin says that games aren't real engagement, but I'm not so sure. I don't play games, but certainly do engage in play labor. Games involve keeping score, often with points. It doesn't seem far-fetched to imagine points accumulated from our online activities as a sort of currency in which to engage in the network protocol.

The shorter version is that Google could create play money for play labor.

I don't have a plan for how they'd make real money out that, except that such money would create value for people which they would then have an interest in protecting.