Game producer and awesome spouse Alice Taylor had an extremely cool idea for game-ifying the custodial tasks at Walt Disney World. Man, am I a lucky guy:
I was walking over the bridge to Splash Mountain, and I saw a man clad in white overalls, carrying a long-handled dustpan and brush, peering over the edge of the bridge at the water below. "Man, when are they going to clean that up?" he said to himself, and loudly enough so I heard too as I passed.Happy new year!
He was looking at the water below the bridge - a bit murky, a few maps floating in it and a coke bottle or two. Very bad for Disney, very unusual, but more interestingly: this guy was a cleaner, and yet "they" had the job of cleaning the water. Who were They? Another cleaning group, presumably, probably one with waders, and different equipment. Perhaps some extra safety training?
Which got me to gameification. Not points, but simple systems design. Could this guy level up through the Cleaning Guild hierarchy, or complete the Cleaner tree of skills, perhaps? It'd be great if this person - who clearly cared a lot about his work - could simply fix the problem he was looking at, or if not, to know easily and simply what the next level of training and equipment is required. It made me think of Fix My Street, and mobile chores apps like Epic Win, and levelling trees for training & development. That would be a seriously fun problem to solve. What would Disney do?
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.