Raph Koster describes a "fun Amazon"

Alice from the Wonderland blog is at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference and she blogged her extensive notes from Raph "Theory of Fun" Koster's amazing talk on game design's lessons for web applications. Raph took us through what Amazon would look like if it was designed to maximize fun. It was mind-blowing.

If people don't care to come to it over and over, then it will fail.

It has to involve skill. You need to be able to do it better or worse. Purchasing on eBay is compelling – you figure out tricks! Sniping. Evaluation. In order to learn, you have to feel like you're growing more competent.

Fun comes from a growth in competence.

As you come to accomplish it, there need to be variant challenges. Connecting to a CEO on LinkedIn vs. connecting to the pr dude = different.

What you want is for the game to acknowledge the fact that it's tougher to get on Reed Hoffman's linkedin rather than someone who sells ads.

Social media is about cooperation, but the core of games is competitive. As soon as you give people a ladder to climb, they'll climb it.

Ratings. Metrics of contribution. Other people need to see it to measure against it.


See also:
Koster's amazing "What are the lessons of MMORPGs today?"
Koster's keynote from Game Developers Conference
Areae: online world startup from "Theory of Fun" Koster
Mudflation: inflation in virtual worlds
Destiny of Games: what will become of fun?
Theory of Fun PDF – UPDATED
Theory of Fun: Understanding Comics for games
Civil liberties in gamespace
Star Wars Galaxies economy laid bare
What would an MMORPG about healing be like?