The Blog

Want to win attention? Get ready to play games!

Whether you’re a type-A professional athlete or a bookish barista, everyone loves a good competition, especially when it brings not only spoils to the victors, but also bragging rights for the community they represent. That’s why gaming experiences are becoming an increasingly popular way to encourage consumers to engage with brands and messaging.

And gaming experiences aren’t just a powerful way to encourage consumer brand engagement– they’re also a wonderful way to strengthen community ties and awareness. We’re inspired by Daniel Stark’s Realitree concept which will ignite the eco-consciousness of urban inhabitants across the world with enormous projected trees in 50 iconic city centers.

The visible “health” of each tree will be dependent on not only local pollution levels and environmental efforts, but also the level of community “game play” on various social media platforms.

It’s not just about developing your own social games, either: the potential for brand messaging within existing social games is phenomenal when you realize that 29% of all internet users will play social games in 2012. Think virtual branded environments within games, virtual goods (like Farmers Insurance crop insurance on FarmVille),and even custom games (like Angry Birds Rio).

Offline games and real-world engagement are also exploding: International Pillow Fight Day,

Nike’s The Grid to make running a game, Norelco’s Playoff Beards, even the New York Public Library is in on the action with its Find the Future game.

Still need convincing about the potential for playing games? Take a few minutes to watch Jan McGonigal’s 2010 TED talk, Gaming Can Make a Better World, which explains how games challenge us, offer satisfying rewards and recognition, and even make us more willing to engage with each other.

Your move…