iMotivate: What’s the Future of Gaming and Healthy Lifestyles?

We’re not big gamers here at CNiC, but there was a fascinating episode of WNCY’s radio program On the Media last week devoted solely to the topic, which had some very interesting, if also unsettling, things to say about the ways gaming culture may eventually impact the real-life choices we all make.

In one segment (embedded below), Carnegie Mellon professor, Jesse Schell, spent some time envisioning a time in the not-too-distant future where our lives could become one big game of racking up automatic points – 10 points for brushing our teeth, 100 points for walking to our next meeting (with a bonus for reaching target heart rate) – which could effect our insurance premiums and even tax credits. 

Clearly, it’s a Big Brother scenario that smacks of the dark sides of Minority Report, but with a number of recent articles on “incentivizing” healthy lifestyles, most recently in the New York Times (story), it seemed to be a future worth thinking about.  Exactly where things will go 5, 10, or 20 years from now, no one knows.  But Schell’s vision does not seem too far-fetched, so maybe it’s worth a little energy to begin to think about how we could work to influence the positive aspects of such a future while minimizing its negatives.

Jesse Schell enters into the segment at 5:05.

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