The first computer games emerged soon after the first electronic computers were built. One of the first games was Spacewar! It was a two-player game where each player tries to destroy the other. Competition has always been part of computer games and when the first local area networks emerged, computer games like for example Doom took advantage of the new network to allow multiplying. With the Internet, competing in game playing is taken to a new level. Over the last few years, game playing organized as sports events have become popular.
New Technology student Georg Ólafsson wrote for the 2012 course a paper titled The future of electronic sports. From the introduction:
In this paper I will try to define eSports, what it really is and what makes it so special. I will discuss the history of electronic sports (eSports) and look objectively at the process it has gone through to in order get to the stage that it is at today. I will discuss the rise of eSports in South-Korea and look at how and why the game Starcraft became so immensely popular over there and why it took such a long time to reach the western hemisphere and gain any real popularity over here. The current state of eSports is another thing that will be researched and looked at since this sport is dependant on much more than just the players and spectators e.g. technology, game design perspectives, player-base, game genres and business models, these are all influences that I will look at and dig into so I can shine a better light on this growing new-age phenomena.
For many the release of the new iPhone 5 in September 2012 was less than expected. Just an incremental technology update. That however, did not stop a crowd of people to camp outside Apple stores all over the world. For days they would sleep on the street to get their hands on the new device just few days before the rest of the crowd. To many, the iPhone is new technology. The latest stuff we can buy. While a new release will generate press and attention for a while, maybe something else is more important. Like what is the impact of technology like the iPhone? How do people change their behaviour with a powerful computer like that in their hands? How will their habits change? And as more and more people have smartphones how will society change?
Change of consumer behaviour is very much the topic of my New Technology course at Reykjavík University. Student Eva Berglind Magnúsdóttir wrote for the course, a paper titled New Technology, New Behavior, where she addresses how technology can change the way people behave. This excerpt is from the introduction:
How does this technology and access to it change our behavior? Do we adapt differently to new technology according to our age or gender? I will therefore emphasize on the adaption of technology between generations and genders and what technology is out there that has led to the checking habit.
New technology definitely generates new behavior and that is what will be revealed in this paper. Several studies on the matter, which have been conducted in the past, will be cited. Unfortunately most of them were conducted approximately ten years ago but I believe they paint a good picture on the subject. I will start by explaining the general term technology. After that I will explain the difference in the adaption between generations and differences in adaption between genders. I will then focus on the technology that I believe has changed the human behavior most over the recent years and the devices associated with that technology. I will then focus on how associations of this technology have had an impact. In which I will discuss, among other things, how communication online can possibly affect people and I will end by defining the checking habit.
Games are one of the most powerful force that exists in the world. People enjoy playing games and games can motivate us. Games play on our emotions and they can keep us playing for hours. Game can also make us do things we might not otherwise do. Tasks can be “gamified” to make them fun. This is the Mary Poppins attitude, turn the task into a game and it becomes fun. Over the last few years, gamification is becoming recognized as a method motivating people.
New Technology student and iOS programmer Árni Jónsson did research into gamification. In the introduction he explains:
A recent effort by software designers to take advantage of this fundamentally playful mindset of the species in non-game applications has been given the moniker “gamification,” a phrase coined by venture capitalist Timothy Chang. Chang bluntly explained the aim of gamification as such: “Basically game mechanics are a way to get consumers addicted to things”.2 Most of the mechanics are understandably lifted from computer games, but some harken further back to more traditional games and tried and tested marketing ploys.