In an industry that has historically been considered more artistic and subjective, connected devices and the ability to rapidly iterate on already shipped titles has ushered in an age of science and measurement. In short, data has enabled the “gamification” of the mobile industry.
Are we in fact becoming an industry of measurement scientists? Have we evolved (or devolved?) from the lesser demons of art? Are we now Big Data Gamificating Analysts? Is that which is a game now that which is gamified?
Probably. But it’s temporary. We won’t annihilate a medium that has relied on tenets like story, delight, mastery, learning and fun.
Right now, Big Data is the story we’re creating as we grapple with Big Scale. We need it, it needs us, and while the industry caters to a massively social mobile gamified bulletin board, a sophisticated marketing machine and a pseudo-altruistic tech behemoth, we can catch our breath and devise new, sticky ways of interactive Show and Tell.
It’s important to see this period as a transition and not real change. There are many artists, programmers, designers and producers in the business who are struggling to find their place, do their work and create delightful experiences for massive numbers of on-boarding gamers in the noosphere. The numbers truly are staggering. And we saw it coming. But the scale at which we’re operating is more difficult and complex than we could have possibly imagined.
How do I know we’re transitioning rather than changing? I don’t. But I feel it — not an easy thing for my data-loving mind to express. More important I know that many in our industry feel it, too, even those who are at the crest of the Big Data Wave, even as they hone novel ways of gathering and scrutinizing every little noo in the noostream.