Why teenagers don’t want to drive and what that means about your future audience.

I’ve written about the next generation of theatergoers a couple of times and how different they’ll be from the ones we have now based on a few things:

  • They were born with a computer in their home.
  • They’ve had cell phones since the day they could dial.

And . . .

  • Boy/Girl/Techie or Not . . . they have grown up on video games.

Those video games are going to impact every aspect of how this audience engages with live entertainment, from the marketing to the actual art itself.  (Read this blog to see some stats on what I’m talking about.)

Gabe “Games R My Life” Zichermann, who literally wrote the book on Gamification (which I recommend), gave a speech at the TCG conference recently on the gaming audience and how to reach them, which was fortunately recorded and I’ve posted below (or use this link).

Watch it and learn why teenagers don’t want to drive, how the Swedes make people pay for speeding, and how Nike walked over New Balance in the runner’s marketing.

It’s a great talk.  Made me think . . . hey Gabe, what are you doing next January.  TEDxBroadway III?

After you watch it, come up with a couple gaming ideas you can incorporate into your show/advertising/everyday life.  We’re doing a fun one at my office today, actually. I’ve challenged my team members to come up with 2 ideas on how to make our office more efficient . . . or two ways on how they can save time and/or money (because they are the same thing).  The winner gets a cash prize.  But, in actuality, we’ll all win, because we’ll probably action 80% of the ideas.

What can you game?


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  • Emily says:

    I love this concept of gamification. As a member of this newer, gamified generation, I can actually see how much the games I played as a kid and teen impact my choices today – particularly from playing the Sims! It’s neat to think about applying these more broadly across the business spectrum. Thanks for sharing, Ken!

  • Kevin Lambert says:

    This guy is outstanding. YES, please get him for TEDxBroadway 3. I have to process all of this and figure out how to use the concepts.

  • Matt Mezzacappa says:

    We started this at NYU–write a musical in 1.5 hrs, then perform it–it’s a game! To advance to the next level you must beat the big boss of story and figure out what to write and how (and why) music advances the story. we love the restriction of games I think, (we love the creativity and complexity too but for those minutes we play them we don’t have to worry about anything beside the game. The Instant Musical is similar to that….one could gamify the process of musical theatre even further by limiting the amount of time one could work in a full length too–the ultimate challenge

  • W. Squier says:

    Re: “we’ll probably action 80% of the ideas.”
    Glad to hear it. But, is “action” a verb now?

  • David says:

    Game theory has been around a lot longer than these new technologies among scientists, social scientists and mathematicians who are interested in human behavior under conditions of conflict or cooperation among multiple players/actors. Two classics I would recommend to those interested in strategic decision making are Morgensterns Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944) and the Nobel prize winning work portrayed in the book and movie Beautiful Mind.

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