Why has Germany been slow to take up the concept of location-based social games on mobile phones?
In the U.S., location-based game playing – or “gamification” – is huge business, with most shops and businesses offering rewards for “checking in”. But in Germany gamification is still a fringe activity for most phone users.
Gamification expert Gabe Zichermann will travel to Berlin to discuss this fast-emerging social media segment, and explain how and why the U.S. has become hooked on it.
Mr. Zichermann will talk on Monday September 19 at Social Media Week Berlin, a free public conference.
He said gamification in the U.S. took a while to get going.
“Checking in makes no sense at all,” Mr. Zichermann said, “So the first companies failed in location-based networking because they were designed the wrong way. It only took off when the notion of a game was introduced.”
Controversially, Mr. Zichermann believes that the industry is now succeeding because it has realized that the game element is more important than the location. Strangely, that means that people are more interested in playing games on their phones than actually interacting with other humans in physical spaces.
He said gamification would take off in Germany when people started to get hooked on the challenge of the game element.
Following Gabe’s keynote, Sina Kamala Kaufmann from Wooga will respond to his ideas, and add some thoughts of her own. Sina is the head of communications and partnerships at Wooga (world of gaming), the second largest developer of social games worldwide.
The talk begins at 8pm in the new Aufbau Haus at Moritzplatz. Like all events at Social Media Week, attendance is free, but registration is necessary.