Our final segment this week is an interview with our first guest speaker. Bing Gordon is a longtime major figure in the video game industry. He was chief creative officer of Electronic Arts, one of the top games companies worldwide. He's now a partner at Kleiner Perkins, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. In full disclosure, Kleiner Perkins is one of the investors in Corsera. But the reason I wanted to talk to Bing is that he's also a major advocate for gamification. So our conversation touches upon some of the things that we've already covered in the class, and alludes to some of the topics that we're going to cover. Let's hear it. Bing, thanks a lot for joining us. >> Great to be here. This is probably the easiest classroom session I've ever had. >> Well, just wait and see. I haven't started asking you you questions yet. >> Well, if I were in my pajamas this would be even better. I'm going to I'm going to take a little picture of that. >> [LAUGH] You've said that you think every start up CEO should understand gamefication. Why is that? >> I think every CEO, not just start up CEOs should understand gamefication. There's a couple of reasons, the first is it's the new normal for people born after 1971 to see life as games, to be used to the interface, used to some of the rules. So if you want to have employees who were born after 1971, or customers who were born after 1971, you need to understand how they think and the lens through which they see the world. The second thing is, there's a bunch of principles, of of game design. That underscore and improve all kinds of communication and motivation theory. So if you manage it as a CEO, your job is to inspire customers. Or to inspire and communicate with employees. There's a bunch of principles in game design that are useful. So the, you know, the reason is to understand gamification is to be an effective, effective with your customers, effective with your employees. And even be able to test your effectiveness. Be one of the principles of gamification is instant feedback. And we can all we can all remember times when we wished from teachers, or parents, or significant others, or supervisors, bosses, to get instant feedback, and it's one of the things that games are great at, is instant, tangible feedback, which is different than hey, how am I doing? [SOUND] That's great, you know, a game would say, you know, plus three relationship points in The Sims, or, you know, plus 200 experience points in World of Warcraft, or would you know drop a drop a blue. And you say okay, that's real feedback, and if we get the same kind of precision and feedback in life that we get in games we would like ourselves better. >> [LAUGH] So then where should someone go to figure out what those rules are and how they would apply to their situation, other than taking this course of course? >> Well taking the course. There's no books. You know, there's books on game making. But not so much on game principles. Robert Trent Jones, a golf course designer, has some pretty good principles. Like, a golf course should look hard and play easy. And then you should have risk return on courses that if you want to try to get a birdie, a high risk, versus getting a par. So you could, you can read probably blogs and thinkings of interaction designers. I think the easiest way is to play a great game. So, I think every Fortune 500 company should have a video game room in its executive suite. Maybe somebody who's spent 1000 hours on World of Warcraft. Or has gotten to a real high level in Battlefield. Or you know, has hundreds of achievements on Xbox Live. Their because the things that are working in the best games are, are the best principles, you know, nobody's written them down in one place, but game-makers tend to try to borrow breakthroughs from one another. >> Mm-hm. >> [CROSSTALK] In World of Warcraft we know how hard it is to get people to cooperate. In the party system, with the overlapping buffs in World of Warcraft. It just, it's, the best example of an incentive system to work together with strangers, and it's so good that the culture of World of Warcraft has been pickup groups can play together, they understand the rules of behavior, and they don't even have to chat if they don't want to, everybody knows the rules. And there's sociologist psychologists who talked about kind of the, the pay it forward mechanism that seems inherent in all human cultures that where people reward good behavior, punish bad behavior. Well, that's, you know that no psychologist should put a number on it. Well in World of Warcraft, you can actually count that if you have a party with four other people that we're all buffing each other how much more effective you are. And my my civil principle is I should a game-maker should organize the map so if you're in a small party, you average about 20% more effective. Maybe the same thing's true with good marriage, if you're if you're married well, you should have a 20% better life. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Sounds good to me. And you gotta have a lot of instantaneous feedback there too. >> [LAUGH] Yeah. >> So >> Does my butt look good in these jeans? >> [LAUGH]. >> Yeah, there's some feedback you don't necessarily want, fair enough. [CROSSTALK] So you- >> Plus two for Gryffindor. >> Right. [LAUGH] So, I know you work at Kleiner Perkins with start ups. And you try to teach some of them about how to apply gamification. Are there things that you find that they consistently misunderstand about it? >> There are two mistakes that civilians typically make. One is that they think that the primary motivation of games is winning competition. And, in fact, we've seen again and again that cooperation trumps competition three-to-one. And then the, the, the second place that they tend to put their efforts is on kind of a high score. listing, high score ranking. And in fact, for most people, high score rankings are demotivating. One principle of gamification is you only get motivated when you're 90% of the way to success. So if there's a ring of 1,000 people and you're not within that top 10% you tend to tune out. So gamification, principle of gamification are to increase engagement. Not just increase the opportunities for trash talk. >> Mm-hm. >> Well so that, that links into one of the things I was going to ask you about. That people sometimes look at examples of gamification and look at examples of social games companies like Zinga and say basically, oh that's just a cheap trick. We can see how they get people hooked for a little bit. But ultimately it's just going to wear off. And with Zinga, which is one of your portfolio companies, people point to how their stock has gone down since their IPO. And say, oh this is just a fad. How do you respond to that? >> I wouldn't separate the two things out, you know, business. You know the ups and downs of businesses are you know, kind of legendary, been going on forever. The the, the principles of games you know, of using, using numbers and mechanics to improve. Motivation I'd say, have been going on for a long time, and the, you know, giving people rewards, we've been doing it in school with grades, and grades are kind of the gammification of the education system. and, you know, you do it with Facebook, seeing how many friends you can get, and with Twitter, how many friends you can get. So the Janet Murray at Georgia Tech thinks that, that play is the great accelerator of of kind of human culture. That the the creation of the human culture can't be explained by the size of the cortex. So I think the gamification is the kind of fun way to apply communication theory. And communication theory has been something that humans have cared about since, you know, cave drawings and probably since Adam and Eve. You know, and that, that Adam and Eve story, that, that shows one of the things that Will Wright used as a principle of game design which is you have to have great failures. And I think what people say about Dante is that in story telling, you have to have great villains. Well, you know, tantalizing people with great failure, like actually eating the apple of knowledge, and causing human downfall. And reality TV shows. You know, it's just, to say that's probably going to get old. You know? I think that's unlikely. So, since the beginning of culture, there have been many of these things that we've used as heuristics are not algorithms. So the, the games are, are polarizing. However, there's some people who react poorly to extrinsic results. But when I was growing up. Most people in America reacted poorly to numbers on the surface of consumer products. Except for baseball fans. You know, baseball fans, statistics were invented by newspapers as a way to try to get people to buy newspapers back in the turn of the century. And baseball numbers were cool. And all economists and my heroes started out as baseball fans. But there were numbers nowhere else, except maybe on the gas pump. And so civilians don't realize that boys and girls are growing up with numbers on the surface of Pokemon, and Neopets. And the numbers on the surface of The Sims, which is, you know, the first packaged goods game that had more than 50% of the players being female and reach big numbers. So the numbers as the new normal on the surface of products is something that the gaming Luddites don't realize. >> No, absolutely. And that ties back in, I think, to what you said earlier on about generational change. People growing up with games. I find that I grew up playing video games, but I watched my kids, and look at, at four and five and six, the experience they have, and virtually all of the games now they're playing have badge systems, and achievements, and virtual points, and virtual assets, and they're just comfortable with this stuff, they think that's just the way things work. >> Yeah, and it's going to put a lot of pressure on the assembly line education process that got perfected 100 years ago. >> could have put a lot of pressure on a lot of things. >> [LAUGH]. >> [CROSSTALK] well, so let me ask you one, one- >> I do, I do tell kids that, you know, take heart. The game business was created by high potential people who are bored with lectures and then lectures do become, kind of, the center of many education systems, so the you know, being bored in lectures is probably an indicator of future success. >> [LAUGH] Well hopefully it's not true of anyone that's bored of my lectures in this class. But I guess we'll see. >> Well, but in your class, they can be, you know, if it gets a little bit slow, you can play a little Castleville, or Words With Friends on the side. >> [LAUGH] >> And the teacher won't be pissed. >> Absolutely not. So if this becomes the new normal, though, and every company is using these techniques, where's the room for differentiation, for competitive advantage? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Well the nice thing about living in Silicon Valley or being in the media business that innovations grow the whole market, so it's not necessarily win lose. Let's see, if it becomes the new normal. I don't know, you know I think the the kids who've grown up digital we've seen it again and again and again, they believe that the purpose of the world is to be the best version of yourself you can be and that life is not hierarchical. So we're going to a peer to peer world. And, you know? If you can find ways to communicate more effectively. Build relations more effectively. Learn more effectively. Why not, you know? 'because we probably only have 100 years on, on the planet. And if you could we saved years by getting clear feedback, or kind of being more motivated. Why not? >> Sounds great to me. Thanks a lot for for joining us. >> Okay, good luck, good luck to all the students, hope they get plenty of chances through out test the wisdom of grown-ups and find out where it's lacking. >> [LAUGH] Many places, absolutely, good advice.