UX Director

13 Years Later

13 years ago I was a verbose game designer writing about the future of games.  Today I'm a super efficient UX guy who hatesd verbosity both.

So now I'm taking a look back at my crazy predictions to see which have come true, which have me in the LOLS for how wrong they were - and which I can shoot down for the heinous overuse of metaphors.

Information Bubbles & the Meta, Meta-Game

Serving content based on your browsing history will sink you into a bubble.
— 12th December 2004

Yep.  It's happened.

Man this is a depressing one.  Back before YouTube, before streaming, before Facebook it seemed pretty clear that if you get served more things based only on what you like, you'll very quickly get stuck in a loop: just seeing things similar to the ones you've seen before, never encountering anything new, limiting your world to a tiny, self-referencing, self-reinforcing infinity of repetition with ever decreasing scope.

It was nothing clever, it wasn't intended as a prediction.  As a game designer my world was creating systems and imagining their impact. For me it was just a little bit of logic, a harmless thought experiment.

Yet here we are in 2018 with people closing themselves off, reading news that only aligns with their views, endlessly reinforcing them and never challenging them.

This has led to us fighting in opposition, where every issue is black and white, where you're either with us or against us.  A mindset where debating issues freely with open minds has been replaced with blunt opinion and raw force of personality makes it truth, drives it home.

The end of logic and reason.  Told you it was a depressing one.

(as an aside, people are now saying we should be designing systems.  Yay to them.  Maybe us game designers should turn our attention to fixing the real world. I dare you to mention 'gamification' in this context.  I double dare you.  (hint: don't or I might cry.  It's as abhorrent as hiding gambling by pretending it's a cute puzzle game).


 This is supposed to be about games and fun things, dammit.  

This is supposed to be about games and fun things, dammit.  


The second half is much better.  Back to talking about games.

YAY.  My relief is palpable.  A return to levity and all that is good in the world. Familiar and safe ground.  Society and the general IQ level is not in danger any more.  Turns out I can't muster the excitement to critique it now the world is ending - but it all seems to be very well thought through..

Ben GonshawComment