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Want To Learn About Game Design? Go To Ikea - ReadWrite
"The path is constantly curving to keep you enticed."

[also posted at: http://killscreendaily.com/articles/game-design-ikea/
video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKCDJ89ODyM ]

"IKEA’s reach extends beyond simple economic heft. In Lauren Collins’ epic 2011 New Yorker profile of the company, she casts the IKEA vision as something that extends beyond pure commerce. “The invisible designer of domestic life, it not only reflects but also molds, in its ubiquity, our routines and our attitudes.” Our IKEA, ourselves, as it were.

But to become that successful requires a unique understanding of the consumer mindset and there are certainly many explanations for why this might be. I wanted to introduce something else. Intentionally or not, IKEA embodies some of the best values of good games. I’m not saying that IKEA is a game, per se, but it exhibits many game-like characteristics.

So how?

DESIGNING A GOOD MAZE …

BUILD A STORY WORLD THROUGH DETAILS …

"Because Ikea's founder is dyslexic, the company built a whole taxonomy for products to help him remember. Furniture is Swedish place names, chairs are men’s names, and children’s items are mammals and birds. (Lars Petrus’ Ikea dictionary reads like a key to reading Ulysses in this respect.)

The act of naming an object is an incredibly powerful key to immersion that games use all the time. Think about the names of the drones in BioShock or inventory descriptions in Dark Souls. Each of these games uses unique in-game language to build a convincing story world and keep you there.

For Ikea, they want you to identify with a place, in this case the Swedish concept of “folkhemmet,” a social democratic term coined by the Social Democratic Party leader Per Albin Hansson in 1928, that means “the people’s home.” And this identity is bolstered through numerous elements that want to capture a full-bodied Swedish identity, despite the global presence of the store. The colors are the Swedish national flag; the store sells traditional Swedish foods; the children’s play room is called Smaland as a nod to the founder’s hometown and so on.

As Ursula Lindqvist, an associate professor of Scandinavian studies at Adolphus Gustavus, writes, “The Ikea store is a space of acculturation, a living archive in which values and traits identified as distinctively Swedish are communicated to consumers worldwide through its Nordic-identified product lines, organized walking routes, and nationalistic narrative.”

But the language plays the largest part Ikea builds their retail universe, the same way that Borderlands doesn’t just call a pistol a pistol. It’s a Lacerator or The Dove or the Chiquito Amigo or Athena’s Wisdom. Ikea doesn't just sell you a coffee table; it sells you a Lack or a Lillbron or a Lovbaken.

As writers Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn said of their Significant Objects project, “It turns out that once you start increasing the emotional energy of inanimate objects, an unpredictable chain reaction is set off.""

ALLOW SHOPPERS TO CREATE THEIR OWN MEANING …

THE VALUE IS THAT YOU HAVE TO DO IT YOURSELF …

"But the value is that you have to do it yourself, which makes it more meaningful. Researchers found this is at the heart of “the Ikea effect” which suggests that people will value mass-produced items as much as artisan wares … if only they build them piece by frustrating piece. In their 2012 paper, “The Ikea Effect: When Labor Leads to Love,” Michael Norton and his team explain that the reason people love Ikea is a form of “effort justification.” You’ve put so much time into building Lack shelves that it has to be valuable."

DEVELOP UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCES

This is something we take for granted in games, but think about if you couldn’t play Tetris if you didn’t speak Russian or Super Mario Galaxy if you didn’t speak Japanese. Games are their own language and can be played by anyone, regardless of the nationality, location or background.

IKEA has a similar idea about decorating your home. They call it “democratic design.” As founder Ingvar Kamprad wrote, “Why do the most famous designers always fail to reach the majority of people with their ideas?” So IKEA tries to takes its designs to everyone in the world and designs products that ostensibly could fit in any living room from Shanghai to Berlin or Los Angeles.

This has obviously been a source of critique. Bill Moggridge, the director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in New York, calls IKEA’s aesthetic “global functional minimalism.” He says “it’s modernist, and it’s very neutral in order to avoid local preferences.” IKEA flattens the experience of every home by selling the same furniture which, of course, benefits the company but also benefits the mission of the paradoxical non-profit that technically owns IKEA and is somehow dedicated to furthering the advancement of architecture and interior design.

Regardless, that impulse for world domination has a pleasant by-product in that creates a common design language for people around the world. It’s the same type of experience that Jenova Chen wanted to make in Journey. Chen argued to me that the language we use is a facade and that games like Journey can be played by anyone. One could argue is the same desire to explains the lack of words on IKEA’s instructions."
ikea  gamedesign  2014  games  gaming  jaminwarren  jenovachen  journey  design  videogames  effortjustification  dyslexia  names  naming  flow  objects  economics  effort  language  constructivism  construction  mastery  difficulty  ingvarkamprad  culture  acculturation  robwalker  joshuaglenn  billmoggridge  homoludens  significantobjects  ursulalindqvist  adolphusgustavus  universality  global  meaningmaking  michaelnorton 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Object Lessons
"Object Lessons is an essay and book series about the hidden lives of ordinary things, from abysses to consumers, hierarchies to histories."

"Each Object Lessons project will start from a specific inspiration: an anthropological query, ecological matter, archeological discovery, historical event, literary passage, personal narrative, philosophical speculation, technological innovation—and from there develop original insights around and novel lessons about the object in question.

Object Lessons invites contributions from scholars, writers, scientists, artists, journalists, and others. Potential topics include: rubber band, plastic bag, tornado, turpentine, wind, wall, Glock, drone, Lamborghini, flak jacket, steamboat, shoehorn, laughter, hatred, air, Google Glass, catnip, platinum, money, rebar, polyester, microchip, marriage, time machine, celebrity, Blowpop, cornbread, combine, honey, Velcro, copper wire, cruise ship, cilium, hot wing—the possibilities are quite literally endless.

SERIES EDITORS

Ian Bogost, Georgia Institute of Technology
Christopher Schaberg, Loyola University New Orleans

Alexis Madrigal, The Atlantic
Haaris Naqvi, Bloomsbury Publishing"
objects  writing  storytelling  significantobjects  alexismadrigal  haarisnaqvi  christopherschaberg  ianbogost 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Objects with Stories - Barbican
"Do you have an object that conjures up thoughts of your family? Does your object bring memories of affection, funny moments or adventures great and small?

Chinese artist Song Dong's spectacular installation Waste Not — comprised of more than 10,000 objects collected by his mother over five decades — was a moving portrait of family life.

In response to the installation, Objects with Stories invited you to share thoughts about your loved ones. This could be mothers, father, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins and close friends. Join us to read stories of families, lessons learned or everyday life in this public collection of personal things."
songdong  art  barbican  objects  stories  storytelling  significantobjects  memory  memories  affection 
april 2013 by robertogreco
Significant Objects | …and how they got that way
"A talented, creative writer invents a story about an object. Invested with new significance by this fiction, the object should — according to our hypothesis — acquire not merely subjective but objective value. How to test our theory? Via eBay!"
writing  narrative  storytelling  ebay  objects  design  art  significantobjects  significance  meaning  literature  projects  tcsnmy  classideas  srg 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Miniature Bottle | Significant Objects
"This bottle is going to appear in your mouth in two minutes. If you pull the bottle out of your mouth, it will reappear in your mouth in five seconds. If you attempt to prevent the bottle from reappearing in your mouth by filling your mouth with another object, you could choke or burst your cheek when the bottle returns to your mouth and displaces the object. In addition, every time you remove the bottle from your mouth, it will grow in size by one tenth of one percent. Unless you sell the bottle to another person and money changes hands, the bottle will remain in your mouth until you die. When you die, it will go back to where you found it. You must reveal this paragraph verbatim to anyone you attempt to sell the bottle to."
fiction  markfrauenfelder  humor  objects  significantobjects  srg  edg  glvo 
july 2009 by robertogreco

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