This is not trivial.
Billions of people are walking the planet Earth with the nagging feeling that they cannot win their game playing by the rules they are given. If America was once the shining beacon of opportunity where hard work and perseverance were the main ingredients of success, and Americans are feeling that they can’t win playing by the rules, then you can expect two things to happen: People will stop playing the game, AND the rules will change.
Looking on the sunny side, we see Gaming companies achieving astonishing valuations in Silicon Valley. What is even more remarkable is that a similar thing is happening concurrently with Travel, Coupons, and Alternate Currencies. Many people stand back aghast at the sheer size of some of these bets; $120M for Tripit, $5B worth Zynga, $6B for Groupon, $50B for Facebook. The Market capitalization of Apple ($320B) is almost 2 times greater GDP of Egypt ($188B).
It would be foolish to underestimate the value the gaming component – now called “Interactive Entertainment” – as enabled by the Internet. Gaming is an extremely mathematical science where designers predict the probabilities that a player will favor one strategy over another. The better these prediction become, the more interactive and, ostensibly, the more entertaining a game becomes – at least to some people.
The Calculus of Gaming
It is no coincidence that the calculus of gaming and the knowledge assets deployed to the gaming industry are functionally identical to financial and marketing industries such as banking, insurance and demography. Banks set the price of money based on the probability that you can pay it back (credit scores). Insurance companies set the price on premiums based on the probability that you will experience a loss (actuarial data). And Demographers predict what you will buy and who you will vote for. After all, a Bank is really just a game that bets that you will win and an insurance company bets that you will lose, and demographics keeps the game, well, unfair. But together, they all hedge each other’s risk, not yours.
Watch The Integration, closely
From prior articles; The Travel industry is a proxy for how and where ideas are spread. The Coupon Industry influences human behavior to accelerate the disruptive innovation and to create new value simultaneously. The Gaming Industry will define the rules by which the new game will be played and provide the ability to predict when, where, and how to value social capital. When the integrated is complete, the ability to capitalize and securitize a new social currency (next article) will emerge to hedge, and then replace, the dollar.
(Editor’s note: The above post is #4 in a series , , , ,  introducing The Value Game to a new class of business methods. The first real world application is Social Flights; a collaborative production / consumption game being deployed to the market. If this works, the new business method class will be generalized throughout the economy to catalyze the convertibility of social currency. Please join us at The Future of Money and Technology Summit in San Francisco on february 28th 2011 where we will unveil the work to the technology community)