Gaming is taking on new forms and creating new forms of interaction.

The new book by Jane McGonigal, “Reality is Broken” highlights the
potential for games while a recent conference at AIGA provided
dialogue, http://2011.incontrolconference.com/

Here’s some interesting tidbits to start keeping track of:

“With this increased flexibility, designers should focus less on
explanation and more on engagement, he said. To do this, Burka urges them to ‘play right away.'”

“For example, at Tiny Speck, started by Flickr co-founder Stewart
Butterfield, they are working on the multiplayer game Glitch, which
allows users to start crafting characters, with names and even
‘implausibly large mustaches,’ before prompting them to register.”

“The key is to throw users into the heart of your site. Don’t rush
them to provide email addresses or complete forms. First allow them to experience the value of your website or application. Then ask for more information. A richer initial experience makes users more inclined to comply.”

“Aarron Walter, lead user experience designer at MailChimp, stressed the importance of incorporating play not only from the start but also for the duration of an interactive experience. Websites and applications should go beyond functional; they must delight and inform.”

http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/web-design-that-puts-engagement-first