The Experience Economy
I found it interesting that the two of the examples explored as successful forms of the experience economy are now secondary actors in there respective interactive space. The article opens up with LAN party sites. As a gamer, it was true that it gave you a space with a myriad of games and a social interaction that at the time was not possible over the internet. AOL gave the same experience to the mainstream internet user. It gave a myriad of tools to access the internet. These examples show how even though we provide the best service to a community, if you do not reinvent and grow with that community you fall off.
What I found interesting was that both AOL and LAN sites, educated us on how to navigate through their respective space. What is also interesting is that they brought a sense of true community to the internet. As the internet grew, we became extremely active participants in the community. AOL and LANs were a pseudo-passive environment, because they offered the space but we chose to leave when we wanted to. We went from a community where groups of people interacted through the internet to a community of people who simply puts themselves out there to be commented on. We ultimately became more introverted, but this introversion heightens our immersion in the environment. Thus, as designers, we need to harness peoples introversion as a way to bring people through the door.
It is concerning that the web is rapidly combining and iterating the main tenures of the article: education, escapist, and esthetic. They can do it faster and sometimes better then most educational and entertainment spaces. Though it will be hard to recreate the esthetic, the web is making leaps with educational and escapist. From WoW to Google’s new museum walk-through to cellphones, we now have the tools to take experiences with us and make them better. Moreover how museums and even places like Disney stay relevant might end up being the very thing that has taken there place as the premier place for education and entertainment.
But hope is still there. The internet has 2 grand issues: its follow through and transformation. Google’s new museum walk-through will not replace the museum. Why? Because the internet is volatile and Google cannot give you an experience. They present you one. The web cannot make a physical thing real. Paints, sculptures, animals, etc are not perceived by us in a two-dimensional plane. The Disney example is a perfect one. Most of Disney’s content is two-dimensional. Yet, millions have gone to Disney World. People will always visit museums and entertainment. The key is whether we want to stay relevant or stay with the stream.