In "Blink," Malcolm Gladwell addresses the paradox of choice: how people love to choose from three options but become paralyzed at 23 options. In the case of the WeeWorld avatars, as with most online games, there are literally millions of choices, but broken down as they are into the manageable chunks of eye color, hairstyle, and clothing choices, we find it easy to get our heads around it.
Remember, it only takes cyan, magenta, yellow and black to produce nearly infinite color combinations; you don't have to customize thousands of features to provide true personal expression.
Technology is bringing those ends closer together, merging what we understand of reality with what we know to be fiction. One of the games I saw at the show was the Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary augmented reality iPhone app. It shows you where the hellholes are in your neighborhood and how to create sanctuaries. One of the trippiest things about it, though, is the feature that lets you see ghosts in camera view. We had a look around the room and spotted a headless wanderer and someone hanging from the ceiling.
If you're worried about demonic activity in your area, you need to download this thing, but if you freaked out when Orson Welles read "War of the Worlds" on the radio, avoid it at all costs.V
Gamification, says Rajat, can move people from an artificial loyalty to something more reliable. Artificial loyalty, also known as "spurious" loyalty, is the "Buy 10 get one free" kind, the kind that only brings people back for the freebie or the deal rather than out of any particular affection for your organization. When interaction with your brand becomes a game, however, the continuous endorphins trigger happier connections, causing customers to want to connect more and more.
Got any good lessons to add to these? Leave a comment, or send it to me on Twitter. Looking forward to learning from you.