Last week I watched streams from E3 (the world’s biggest gaming conference). One thing that popped up in every press conference and presentation I watched was the importance of a user. Of course for long, it’s been talked about user centric approaches and design for users and with users, but this year I just noticed it very vividly. Users are having more and more impact to all processes, starting from the early development.

Another thing was the importance of freedom. Today, the freedom is notable ‘force’ everywhere. We want it because we don’t want to be restricted into certain boundaries. But it hasn’t always been like that. For instance decades ago, our fathers or grandfathers were pretty happy if they had a stable job. Now, youngsters (like me) don’t want to get stuck in certain position. We want to be free! It’s the same in gaming. In my childhood, we were pretty happy with restricted 2D Mario world, but today children want more open worlds and options. They want to choose their own way to play.


The third point from the E3 shows was the importance of social interaction (i.e. social gaming). As Sony’s representative said: “1,25 billion online hours (1 billion multiplayer hours) has played since the launch of PS4 (during 7 months)”. That’s amazing! People want to meet other people. Even though it’s not playing football in the garden (like fifteen years ago), it still have the same meaning. Now the action is much more global. It might seem that children (and thus future employees) are alone and not hanging out together, but actually co-creation and co-operation are having maybe even bigger role than before.

A few interesting words and phrases, referring the topics above, I picked up from E3 streams:

“User designed”
“Open world”
“Players create, creators play” (the slogan of Project Spark)
“People want freedom”
“Feedback is important”
“Broadcasting and live streams”
“Your voice will have a direct impact to development”

And one more note: Somehow innovation and creativity seems still to be so important, even though they are so over-used, at least in my opinion. In every press conference, the word innovation was said at least once. In Sony’s presentation the message was probably the most vivid: “Our offering is pushing creativity and innovativeness”. Is it so, that the word just have to be said because otherwise the company is not interesting enough? I just wonder how that word has become so necessary.

But anyway, the world has changed and developed. When we design products, we have to engage users from the very beginning, give them freedom and make social interaction possible. Otherwise, we are lost. Or what do you think of?