It’s hard to say whether Bing Gordon grew up with gaming or gaming grew up with Bing Gordon.
After a youth spent ranging about—hitchhiking to every state aside from Hawaii—he become a part of video game history with Electronic Arts in 1982. He grew with the gaming company that became a juggernaut, presiding at chief creative officer from 1998 to 2008, when he left to join Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, the mega VC firm that, fittingly enough, invested in EA back in ’82.
Now Bing—who’s contributed to Fast Company how everything is becoming gamified, including your (and my) career, as he recently explained to us. Below we pick up just after I ask Bing if LinkedIn is a game—to which he replied with a “yeah” and a look of surprise, so startling was my naiveté.
He then proceeded to drop more digitized knowledge. Enjoy.
LINKEDIN USES THAT COMPLETION BAR FOR FILLING OUT YOUR PROFILES AS AN AUTOMATOR AND IT WORKS.
Of course you want to fill out something—and what do I get for it? LinkedIn doesn’t give you scoring system, but if you pay premium you get access to more data so other people can score you.
I think we’re seeing that mass market education has been a game for a long time and the scoring system is grades which are arbitrarily made up and sold convincingly to the participants as if they mattered. Then there’s a kind of survival game for the whole institution. The currency in the education system is grades.
One of the things we found about online games is you always need to have two currencies. One currency is usually respect or fame and another one; one is based on time and the impact and the other is based personal achievement. The education game doesn’t really have two currencies for the user yet. It has lasted surprisingly long…