For years I have been teaching MBAs about Gilmore and Pine’s notion of the Experience Economy and how it could well become the primary source of value creation in the future.
Here is how the authors characterize the difference between the Agrarian, Industrial, Service and Experience Economies:
I was in 2L over the weekend hanging out with a pal of mine (Stae Young). Stae and his wife created the very popular Agora Ballroom in 2L. He was telling me a story about a “regular” guest at the Agora who asked him if he could rent the place for an hour and if he could have the song Lady in Red piped into the ballroom at the appropriate time.
Stae, being the kinda guy he is, happily obliged. When his guest arrived at the pre-defined time, it was clear to Stae that the woman with him was new to this world. His Guest very patiently helped her navigate the space in order to get up to the main ballroom area. They then proceeded to dance the night away, culminating with his request to Stae for their favorite song, Lady in Red.
Stae said it was wonderful for him to be able to create this EXPERIENCE for his guest. But wait, it gets better. Later he found out that the woman was his guest’s wife and that she has been confined to a wheelchair for quite some time. His guest also told him that the EXPERIENCE they had in 2L that night could NEVER be replicated for them in RL.
That AHA took me right back to the awesome Machinima called Better Life that just viscerally drives home the fact that these kind of environments can really deliver out-of-this world experiences. With the Agora, Stae has created a place within which he can stage memorable personal experiences for his guests that evoke emotions and sensations that might not even be available in the real world context. Stae also shared with me that a number of his guests are soldiers in Iraq who wanted to feel closer to their loved ones on the other side of the planet.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. In the future Content may be still be king but Context will be the Kingdom. All of us need to become far more adept at creating contexts that engender true generative learning experiences. 2L is a true Context Creation platform. Let’s promise each other not to leverage 2L or any other 3Di platform for what it is and not just apply this incredible technologty to create fancier 3D page-turning environments.
Stae works for IBM as a Learning Architect. We are in the process of building out a showcase for IBM that shows what can happen when you apply 3Di sensibilities to create contexts where learning happens through a series of experiences. Stay tuned for more on this in a later post.
This is the entrance to our showcase. We’re still in our Tuxes as we had just ported over from the Agora.