In a recent paper by Cheryl K. Olson of the Massachusetts General Hospital entitled “Children’s Motivations for Video Game Play in the Context of Normal Development” the subject of why we play games was addressed. According to Olsen the reason we play games is because they give us a connection to one another in that today’s games whether video or otherwise are geared toward being played by groups of people rather than alone. Games also feed our desire to compete with one another in hopes of proving our superiority.
As a company that fequently attends trade shows you might find these answers quite interesting especially if you are in the market for a new exhibit. Responses to the question “Why do you play video games?” included: “I like to compete with others”, “Helps me to forget my problems”, “I like the challenge of figuring things out” and clearly the most insightfull in terms of business “Helps me make new friends”. Now think about some of the games that are availble to be customized featuring your company’s name and logo and think about this last statement. Games like Plinko, Football Toss, Putt-Putt Golf, and even bowling each helping you to make that connection with your target market by telling them that you want to be their friend, you want to help them figure things out, and you’re there to help them forget or even solve their problems.
Now given this survey was geared toward finding out the motivations of minors, but honestly aren’t we all children at heart. As adult’s don’t we all want to show our boss we are the best at what we do? Show our friends that we’ve found the perfect device to solve our problems? That we’ve got a new friend that is helping us make our lives better? Games and props do more than just provide fun, they encourage people to spend some time with your company and learn what you are all about. They are the foot in the door of a lasting relationship. What more could you ask for then a line full of people at your next trade show event all standing around laugh, forgetting their problems, and getting to know your company?