Gen Y, Mario Kart and the Narrative: Who is Scripting Your Life?

Mario Kart Narrative Generation Y

Image from This Party Started

I was recently at the University of Sydney studying a Dramaturgical perspective on leadership. Professor Ross Gibson (2012) stated that ‘there are three audiences in story telling: the teller, the cast and the audience’.

As I considered this concept and how it applied to me personally and to Metamorphic, my mind was drawn to the video gaming industry. As I contemplated the effect that gaming has had on the narrative, I was forced to re-think how we communicate, particularly to Gen Y.

One of the current challenges facing leaders is to be relevant in conveying our stories to every generation. In understanding that Gen Y tends to disengage if they are not fully involved in the story as participants, I am compelled to reassess our narrative from their perspective.

For my generation, the entertainment narrative was television. Control of the narrative was limited to switching channels and the main interaction was an emotional response to the story being presented. I was the audience.

Then came the advent of video gaming (and the introduction of a perennial favourite in our household for many years, Mario Kart). Now, gamers could actively affect the outcome, albeit in a limited fashion, as participants still had to take on someone else’s character and work within its limitations. We were the audience and the cast.

New generation gaming is totally different, with gamers now able to create their own characters and script the game as it progresses, thus not only participating as the audience and cast but actually driving the narrative themselves as the story teller.

So as I consider the ramifications for life, business and ministry, I want to move the narrative forward. I am therefore committed to creating an interface that causes the intersect of multiple generations, empowering them – our stakeholders – to paint their own narratives on the canvas of life, within the original brief of the Metamorphic community. This will take form in a tri-dimensional web site that allows people to script their own projects, their own fundraising initiatives, while still being part of a bigger community.

So I began to dream about creating a new, fresh, effective narrative. When had this happened in history previously? It seemed obvious – during the Renaissance, of course! The Medici family, who were bankers in Florence, funded a whole generation of creative expressionists such as artists, philosophers, sculptors, scientists and poets. This was a new world based on fresh and innovative ideas. Frans Johansson (2004) describes the effect of the Renaissance: ‘As a result, the city became the epicenter of a creative explosion, one of the most innovative eras in history. The effects of the Medici family can be felt even to this day.’

And so the journey has begun as together we build a new and innovative narrative that has the potential to change the world.

Next Blog: Sense Making, Jazz Improvisation, Fluxus and the Narrative.

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