What are Packaged Experiences

What are Packaged Experiences

In short I brought up a term "Packaged Experience" which is similar to "Product" in the context of games, movies or other creative and entrainment media. Let's break down why I prefer to use this term when discussing arts & crafts and why you might too.

Product gives you the image of a tangible object which feels vaguely large and abstract. In comparison "packaging" and "experience" are easier to grasp and work with.

Packaging gives the same tangible idea as "product" but helps to puts a box for our imagination to work with. Few extra steps and we paint the box some colour, plaster an image over it and call it a cereal or milk.

Experience comes with its grievance of being subjective and abstract. If that causes any issues just go for next door neighbours "emotion" and "feeling." Why experience is preffered is its ability to cover feelings, memories, knowledge and so on. With videogames especially we do talk about experiences often so it kinda makes sense to go that way.

When combined we end up with a box of cereal that makes you feel something. That feeling usually comes in this order:

  • One: attraction (ie. you find something pleasing because of its colour and form)
  • Two: your personal experiences (ie. morning waking up breakfast or childhood memories of your mom forcefully shoving shovels into you to grow up a big kid)
  • Three: general knowledge (ie. is it considered healthy or is it in conflict with some of your values)

Only after all this the logic kicks in and comes up with a false reassurance you really need this thing. It takes a life to build up experience and habit not to give in to our urges.

But! Before all the other feelings there is an important Zero: in the overcrowded shelves of the store with dozens of other cereal boxes your eyes stopped at this particular one. The packaging called to you, grabbed your attention and won you over. You might look at the price and not buy it in end, but you payed attention, which made you feel and think.

"Make the line between attention and attraction as thin as possible."

In this glorious age of consumerism people are buying with their eyes. You know what though? Consumption has always been around. Sexual appeal is a strong inctinctive urge and there's a reason why it was the first to be capitalized on. You can think you are above it, but you are not. You will salivate when you see a nice piece of food. People just like packaging.

We give too much importance to how something is said over what is actually said. The masters of rhetorics, politicians and other dignitaries use this effect to gain power over people. Say something with confidence and you'll transfer over the feeling of confidence, even though you are talking about donuts or some other jellied-nonsense.

Now getting attention is one thing, but differentiating yourself is a whole different story.