Games don’t solve problems….and theories about digital spaces
@LEET is a digital game environment for sports enthusiast communities
The problem statement is a core component of most pitch decks I received over my young career in early stage financing. Founders have expressed many narratives about market opportunities with intense pain points and desperate users seeking to resolve for them in order to make the world a better place by X magnitude.
Yet this does not hold true for digital games. Games are fun and entertaining and make your life better in other ways than solving for a pain point.
I was intrigued by this position, building upon this argument, I wanted to be part of a startup that challenged this notion, one which sought to make the digital game the solution to the market pain point.
The challenge I accepted was to co-create @LEET, a platform that allows football enthusiasts to come together, meet friends and discover new people in order to allow for their weekly pick-up games to happen. My co-founder approached me with this premise, which I was all-to-accustomed to given that my childhood and youth was essentially a compilation of friendly [and sometimes less so] football games. As my adult years rolled on, the pain point became a lack of commitment causing regular players to decline the weekly invite, leaving multiple games at the risk of postponement.
Football is Social
Football is a sport enjoyed by 256 million people worldwide, yet it remains a critically underserved community by the technology world. It seems as though as you approach your adult years, a point of demarcation appears whereby you are either involved actively as a professional in the field, either as a footballer or somehow in the professionalized ecosystem or you become a fan, and time and money spent on football becomes centered around the club you support.
What happens to the love for the played game? what happens to the kick-about amongst friends and the friendly banter? To making new friends and meeting people? What happens to play? Why so serious? @LEET is an experiment about play. Where the fact that most will not become professionally involved in the game, should not spell the end of their meaningful journey with the world of played football. People play because they have a competitive nature, want to explore new styles and cultures of football, they want to meet people, and they want to wear their new boots and sport their new kit.
I recently moved to a new city, football was the quickest tool I had available to be entertained over the weekend whilst meeting new people and become accustomed to my new life. Football helps you with business networks, with social connections with mental and physical stress relief.
Now that I had my auto-biographical startup vision in place fuelled by a sense of purpose driven by football, the next goal was to solve for the problem of engagement.
The most engaging medium that I was currently aware of: Video Games
The simple premise of a social media platform, with Facebook being its foremost representative, is to bring into the digital realm relationships that exist in-real-life (“IRL”). Starting from the dorms of ivy league colleges, Facebook did not set out to build or create new relationships, all it wanted to do is bring the dynamics into a “digital space”. Just like Trevor’s dorm room was the next designated after-party “space”, Facebook became the “space” where we could spot people we wanted to interact with, and poke them 👉 for attention.
@LEET will represent a Digital Space where games happen
In football, the pitch becomes the “space” of relevance for most weekly games — Thanks to Dr Constantino Oliva for that pro tip
The thing is that for casual games amongst friends, the event starts and ends with the game itself. It does not need to be this way, and @LEET is seeking to create meaningful journeys for its “digital space” residents. The dynamics play out depending on age demographic, personality, social connections and other contexts as diverse and individual as you and I.
So where have we seen so many diverse people come together, build relationships and community, team up and set out on a journey to accomplish meaningful actions towards their digital world progress — yes you guessed it! Video games! And more specifically MMORPGs. The difference this time is that the campaign or mission happens IRL, and here is the unique value proposition of @LEET
Source: Game Thinking — Amy Jo Kim, Gamer Personas
Some people use football as their weekly bragging right amongst their closest buddies. Others see it as a core component of their work out routine. Some want to develop skill mastery, and some just moved to a new city and want to make new social connections. Football is meaningful, its global success as the sport of choice of the human population confirms this, @LEET is trying to capture in a digital space the social bonds and dynamics that make it so. Just like Facebook captured the campus dorm rooms not that long ago.
Football is social, @LEET is simply the “digital space” where it happens.
To access the @LEET platform: beta.leet.mt