Community//

“Fun hits the brain in a different way.” With John Vitti

Fun hits the brain in a different way so when you create a game out of anything, people tend to have fun and it’s easier to learn. Think about a game you played as a kid, you can probably still recall how to play it. It’s hard to go that extra mile but it pays […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Fun hits the brain in a different way so when you create a game out of anything, people tend to have fun and it’s easier to learn. Think about a game you played as a kid, you can probably still recall how to play it. It’s hard to go that extra mile but it pays off. If teachers/parents want to get their kid to learn a new language, make a game out of it. A new sport? Make it fun. Coding or design? Have them take online classes so they can design and code their own game! They will not be able to put it down.

Asa part of our series about what’s around the corner for the toy, game, and video game industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing John Vitti, CEO and founder of Versus Game. John has developed two successful start-up companies, and has raised over $14M from venture capital. In addition to creating successful start-up companies, John has a background in business, product design, strategy, business development and sales.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share the “backstory” behind what brought you to this particular career path?

I’ve always just listened and kept hearing friends and coworkers talk about “this company”, “that stock”, “this movie”, “that restaurant”, but nobody was making any money or being rewarded for their knowledge or predictions. With this, came the idea that knowledge should be rewarded, leading to the inception of Versus Game.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

During the Super Bowl, I was brought backstage with well-known music artists such as Fat Joe, DJ Khaled and 50 Cent. We began to debate who we thought was going to win the game along with sharing our predictions for the halftime show. Because of this, we then created a bunch of games around the Super Bowl and the halftime show that these musicians were hosting and promoting to their followers. This specific instance taught me that everyone, even DJ Khaled, is predicting outcomes, whether it be what team will win the Super Bowl or what the weather will be this weekend, because it’s simply human nature. There was an opportunity to further build on this phenomenon, having people rewarded for what they are doing every day, sharing their knowledge and predictions with friends, family, colleagues, etc.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Impossible to pick one person as every experience affects every experience. I would say my team is the one thing I am most grateful for and proud of. I would not be here without my team.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We are a purpose driven company and created a fair and fun game for anyone (not just people with money). We have also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities over the year.

Ok fantastic. Let’s now move to the main focus of our discussion. Can you tell us about the technological innovations in gaming that you are working on?

Versus Game recently launched its first-ever exclusive gaming economy feature that now gives players the ability to create and host their own games. The first of its kind, the innovation is a unique opportunity for users to earn money and grow their own social following. Players can create their own custom games using Versus Game’s classic formula (i.e. Which show will be the most popular on Netflix this week?). Hosts can choose to keep the games exclusive to their inner circle or open them up for anyone in the world to play, and will earn a portion of the revenue generated from each game they create. We also created a patent pending Machine Learning model that creates games automatically depending on what’s going on today in the world. It makes games that are relevant to you.

How do you think this might disrupt the status quo?

For the first time, anyone is able to create games for revenue share while also being able to grow their social influence. You can make a huge impact (and money) even if you just have 1K followers instead of 5MM!

You, of course, know that games and toys are not simply entertainment, but they can be used for important purposes. What is the “purpose” or mission behind your company? How do you think you are helping people or society?

Versus Game believes knowledge should be rewarded. It’s natural human behavior to predict the outcomes of things (ex: She is definitely going to be the Bachelorette / There’s no way the Jets beat the Patriots), and Versus Game rewards users for doing just that. The mission is to help a billion people make some money vs. a few people making all the money.

I’m very interested in the interface between games and education. How do you think more people (parents, teachers etc.) or institutions (work, school etc.) can leverage toys or gamification to enhance education?

Fun hits the brain in a different way so when you create a game out of anything, people tend to have fun and it’s easier to learn. Think about a game you played as a kid, you can probably still recall how to play it. It’s hard to go that extra mile but it pays off. If teachers/parents want to get their kid to learn a new language, make a game out of it. A new sport? Make it fun. Coding or design? Have them take online classes so they can design and code their own game! They will not be able to put it down.

How would you define a “successful” game or toy? Can you share an example of a game or toy that you hold up as an aspiration?

A game that you want to play with friends and are rewarded for your actions. I love Street Fighter! Interactive and many variables to the game.

What are the “5 Things You Need to Know To Create a Successful Game” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. Natural motivation (I want to participate in this because it feels natural). You don’t want to create a new human behavior for someone. One example: I want to play to see if I’m good at X. Or to see if I can do Y.

2. Desire to play with or against friends. This helps with a game going viral. I love this so much, I have to tell my friends. Example, I always want to play cards with my friends because it’s fun and I like making it social, plus I want to see who’s better and smarter.

3. An experience that enhances your life. If I’m already doing something like listening to music, then how cool would it be to be able to make a game about it and interact with the things you love? One example is I love watching MMA and it’s great to have friendly wagers with like-minded people.

4. Hooks. You want people to come back repeatedly. Instagram is not a game but it has great hooks because you want to see content and see which posts get more engagement (so it does turn your life into a game somewhat).

5. Rewards. People are rewarded many different ways. YouTube has new content all the time. Some games level you up. My favorite game as a kid was Zelda — go on missions and adventures and get rewarded for things you get done in the game.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

A platform that lets anyone create and share their own games and have them earn money when people play. Creativity meets financial rewards. Anyone can now create and host games, while also earning cash. This is what we are doing on Versus Game, rewarding everyday people for their knowledge and predictions.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Show me a wall and I’ll break right through it.” To me, this means that you can’t give up, you can’t run from what you want, you have to embrace the grind. You have been waiting your whole life for this, right?

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

What I Learned About Education From Video Game Design

by Nadine Levitt
Community//

“Obie’s interactive games are bringing fresh ideas and enhanced innovation to senior living facilities all over the world. ” With Ariel Almos

by Penny Bauder, Founder of Green Kid Crafts
Community//

“Great success” With Penny Bauder & David Norman

by Penny Bauder, Founder of Green Kid Crafts
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.