Volkswagon have created a concept called The Fun Theory "dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better."
They even ran a competition for people to suggest ways that normal, every day things and the issues related to them could be made more fun, i.e. speeding = speed camera lottery, fitness = piano stairs, litter = world's deepest bin and recycling = arcade bottle bank.
The winner of The Fun Theory Award 2009/10 was Kevin Richardson from the US with the speed camera lottery. "Can we get more people to obey the speed limit by making it fun to do? The idea here is capture on camera the people who keep to the speed limit. They would have their photos taken and registration numbers recorded and entered into a lottery. Winners would receive cash prizes and be notified by post. Better still, the winning pot would come from the people who were caught speeding."
However, my favourite was the bottle bank arcade, which made a game out of recycling bottles. What I find great about this is not only did it make people intrigued, it would also keep them coming back and interacting. It also makes them smile...it makes me smile just watching it and who doesn't want to be happy?
It's not just about making things fun it's making people want to interact with and consider their world more. If design can make things more fun and therefore make the world and people happier then why isn't everything thought of like this?