Category Archives: Gaming

Gamers OUYA

Gamers OUYA – http://www.ouya.tv/gamers/ Reminds me of the joy of early Apple with the openness of the DROID platform.

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Filed under Business, Gaming, technology

Politics inside or outside the magic circle?

The magic circle seems a key concept in virtual worlds and gaming.  For origin of the term from Huzinga, see here.

The wikipedia article, in summarizing Castronova’s arguments, states:

Even though there are political activities inside synthetic worlds, it is interesting to note that “debates, which really do involve legitimate political interests, almost always occur outside the membrane rather than inside it.”[16

How about for SL?  Do these discussions happen inside or out?  What about other VWs?  Isn’t the story in Second Life Herald all about sparking these types of discussions in-world?  In TSO and also in SL?  And the apocryphal account of LambdaMOO discussion about the cyber rape was also in that world.

And is the point whether the discussion is between self-identified people or avatars?

Lastly, ignoring above distinction for the time, one of the lessons I draw from how discussions happen outside the membrane is that it is further proof of how users of VWs and MMOs are part of a broader institutional field.

“The organizational field isolates for analysis a system of organizations operating in the same realm as defined by relational linkages and shared cultural rules and meaning systems(118)”

(from: Scott, W. R., Davis, G. F., & Scott, W. R. (2007). Organizations and organizing : Rational, natural, and open systems perspectives (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.)

So, in the out-of-membrane discussions about politics, we see a network of players, or a community, instead of an organization formally, but nonetheless engaging in joint enterprise.  THis network is defined by its relation to the virtual world and also to other networks of players/users and also worlds.  They discuss and strategize about political questions pertaining to the synthetic world in ways that reveal shared (or contested) cultural rules and meaning systems,  What makes for  a good game?  What is fair?  What should different parties do?  These are questions relevant only in the context of a field.

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Filed under Gaming, organization theory, Research, social theory, technology, virtual worlds

WOW and SNA

Stumbled into a paper of networks of players, guilds in World of WarCraft [WOW].  Visual complexity had the image.

U Mich researchers map PVE interactions.

U Mich researchers map PVE interactions.

This led to a paper that is worth looking at to see how they extracted the data for the network analysis.

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Filed under Gaming, Network Visuals, Research, Social Networks, virtual worlds

Serious (and silly) Game “Get Good Karma”

Due to twitter, i stumbled into this amusing little example of a “good game.”  Good as in a game with an ulterior social goods purpose or message.  Serious games.  That is what othes call them.  Like here.

Get Good Karma. 

You wander around doing good things.  And you get points.  How big is it?  I dunno.  You can regsiter to save your progress.

Supposedly its supposed to encourage community activism and voter registration.  How, I fail to see.

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Filed under activism, Gaming, Information and Communication Technology

Mapping Manhattan

I was fascinated to read about this project to make a detailed, 3D, explorable map of Manhattan before contact and conquest. It sounds like secondlife! And the use of real markers and connections to the 3d map will enable even more cross-over from virtual to real world and vice-versa. Another blogger who lives in NY waxes about the project.

Our Local Correspondents: The Mannahatta Project: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
Eric Sanderson, a landscape ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society (W.C.S.), is in charge of a project called the Human Footprint, which seeks to map the human race’s impact on the surface of the earth. New York is the ultimate case. “It’s probably the fastest, biggest land-coverage swing in history,” Sanderson said. For nearly a decade, he has been working on the Mannahatta Project, an attempt to determine exactly how Manhattan would have appeared to Hudson and his crew in 1609. It will include a lavish book; a Web site; a possible exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History; and a three-dimensional computer map which would allow you to fly above the island, land wherever you want, and look around. Eventually, Sanderson would like to put up plaques around town calling attention to vanished landmarks.

My friend Alex Pulsipher, who has an intro textbook for Geography has talked to me about his ideas for the future of that book. Wandering around our old haunts in Knoxville we were discussing the use of educational games, internet publishing, and learning. The Manhattana Project may be a great example of that future. But why stop with traveling around? Why not let people create modules that would run in the map/world? Replay Hudson’s voyage? Replay the local Indian’s use of land. Having student’s design these modules and discuss what matters and how to incorporate what they know would engage them and force them to make consequential choices based on their current knowledge and intellectual perspectives.

Manhattana Project Image

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Filed under digital culture, Future of Technology, Gaming, geography, pedagogy

Isaeli Army frowns on Dungeons and Dragons

I guess geeks and dorks can’t be trusted with state secrets.   Do they ask them if they read novels, do musical theater, or attend religious services that suppose a mystical and intangible diety with the ability to control weather and make planets?

Army frowns on Dungeons and Dragons – Israel News, Ynetnews
Does the Israel Defense Forces believe incoming recruits and soldiers who play Dungeons and Dragons are unfit for elite units? Ynet has learned that 18-year-olds who tell recruiters they play the popular fantasy game are automatically given low security clearance.

“They’re detached from reality and suscepitble to influence,” the army says.

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Filed under Gaming, intelligence-services, Military, policy, Politics, Power, Activism

Persuasive Games

Persuasive Games – We design, build, and distribute electronic games for persuasion, instruction, and activism.
Our games influence players to take action through gameplay. Games communicate differently than other media; they not only deliver messages, but also simulate experiences. While often thought to be just a leisure activity, games can also become rhetorical tools.

Virginia told me about seeing the founder, Dr. Eric Bogost, on the Daily show.  Seems like it will be a good resource for Second Life/Synthetic Worlds project.   I’ll need to explore more when I get the chance.

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Filed under Gaming, pedagogy

State of Play Conference

Ted Tschang, my new Second Life research pal, sent me this link to a conference…

I find it quite amusing that they use “metaverse,” a term originated by Neal Stephenson so many years ago.  Is this life imitating art?  or did Stephenson look into life and simply speed up what he saw into a likely future.

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Filed under Future of Technology, Gaming, Sci Fi

Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever: Books: John C. Beck,Mitchell Wade

Amazon.com: Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever: Books: John C. Beck,Mitchell Wade

Book recommended at my NITLE workshop.  Worth looking into?

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Filed under Books, Gaming, management