I'm in Redmond for a Social Computing Symposium. The wiki (powered by Socialtext, naturally) is private, but the video is streaming at http://126.96.36.199/scs and the IRC channel is irc://irc.freenode.net/#scs2006
Here's some raw notes...
Games will transform the world of work
Clay Shirky... The Christian Rock problem is not just serious but intractable - modes of user interfaace and social interaction from worlds are not broadly portable to other domains and transfering to the world of work is highly limited. Castronova: real world value on virtual goods, but this invites people to ignore the _difference between productive and participatory value._ Assembly line with stolen car has extractable value, as opposed to a poker game with a stolen card. Latter is a site of participatory value, the value doesn't stay with the card, and would disrupt the value of the game. Games are in the magic circle, sometimes physical, always mental, to immerse and expend energy to solve unecesary tasks. Exciting and addictive -- tempting to beleive that if we open up the circle it will get out into the world, but what happens is the world comes into the circle.
- Games are normal
- High chance of outside applciability
- games are unusual
- average chance of outside applicabilty
- games are special
- low chance of outside applicability (addictiveness makes portability low)
We will see a deeping rather than a spread of the things we know about game environments.
Mobile in India
Dina Mehta...Bombay has 1M people per square mile. India has such a vast population that is rapidly becoming a mobile society today. 75M mobile users vs. 45M landline. 4-5M users per month. 200M by 2010. Uses go beyond calls, for their business, entertainment. Helps bring the cost of doing business down. Entertainment use is greater than the rest of the entertainment industry. Missed call phenomenon: a guesture where you call but the other person doesn't receive on purpose, while conveying a message. Mobile and SMS is how people are connecting to the net. 75% are pre-paid, US $2.50/month. The Indian Idol has 55M text messages coming in. How can that community be harnessed, even for commercial purposes? Instruments for entertainment, status symbol, friends and business -- but what does that mean for having one device that does so many tasks.
Computer games with real-world consequences
Daniel Pargman...Location based games -- using the city as a game board. Not many exist, but the genre is breaking new territory. 400 cell phones in China, 2B worldwide. Botfighters. Scan environment, if close to another player, you can fire at them. 24/7. Once every 24 hours, a player can fire a long range weapon.
Shooting Silver (a player):
- Closing in
- Getting out
- Basking in fame
(this so reminds me of a game we played in high school with nerfish guns, where school and home were the only free spaces from the hunt) Launched april 2001 in sweden - 7k registered users, 90% maile, avera age 26. SMS with GPS. Legal, social and ethical issues.
In IRC, discussion of creating Assassin for the mobile phone, like, tonight. Also: zephoria: tangent.. assassin is the #1 reason why college students remove their class schedule from facebook. http://mobileassassins.com
Mobile computing in the classroom
Cathy Beaton... In my teaching I try to involve people in the use of technology, but it comes to haut " 5 use a chat room, another uses 2/3 of the classroom disengaged. The delimma is there is so much power and nobody has a cluse how to use it. Her main point: using this technology in the classroom levels the playing field for those with disabilities. They seized upon ICQ because it was character by character. Cultivating the backchannel Howard Rheingold... Why is the backchannel in this room so focused on the topic? Use of these tools happens despites us. There is a role for educators to use the media that they are using. Leaving it wild may be fun and be interesting, but in the long run, an opportunity to cultivate it. Looking for people to work with him on this opportunity.
MMOG as gateway drug
Constance Steinkuehler : MMOG as a gateway drug, how can games transfer to learning. Three tough issues:
- Access: what are the gateways/barriers. From play to Mod to?
- Christian rock problem.
Loosing the element of transgression.
Tim Burke : Governance is how to make decisions, sovereignty is the source of authority. From I am the king to we are the people. The MMOG developer is a sovergn. What is the public interest of the sovereign? What determines the legitimacy of the sovereign? Leave it to community management and you get flames on forums. Define the basis, define the public interest. Stop managing, start ruling: constraints on the ruler, explain and justify decisions, improve the flow of info, imagine the citizenry and cut out the middleman. When achieved, the sovereign can be a participant in the world. Example of in-game crucifixtion in a Roman sim, or one where a Pharoah can be petitioned for change. Star Wars Galaxy doesn't do this, having to pay maintainence, but where does it go and under what purpose/right? I see the benefits for authority in game, but unsure about the cost the need for team play.
Nic Ducheneaut : 250k chars observed for 10 months. Players dont spend that much time in groups the largetr the group required the less players are interested, guild social networks are sparsely knit. Players come to worlds simply to be surrounded by others. This is not Bowling Alone. Organic forms of sociability: letting things emerge vs. structuring interactions. How to support indirect sociability better?
- design for a spectator experience
- support non-instrumental communication
- media for imagining the community
- emphasize indirect interdependencies (e.g. economy)
(Part of what works in WoW is the Permission to Participate pattern, you don't have to engage socially to play)
Migrating a group from game to game.
Andy Phelps : Doesn't matter if we all start at level 1, but if our 100 users can come into the game with data about relationships. Didn't clay have a thing about how groups vote to migrate some time ago? mining instead of having sex Dan Hunter : Because of persistence, resource scarcity and game design, economies and properrty emerge.
- The property is real, in all meaninful senses of the word, and legally.
- The economy is real. $20B Because of exchange and wage arbitrage, worlds are a current apogee of the globalization of service jobs. Typical chinese worker is either
- full time worker, 16-25, no college, 9thgrade equiv no english
- part time (missed stats)
- goal of 200-300 gold per hour
Wikipedia as a bureacratic third place
Fernanda Viegas...usually as a nice place with free form collaboration, but claiming there is a lot of beaurucracy and process that a lot of people are not familiar with. Today's featured article, how do they get there? You have to nominate featured article candidates. Where you explain why it is worthwhile. Good articles, medicine collaboration of the week and peer review. Wikipedia: what is a good article? WikiProject Good articles. WikiProject Medicine/Collaboration of the Week, ensuring breadth and quality. Peer review of AIDS article had 56 postings, votes + comments. Citations to wikipedia guidelines: WP:WIAFA, NPOV, bloated ToC, article sixe, WP: Lead, WP: Not. Banners at the top of the talk page show the workflow. Pending tasks on the Antartica:Talk page. Guidelines: 76 toop , 58 naming conventions, 91 how to, 12 delete. Stucture: namespaces, only two are about content, the rest is meta. Does this documentation lead you to bureaucracy?