In links we trust

  1. Can Gaming make a better world? Rick at /random writes about Jane McGonigals well reported speech at TED on this subject. But heck, we know how hard gamers work on problems like organising raids and killing raid bosses – which are social as well as mechanical puzzles. Would they be as interested in complex real world problems too? And here a local government blogger, inspired by the same TED talk, ponders World of Govcraft. Could people get more involved in local government and solving local issues if they pretended it was a virtual world?
  2. Scott Jennings writes at about the hard numbers behind SW:TOR. How much money does this game need to make? How much has been poured into it so far? Is this model sustainable?
  3. Dusty shares some insights into social games. And particularly the mechanics that allow a player to progress by either inviting more people OR spending money. Paying to avoid socialising?
  4. Oh yeah, apparently some little Finnish guild killed the Lich King on hard mode. Awesome work, Paragon! Even now people are inspecting their lineup and preparing the inevitable whine posts if their favourite class/spec didn’t make the cut.
  5. Ravious finds that the way he sees his online community has changed. He feels more connected to other gamers (ie. bloggers, twitter community etc) than just to his guild in his game of choice.  And I’m going to twin this with a column in The Guardian where a journalist writes about the value of virtual communities – she’s comparing her son’s community in WoW with her favourite political bboard and concludes … that much of the experience is the same.
  6. Gevlon analyses why his undergeared project is floundering. His conclusions are on the button and won’t surprise any experienced guild or raid leader. People are shallow, fickle, and selfish. But that doesn’t mean it was wrong to try.
  7. Melmoth runs into some mobstacles in Moria. This is one of the big reasons why I was so delighted to escape to Lothlorien (it does get a lot better). Player vs Developer also describes why he thinks the LOTRO economy just isn’t working and the problem with emblems and multiple ‘currencies’.
  8. Fulugaris on Killing Em Slowly asks whether Burst DPS is More Fun?
  9. Brigwyn at The Hunter’s Lodge is calling time. It’s an awesome blog and he’ll be dearly missed, but as he says himself, “I’ve done pretty much everything in the game at least once.” Dwism also picked up on Whiny Post Day with a post about when you run out of fun (note: the tone of these whiny posts is of course whiny and does not reflect what the blogger is usually like 😉 ).
  10. And the Big Bear Butt blogger gives some good and heartfelt advice to new bloggers. I don’t entirely agree that spelling and grammar aren’t important (some of your readers may not speak English as a first language and good spelling/grammar will help them) but it’s not something to fret about in your first draft.
  11. Finally, the press embargo on The Secret World was dropped this week. Ysharros is here with links to all the reports around the web from journalists who tried it at GDC.

5 thoughts on “In links we trust

  1. 4. Yay them!

    6. I can’t agrees about Gevlon’s conclusions about why folks ain’t showin’ up fer his raids. Now, I don’t know what be in everyones heads, but I can look at combat logs, at dps requirements, and at the current ICC buff, and is pretty dang obvious what Arthas cain’t be killed by them right now. I can also look at the initial post, the one where Gevlon done promised what ICC would be nerfed to where ya can do it in blues by Februaries at the latest. A cold bloodied analysies sez it ain’t gonna be possibles before June at the earliest, if ever. Now, I don’t blame Gevlon fer trying, but when the guy sez he’s gonna drop anyone what don’t deliver, I don’t see what he’s got any grounds ta complain when they drop him fer not delivering.

    10. Dang straight. Spellifications and grammarizings is terriblies important.

  2. I think Jane McGonigall is on to something but it needs to be pitched at a young audience.

    Imagine a game you play in school where saving rhinos is something you do strategically in the game, paying wardens’ salaries, allocating funds for protection of wilderness areas, rhino awareness education among the locals, paying to lobby national parliament if conservation legislation is going through and so on.

    Imagine a charity tied to the game that spent the money as the kids decided. That used some of its income to improve the simulation but most of it to further the strategic goals the children had chosen.

    Imagine if a condition of the provision of funds was the supply of data – wardens would input data on poaching as part of their job to improve and update the simulation.

    Can you imagine how committed many players would be?

    Also if they grew up with it why would you ever unsubscribe to a game like that? Say it’s driven by vote, after impassioned and heated forum debate. I think you’d always at least check the forums, see what people are up to, long after you left school.

    Of course if everything becomes gamified maybe future generations will become immune to it.

    It’s certainly something I support and I hope as a librarian to be in a position to promote such games to children and teachers.

    • See, I think the key is that when you play a game, you like to feel that your decisions actually have an impact.

      So if any organisation would like to be driven by gamers, they do need to buy in (just in the example you give with the charity). But yes. I think that gaming (aka interactivity) IS the new paradigm.

      And this is kind of why I think the world of govcraft guy is onto something. People disengage with politics because they see that they can’t affect anything. Could a game-like view change that?

      • I doubt it would change much. Governments don’t take much input from individuals because of scale. Local government meetings are very malleable by individuals, however. Who bothers to go to local caucus meetings or school board hearings? It’s one thing to rail against Big Brother and the statist State in all its looming monolithic gloom, and it’s fashionable to lambaste it verbally, but quite another when it’s pointed out that you can actually *do* something locally. Where’s the fun in ponying up and actually stepping to the plate for a swing at making policy? We might mess up. It’s much easier to simply be a critic of things we can’t change. There’s no accountability that way.

        Also, I’d shudder if the modern MMO model gets anywhere close to government. It’s a weird sort of Sisyphian hell that we play in, where even what we *do* accomplish locally is undone in minutes as critters respawn and even dead NPCs revive.

        That’s already uncomfortably close to government as is, with the perpetual chase to maintain the status quo (maintain entitlements) and the inability of the individual to make any large scale changes. I’d rather change the structure of government than try to use games to make existing structures more interesting.

  3. 4. Yes, most notabley the lack of Mages in their line-up. From Paragon studios…

    “The fight itself requires almost 20-minutes of full-on concentration coupled with very high personal skill-level.”

    There’s a dirty litle secret about Arcane Mages, as hard hiting and uber they are…they do go OOM on long sustained fights. 20 minutes is very long fight. The “lower” dps’ing Fire, FFB and Frost specs are much more appropriate, cause they don’t run out of juice as easily. The lower dps potential may have caused them to passed up…

    Though I’m not still not sure this is where Mages got Sunwell’d though. Or simply the close nit community of Paragon doesn’t have a dedicated Mage. Or the one they where using was off sick that day. /shrug

    But this does give some hope for my Demo Lock though! 🙂

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