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Bryan Alexander

The Plan - SIM2012ISA - 5 views

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    To engage international relations and area studies professionals in virtual and real games of domestic and international relations taking place during a global information age with rapid change, turmoil and instability.
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    Interesting (and off-putting) that they chose Facebook as the main communications platform. One has to join a FB group to participate. Then again, it's organized by Israelis, and FB is even more ubiquitous in Israel than in the US.
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    Good point.
    I wonder why FB. Easy tool for adding and accessing content, if it's that widespread among their population.
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    I've seen lots of DH projects that attempted to build their own independent social networks. It's an incredibly steep uphill battle.
Ed Webb

The Life-Changing $20 Rightward-Facing Cow - 4 views

  • The A Slow Year limited sets include the poetry book and the game on Atari cartridge, all set in black velvet and red leather, gold foil stamping, all hand-numbered, hand-made. While a manic counter was screaming the end of Bogost's journey to challenge social gaming norms, the creator was quietly, manually, assembling a physical art object.

    Only 25 will ever be made; they will sell for $500 apiece. Most have already been sold. To Bogost, like the poetry book that accompanies the Atari game, the handcraft and limited nature of A Slow Year's special edition help establish the project uncompromisingly as an art object, a creation bigger than "video game."

    • Ed Webb
       
      Sounds like something in a Wm Gibson or Bruce Sterling story
  • "I never expected that would happen," reflects Bogost. "A lot of the serious players… just like clicking a cow sometimes. It's very innocent; they just like clicking a cow."
  • Cow Clicker was never supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be silly, insultingly simple, a vacuous waste of time, and a manipulative joke at the expense of its players-–in other words, everything Bogost thought that Facebook games like the Zynga-made hit FarmVille are. In Cow Clicker, players get a cow, they click it, and then they must either pay to click it again or wait six hours; an embarrassing, joyless labor that to him represented the quintessential aspects of the games that were flourishing all over the social network.
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  • the story of a person whose joke project became more successful than the one on which he lavished love and intellect, the climate that caused that to happen and how ultimately he decided to learn from it instead of becoming upset
  • Then came the Gamification movement, the shiny new idea that if people were assigned goals and extrinsic "rewards," they'd be more motivated to engage with tasks-–and brands-–than they would have otherwise been
  • Cow Clicker developed an active player base–-people who missed the humor and attached to it as if it were a "real" game. These players unquestioningly spent real-money Facebook credits to enjoy their cows and sent Bogost innocent player feedback in the hopes of improving their experience.

    It subverted every expectation that he had, even as it reaffirmed his worst fears about the exploitive sadism of Facebook game design. Its success also became something to dread.

Ed Webb

Google Develops a Facebook Rival - WSJ.com - 1 views

  • A Facebook spokesman said the company wouldn't speculate about Google's initiative but said the company expected new social-networking efforts by others and "looks forward to seeing what others have to offer."
    • Ed Webb
       
      Translation: "bring it!"
    • Bryan Alexander
       
      Indeed.
      I note that Google is seeking gaming assistance in this quest.
  • Many users now rely on their friends on Facebook—not just Google—to discover content and products they can purchase on the Internet. And much of the content generated by users on Facebook is generally kept out of view of Google's search engine.
  • In an interview this week, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt declined to confirm the development of a social-networking service that would incorporate social games, rumored to be called "Google Me." When asked if Google's service might resemble Facebook's, Mr. Schmidt said "the world doesn't need a copy of the same thing."
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  • For social-game developers, a successful Google offering would mean they wouldn't be so heavily dependent on Facebook, where the vast majority of users access the games. Consumers' appetite for social games is booming— Zynga's "Farmville" game has more than 60 million active monthly users—and that is attracting bigger players looking to tap new sources of growth. On Tuesday, Walt Disney Co. acquired Playdom for $563.2 million plus up to $200 million more if performance targets are reached. And retailer GameStop Corp. agreed to buy online game distributor Kongregate Inc. for an undisclosed amount.
  • Game developers pay Facebook 30% of the earnings from virtual-good purchases in their games. Google already has an online payment mechanism called Checkout that, in theory, it could use to collect payments for social games on its platform.
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