Flutterby™! : On games & interactions

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On games & interactions

2012-11-16 16:50:57.364829+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Violet Impudence on the game Glitch shutting down.

I’ve come to believe that an old online acquaintance of mine, the most misanthropic man I’ve ever met, was absolutely right when our glorified-smiley-face avatars sat in a room in The Palace one day back in 1997 or 1998 and he said that the avatars were actually a dead end, a detriment to conversation between adults. I think he expected us all to come to our senses, and we apparently never have. We keep making the avatars better and more interesting, and we keep hoping that social communities will accrete around those avatars, like sand forming a pearl. It hasn’t happened yet.

Lots of good game design and socialization discussion in there, go read.

I had an epiphany yesterday, clicking through another "hide all by ..." in response to a "sponsored post" on Facebook, that we look for forums to facilitate conversation. Those forums can often pull some economic value out of that conversation, whether it's the coffee or bar shop selling us drinks in exchange for a place to meet people and chat, or whether it's Gmail reading our email and offering us related ads.

At some point that mediation becomes too intrusive. Maybe it's the one-note "progressive" or other political zealot at the coffee shop who keeps monopolizing conversations and proffering up "obvious" ideas without understanding the system in which those ideas need to be implemented.

On the other side, sometimes rules meant to keep the interactions within a context can interfere with the conversations. Games are one example. I recently resigned my post on the Petaluma Technology Advisory Committee partially because the Brown act "Sunshine" rules made it difficult to have conversations on the topic. And moderators at forums all over are delicately balancing "on topic" vs "human connections".

In Facebook it's particularly obvious because Facebook is taking the step of filtering content from companies I want to hear from, and inundating me with content I don't want, even though I'm giving them all sorts of personal information to help their filtering. What they need to do is find ways to charge for the companies I want to hear from that I don't know about yet, in much the way Google does, but instead they flood me with crap from big companies I've learned about and rejected.

It's got to be done delicately, I'm already inundated with a lot, but I think there's room in there for mediated conversation that enhances our interactions. I don't think it's games (though I get a lot out of bike riding with a group), but there's still opportunity.

[ related topics: Politics Games moron Law Graphic Design Community Bicycling Economics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-11-18 05:41:29.23088+00 by: ebradway

Or... Follow Colorado's lead, legalize marijuana, and stop caring about these tedious details... But the Facebook is bring out the paranoid vibes!

Mmmm.... is that brownies?