Joi Ito is such a gem! He’s a joy to listen to and his thoughts encompass so much about what’s going on in cyberspace (although in this presentation he says he doesn’t believe in cyberspace anymore – and with good reasoning). I’m in awe of this man – smart, insightful and sees ‘the big picture’. I certainly enjoyed this presentation of WoW and hope you do, as well. He talks about everything, how players relate to each other, how ‘real’ the experiences are, the use of voice communication in MMORPGs, the interface design of a guild leader, the differences between Second Life and World of Warcraft , user-generated content and so much more. The presentation is from The Chaos Communication Congress. Enjoy!
Joichi Ito is the founder and CEO of Neoteny, which is a venture capital firm “committed to helping entrepreneurs build sustainable information technology businesses”. And I’m just going to cut’n’paste from Wikipedia here:
“Ito is General Manager of International Operations for Technorati, Chairman of Six Apart Japan, and also currently a member of the board of Creative Commons, Socialtext, and Technorati Japan. He is the Chairman of the board of Creative Commons International. He is the founder and CEO of the venture capital firm Neoteny Co., Ltd. In October of 2004, he was named to the board of ICANN for a three-year term starting December 2004. In April of 2005, he was named to the board of the Open Source Initiative. In August of 2005, he joined the board of the Mozilla Foundation. In 2006 he was appointed to the board  of WITNESS.
He is attempting, again, to educate himself and is studying at the Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy  as a Doctorate of Business Administration candidate focusing on the sharing economy. He is a fellow at The Annenberg Center for Communication of the University of Southern California (USC). Online and in his lectures, Ito is a vocal advocate of emergent democracy and the sharing economy.
Ito currently lives in Chiba Prefecture, Japan with his partner Mizuka. Ito’s sister is Mizuko Ito, a cultural anthropologist studying media technology use, and the musician Cornelius is Ito’s second cousin. In addition, he is Timothy Leary’s godson.
Ito is the Guild Master of the We Know  on Eitrigg, a US World of Warcraft server.
Ito is a Second Life Resident, going by the name Joi Ito (having had the surname created for him)
Ito is the co-author of a book (Dialogue: Ryu Murakami X Joichi Ito, 2006) with Japanese author Ryu Murakami.”
Impressive, huh? Which makes it even more inspiring reading his Edge‘s question of the year “What are you optimistic about?” reply:
Emergent Democracy and Global Voices
I am optimistic that open networks will continue to grow and become available to more and more people. I am optimistic that computers will continue to become cheaper and more available. I am optimistic that the hardware and software will become more open, transparent and free. I am optimistic that the ability to for people to create, share and remix their works will provide a voice to the vast majority of people.
I believe that the Internet, open source and a global culture of discourse and sharing will become the pillar of democracy for the 21st Century. Whereas those in power as well as terrorists who are not have used broadcast technology and the mass media of the 20th century against the free world, I am optimistic that Internet will enable the collective voice of the people and that voice will be a voice of reason and good will.”
I’m so thankful that people like this exist and they involve themselves with MMORPGs the way that he does!
Good gosh, I can’t believe I didn’t see this earlier — thanks for sharing/blogging about it!