Social Networks in Virtual Worlds

Here’s a video of one of Aleks Krotoski‘s presentation entitled “Social Networks in Virtual Worlds” – it was a refreshing find. Aleks doesn’t focus too much on the ‘OMG!’ factor and is very straight to the point about her research. She’s also willing to share her methods of research which I found extremely interesting and helpful. This should be useful to some people out there! ;) The more I think about my own thesis the more I wish I had spent more time on methodology techniques, so methodology has started to interest me. I feel like my thesis discusses more what we’re talking about and why and chapter 2 should be something like “Ok, now we know ‘what’ now let’s concentrate on how to really research the ‘what’!”.

It’s a great find – but I’m writing this already late for an appointment so I haven’t done enough digging from where and why this presentation was held. All I know is that it’s from an event called “Massively Multi-Learner” at The University of Paisley.

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Singapore

Firstly – CNN launched it’s Future Summit: Virtual worlds today.

“Originating from Singapore and Palo Alto, California, the program features creative visionaries and entrepreneurs leading us into a new age of creativity and imagination.”

Impressive list of panelists really. I don’t even know who to list here – but it’s a good mix of social networking sites experts and designers and MMORPG experts and designers. I’m really going to enjoy following this!

So speaking of Singapore – I just got my ticket for 16 August. My apartment’s getting renovated 20 August by my landlords and my adorable father thought it would be a good idea for me to visit him instead of crashing on a friend’s floor. Not a hell of a lot of protest from me! It will be good to get away and have a vacation – there’s so much I didn’t get to do last time around. Besides, I miss him – chillin’ out with dad is always delightful.

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WoW machinima’ish news

I’m sure this is no news to all the WoW’ers out there – but I found this “Gnomeregan Gnews Gnetwork” – looks like it’s been around for a while and as far as I can gather it’s actually made by Blizzard. I gotta say I’m impressed. News from Azeroth machinima broadcasting style. I found the humor a bit stressful – but that may be because I’m not a WoW’er.

Computer Gaming & Virtual Worlds Public Policy Workshop

Ren Reynolds is organising a think tank on public policy formation for computer gaming & virtual worlds in London on the 24th of May. This seems to be ‘the issue’ of the year, doesn’t it? As Ludium is “Video Games and Public Policy” and I’m sure more are being organised.
I really enjoy the wording in this description:

“The danger that faces society is that policies are formed based on a lack
of understanding and popularized framing of computer games as simply
‘addictive’, ‘dangerous’ or the one secret to the future of education. Such
characterizations do not lead to sound policy formation.”

We should really start considering doing something like this in Norway as well – it’s time. Maybe the IGDA chapter could organise something? Or Medietilsynet? It’s definitely high time for a public discussion about this issue. We’re such a public policy nation – it’s weird that gaming politics is mainly about slot machines – but then again – maybe I’m just not getting it.

Top 25 Video Game Cinematic Moments

Ooooh! GameSpy’s got a list going of the Top 25 Video Game Cinematic Moments! And they’ve even included the clips – just in the wonderful way we’ve come to know GameSpy as excellent game journalists!

I’m not such a big fan of lists – don’t ask me why – I’m just not! But presented this way is just wonderful! Specially for me who hasn’t played all these games! Pure joy!

Link

Espen Aarseth’s coming to town!

Yay!!!

Bergen Media By is organizing a social event on Wednesday for the local media industry and they’ve invited Espen Aarseth to speak. The title of his talk is “The Games Industry – skills needed (kompetansebehov) and trends”.

I’m still trying to define what skills I have to contribute to the industry – do I in fact have any? I’m feeling a tad lost in the dark hoping that I’m going to stumble on to some job description that just screams Linn! So these events are truly important to me and I’m so glad they’re organizing them. And it’s so lovely seeing Bergen involving itself!

Networking, networking, networking! One should’ve thought I had the knack of it now, but I still have trouble selling myself. I feel like such a desperate geek and wish I could just lean back, nod my head knowingly and just casually say “You know, you should hire me because I could do this and that and thingamabob for you” and then completely relaxed just hand them one of my flickr cards with a little wink and a “give me call”. I sometimes blame a university education for my insecurities, because they, at least my department, don’t exactly scream to the world “look at all the incredible wonderful stuff our students are doing”! Instead we just walk around feeling like disturbances in the faculty’s research time. I still feel the pain I got when I realised that there was a gaming conference going on at my department without anyone telling me about it. Meeting someone who had finished his thesis over a year ago and being asked “Why weren’t you upstairs? I was sure you’d be there!” – was just devastating!

But where are my manners? I shouldn’t be pouring my hurt feelings onto this blog! I should be looking ahead and beyond into the bright glowing future! I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that I actually do know a few things. And I’m loving the fact that I can now write articles because I have a degree that says “Linn knows what she’s talking about” that gives me the right to well…write! Hehe! It’s a nice feeling!

So – Wednesday! Espen Aarseth! I’ll be there! Digital cinema, Its Learning and Bergen in the Movies (Varg Veum) are also on the agenda. Looks to be an inspiring night!

Interactive Australia 2007

The Centre for New Media Research & Education (which looks really cool, by the way) at Bond University in Australia has published a report that:

“…provides data on who is playing games in Australia, what their attitudes and behaviours are like compared with non-gamers, the nature of the games market, the importance of games in the family experience and the role of online access in game purchasing and play.
The study is based on a national random sample of 1,606 Australian households who responded to more than 75 questions and over 300 data points in a 15-minute online survey run by ACNielsen Surveys Australia in late September 2006. Two units of analysis are explored in the study: the household and the player individual within the household.”

It’s interesting data. Nothing that really surprises me – but nice to see such reports finding nice little heartwarming details such as:

“Parents and children are increasingly playing together. 35% of gamers are parents.”

I would really like to see the questions asked though, because it seems just a tad too optimistic – too good to be true, in a way. But then I’ve always been skeptical to such things as I’ve done my fair share of phone surveys. ;)