Breed with me!

I’m really loving Channel 4’s Routes Game! Perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon if you ask me!

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Roo Reynolds – a must!


I’ve just watched Roo Reynold’s closing keynote at the ReLIVE08 (Researching Learning in Virtual Environments) conference and I’m just so smitten!

Firstly – you just have to be impressed that he came with nothing and worked through the entire conference by taking notes so he could sum up the whole conference as a closing keynote. That’s ballsy! What a gift for a conference!

Roo Reynolds is in charge of social media at the BBC (I think that’s a good way to sum it up), but he himself says: “I look after social media for BBC Vision, which is the TV bit (e.g. there are people with similar roles to mine in news, radio and the central ‘future media & technology’ teams, and I work closely with them)”. If you’re working with social media in any shape or form you have to follow Roo Reynold’s blog. He’s smart, reflective and a whole lot of fun!

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Being recognised by a stranger

So extremely weird standing at the bus stop freezing my butt off in the frost of the morning at 7 am and have somebody come up to me and ask “You work for BTV right?” – “Uhm – no.” “But I’m sure I saw you there” – “Well, I was interviewed on that show MM a few weeks back”. And then…well…all interest was lost. A disappointed “oh yeah” and then off they went again. The word ‘machinima’ wasn’t uttered once. And it seems working for a tv station is much more rock starish than being a guest. So what’s the point of being recognised if my message never came across?! At least the stranger could have remember games and film! Utterly disappointed!

Community Guidelines

I really enjoyed reading (via Raph Koster) Scott Hartsman’s “Beta Community Guidelines”. It was originally written for the Everquest II Beta in 2004 – but I think a lot is relevant now as well. In fact, I don’t think these rules apply just to MMORPGs – I think any online community would be smart in developing the same…I’m more inclined to use a word such as ethics and morals, than guidelines, but ok.

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.

MMORPG professionals

Raph Koster writes about a new group that calls themselves “The Virtual Citizenship Association”. It’s a new group advocating virtual citizen ehm ‘rights’. In his blogpost he points out the relevant problems with their social contract – which I completely agree with – so I’m not going to bother repeating it all in my own words here – you should just read it – I can’t do his words justice here!
But entering the site – I was quite intrigued by how they define themselves:

“We’re a group of MMORPG professionals, people who enjoy playing in online universes in general and people who advocate the use of Free Software.”

I find that interesting. When I think of ‘MMORPG proffesionals’ I think of game operators and designers – not players, but it’s a relevant point! Why shouldn’t players be labeled as MMORPG professionals? I kinda like it – it tickled me!
As for what they’re advocating, I agree with Koster when he writes:

“I’d prefer any such social contract to focus more on how operators have to treat players, than on forcing particular business models on operators.”

Too right!

And in case you don’t have the time to read the comments, I have to paste glorious Mr. Bartle’s comment – where would this industry be without his precious sense of humor?

“Why is it that these “players’ rights” advocates always target the virtual world developers and never the people who run guilds?

Richard

PS: Wouldn’t it be amusing if a virtual world developer banned membership of such organisations under its EULA?”

MMORPGs in the news

Virtual Worlds have been in the media a lot lately and there’s been so much hype, I sometimes just wanna shout “OH…GET OVER IT!”.

Clickable Culture has a little rant about a Toronto Star article which I found highly amusing.

“On the other hand, it’s supremely social. Players band together, chatting incessantly. They hook up for virtual drinks at the inn, share a slab of wild boar meat. They dance, they have picnics in the woods, they even share a bed on occasion.” Dude, I don’t know what server you are playing on, but I have never heard of players going to an inn in Warcraft for a pint and a slab of meat. Picnics in the woods!?! Cotroneo is embellishing here. Maybe he plays on a server dedicated to role-playing, where players imagined they were eating and drinking together, or having cybersex in the woods, or whatever the hell he thinks he’s talking about.

Oh how I chuckled!

The Norwegian press has actually been rather thorough in what I’ve read at least. Something to be thankful for! ;)

Reputation

I’m extremely tired at writing moment, but I couldn’t sleep because my head is just filled with thoughts that I just need to get out! So please excuse me for not linking to smart people – this is just me!
I kinda freaked out today, when I realised that my whole thesis is about reputation! It’s everywhere – and I wasn’t aware of it! It really scared the bejeebles out of me! When discussing the ontological state and identity of the avatar, reputation is essential. When discussing ownership and the attachment to virtual gaming goods, reputation is important. I had an interesting conversation with a friend who’s a WoW’er a while back (may have blogged about it actually) and he had been playing Oblivion for a while, which he thought was really cool but he missed the ‘bragging’ that WoW gave him. There he could show off the gains and riches from all his labor, he couldn’t do that with a single player game. And I think this is a perfect example of why players become so attached to their virtual property.

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Girl Geek Dinners


Cool!!! Barcelona and London organise Girl Geek Dinners! What an excellent concept! Definitely comes on top of my list of “things I want to do when I’m unemployed in a month”. It would really be cool to see all the girl geeks of Bergen gathered for a dinner – I’m just looking forward to finding them! But I’m sure most of them will be just like me asking the existential question, “Am I geek enough to attend a geek dinner?”.

The wiki says: “Someone who is female and has an interest in technology, particularly computing and new media. Not necessarily technically minded.”

Hmm…I feel comfortable with that! But who should be invited to speak and who can we ask to sponsor such an event? Ooooh! My mind’s already excited! And how to advertise to girl geeks! Wow! That’s definitely an interesting dilemma! What media channel to use to reach girl geeks and be taken seriously? What an interesting challenge! Woo hoo!! I’m really psyched!

Finally looking forward to unemployment! ;) Hehe!

‘Protectors’ an independent player group?

Deadlines are truely a wonderful thing! Because otherwise I’m certain nothing would ever get published! I’ve currently got 4 chapters up and running on the screen because I’ve figured out that’s the best way for me to work, it helps me see the flow of my arguments – and it also messes things up all the freakin time! I’m so sick and tired of second guessing all my statements – I just wanna get this over with already, so I can move on! But sometimes I just have to face the fact that I’ve overlooked some crucial, fundamental and important facts! It’s devastating finding these things so late in the process that tears seem to flow constantly (so glad I’m a woman) and I’m amazed I still have hair on my head as pulling them seems to satisfy my bursts of anger! Reasonable arguments like I shouldn’t care so much and I should stop overthinking things just refuses to hit home with me! Argh! So…after revealing my psychological and personal breakdown let me present you with my current dilemma!

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